The bad news, of course, is that this sort of thing is going to keep on happening. I don't mean solely in relation to the internet; I mean Congress passing laws without understanding their ramifications. In fact, forget the ramifications; it's clear that several of the supporters of PIPA don't even realize what copyright is, or don't think it applies to them. My favorite of the pictures on that page is the one from Rep. Dennis Ross's site, where he's taken a copyrighted image and simply cut off the copyright mark. If you'd like to stop online piracy, Congressman, I know where you can start.
When people actually take notice, as happened in this case, Congress can be made to back down. However, too much of the time, no one pays attention. Even today, when SOPA was due to be voted on, amidst the flurry of anti-SOPA and -PIPA postings on my Facebook were more than a few queries of "What is this? I haven't heard about it."
A bad law can be thrown out by the courts, but in the time it takes for a challenge to be heard, much damage can be done. It's far better to contact your congresspeople before the votes, so they can know that their constituents are not happy, and perhaps understand exactly what it is they're voting for. To do that, though, people need to be informed.
So, fellow Americans: read the news. Find some sites that care about issues that appeal to you and follow them. Stay abreast of current events. Defend your country and your lifestyle against those who seek to destroy it. It's the American way.
Auditory Hallucination: Kaiser's Orchestra -- Bak Et Halleluja