Posts tagged sopa

What Does Wikipedia Have Against Soap?
Image: Screenshot of Twitter reactions to Wikipedia blackout, via @herpderpedia

What Does Wikipedia Have Against Soap?

Image: Screenshot of Twitter reactions to Wikipedia blackout, via @herpderpedia

As Web Protests SOPA, Two Senators Change Course

Via the New York Times

Internet protests on Wednesday quickly cut into Congressional support for anti-web piracy measures as lawmakers abandoned and rethought their backing for legislation that pitted new media interests against some of the most powerful old-line commercial interests in Washington.

Freshman Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a rising Republican star, was first out of the starting gate Wednesday morning with his announcement that he would no longer back anti-Internet piracy legislation he had co-sponsored. Senator John Cornyn, the Texas Republican who heads the campaign operation for his party, quickly followed suit and urged Congress take more time to study the measure that had been set for a test vote next week.

What You Can Do about SOPA and PIPA

Via Slashdot:

Wednesday is here, and with it sites around the internet are going under temporary blackout to protest two pieces of legislation currently making their way through the U.S. Congress: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect-IP Act (PIPA). Wikipedia, reddit, the Free Software Foundation, Google, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, imgur, Mozilla, and many others have all made major changes to their sites or shut down altogether in protest. These sites, as well as technology experts (PDF) around the world and everyone here at Slashdot, think SOPA and PIPA pose unacceptable risks to freedom of speech and the uncensored nature of the internet. The purpose of the protests is to educate people — to let them know this legislation will damage websites you use and enjoy every day, despite being unrelated to the stated purpose of both bills. So, we ask you: what can you do to stop SOPA and PIPA? You may have heard the House has shelved SOPA, and that President Obama has pledged not to pass it as-is, but the MPAA and SOPA-sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) are trying to brush off the protests as a stunt, and Smith has announced markup for the bill will resume in February. Meanwhile, PIPA is still present in the Senate, and it remains a threat. Read on for more about why these bills are bad news, and how to contact your representative to let them know it…

…So, what can we do about it? There are two big things: contact your representative, and spread the word. Slashdot readers, on the whole, are more technically-minded than the average internet user, so you’re all in a position to share your wisdom with the less internet-savvy people in your life, and get them to contact their representative, too. Here’s some useful information for doing so:

Propublica has a list of all SOPA/PIPA supporters and opponents.
Here is the Senate contact list and the House contact list.
You can also use the EFF’s form-letter, the Stop American Censorship form-letter, or sign Google’s petition.
If you don’t live in the U.S., you can petition the State Department. (And yes, you have a dog in this fight.)
SOPAStrike has a list of companies participating in the protest, and this crowd-sourced Google Doc tracks companies that support the legislation. Tell those companies what you think.

shortformblog:

awesomebrainpowers:

Not to trivialize an incredibly important issue, but I foresee an off-the-charts spike in office productivity tomorrow. Sadly, the websites that track that kind of thing will have gone dark, so no-one will ever know.
tpmmedia:

A lot of major websites are “going dark” on January 18 in protest over the internet bill SOPA, and this timeline shows you how the campaign has ramped up in the last week. Google is even planning a special doodle about SOPA tomorrow. (via TPM)


We’re on the fence about going dark. We’d rather cover the phenomenon and inform people about it than disappear entirely. I asked inothernews about this, and his thought was this: “I think that if it affects us directly in our ability to deliver information to our audiences, then we have no choice but to participate.” However, to us, it seems like it breaks the line between information source and activism; we’d rather tell people about the activists than play that role ourselves. What do you all think? — Ernie @ SFB

FJP: We’re having the same conversation.

shortformblog:

awesomebrainpowers:

Not to trivialize an incredibly important issue, but I foresee an off-the-charts spike in office productivity tomorrow. Sadly, the websites that track that kind of thing will have gone dark, so no-one will ever know.

tpmmedia:

A lot of major websites are “going dark” on January 18 in protest over the internet bill SOPA, and this timeline shows you how the campaign has ramped up in the last week. Google is even planning a special doodle about SOPA tomorrow. (via TPM)

We’re on the fence about going dark. We’d rather cover the phenomenon and inform people about it than disappear entirely. I asked inothernews about this, and his thought was this: “I think that if it affects us directly in our ability to deliver information to our audiences, then we have no choice but to participate.” However, to us, it seems like it breaks the line between information source and activism; we’d rather tell people about the activists than play that role ourselves. What do you all think? — Ernie @ SFB

FJP: We’re having the same conversation.

As we go deeper into an information age, I think that we need to have serious conversations about what is colloquially termed piracy. We need to distinguish media piracy from software piracy because they’re not the same thing. We need to seriously interrogate fairness and equality, creative production and cultural engagement. And we need to seriously take into consideration why people do what they do. I strongly believe that when people work en masse to route around a system, the system is most likely the thing that needs the fixing, not the people.

5 Ways to Get Your Own Copy of Wikipedia

thenextweb:

The apps don’t require you to be online to view the pages, and you’ll be able to reference Wikipedia no matter where you are, even when it goes dark on Wednesday.

FJP: The English language version of Wikipedia will be offline this Wednesday in protest of the SOPA/PIPA bills currently in the US Congress. So, if you can’t do without, check out these apps.

SOPA Dead, PIPA Next?

Via the Examiner:

In a surprise move today, Representative Eric Cantor(R-VA) announced that he will stop all action on SOPA, effectively killing the bill. This move was most likely due to several things. One of those things is that SOPA and PIPA met huge online protest against the bills. Another reason would be that the White House threatened to veto the bill if it had passed. However, it isn’t quite time yet to celebrate, as PIPA(the Senate’s version of SOPA) is still up for consideration.

A common refrain in Silicon Valley is that Congress should be smart enough to know how the Internet works. It may sound reasonable, but it isn’t. There are 535 people in Congress who are responsible for passing laws that relate to the environment, pharmaceuticals, transportation, infrastructure, foreign policy, social services — every topic under the sun.

Although it’s a top-of-mind issue for us, neither California Senator Dianne Feinstein nor Senator Barbara Boxer list PIPA (the Senate equivalent of SOPA) on their top issues pages. It’s unreasonable to expect that members of Congress, many of whom are career politicians, study our business. Some make gut reactions in the name of privacy or fear of “hacking.”…

…In an accident of geography, technology has to fight for advocacy in Congress with Hollywood because both are represented by senators from California. If you look at campaign contributions alone, Hollywood does a much better job at reaching out to Senators Feinstein and Boxer than the Internet industry does. According to OpenSecrets.org, Feinstein has received $168,000 from the TV/movie/music industry vs. $86,465 from the Internet industry in the 2012 campaign cycle. Boxer has received $898,568 from Hollywood vs. $431,489 from the Internet industry.

Both of California’s senators are listed as co-sponsors of PIPA.

The cynical thing to do is assume that members of Congress are acting purely in their own financial interests. That may be true for some, but just as many believe that they are doing the right thing. That’s because we suck at presenting our side.

Rocky Agrawal, VentureBeat. If SOPA passes, we’re as much to blame as Congress and Hollywood.

Agrawal argues that SOPA and PIPA opponents must do a better job at educating politicians and the media on these issues and their consequences.

Stop SOPA? There's an App for That

Via Extreme Tech:

Armchair activists now have a tool that can transport their SOPA protestations into the real world: Boycott SOPA, an Android app that scans barcodes and tells you whether an object’s manufacturer/publisher is a supporter of the much maligned Stop Online Piracy Act.

If you’ve ever scanned a barcode on your Android phone to look up a book or CD on Amazon, Boycott SOPA works in exactly the same way: First you have to install the ZXing Barcode Scanner app, but then you simply go around pointing your phone’s camera at product barcodes. Boycott SOPA gives you a big red cross if the product is distributed by a SOPA supporter, or a green tick if it’s “clean.” Much to my chagrin, Coca-Cola supports SOPA — but Smirnoff, on the other hand, does not. If you ever needed a sign from Above that you ought to drink more, there it is.

Scanning food isn’t really where Boycott SOPA is at, though: Really, it’s all about scanning books, CDs, movies, and games — products that are protected by massively militant groups like the MPAA, RIAA, and BSA who are spending millions on buying off Representatives to shoehorn SOPA through Congress. If you scan a random selection of media in your DVD rack or bookcase, you’ll be unsurprised to see that almost every object is produced by a company that supports SOPA. It’s worth noting that the app isn’t perfect, though: It relies on a user-curated list of SOPA supporters — a list that isn’t complete nor publicly visible. The app developer claims that the list will be regularly updated.

Wonder if Apple’s reviewers would let this into its App store.

Under SOPA, websites can be blacklisted and removed from the Internet if they appear to be infringing on intellectual property or distributing copyrighted works. This is especially troublesome for artists whose work depends on fair use law and resides at the intersection of art, mass media critique and appropriation.

If SOPA passes, the U.S. government would easily be able to remove art from the Internet by seeking a court order against either the artist or the hosting provider. Corporate lobbyists would decide what art could and could not be shown online.

Alicia Eler, ReadWriteWeb. How SOPA Would Kill Art & Creativity Online.

In related news:

Hey, honey! It’s the entertainment industry — they’re here to fix our Internet.
Noise to Signal.

Hey, honey! It’s the entertainment industry — they’re here to fix our Internet.

Noise to Signal.

I remember fondly the days when we were all tickled pink by our elected officials’ struggle to understand how the internet works. Whether it was George W. Bush referring to “the internets” or Senator Ted Stevens describing said internets as “a series of tubes,” we would sit back and chortle at our well-meaning but horribly uninformed representatives, confident that the right people would eventually steer them back on course. Well I have news for members of Congress: Those days are over.

We get it. You think you can be cute and old-fashioned by openly admitting that you don’t know what a DNS server is. You relish the opportunity to put on a half-cocked smile and ask to skip over the techno-jargon, conveniently masking your ignorance by making yourselves seem better aligned with the average American joe or jane — the “non-nerds” among us. But to anyone of moderate intelligence that tuned in to yesterday’s Congressional mark-up of SOPA, the legislation that seeks to fundamentally change how the internet works, you kind of just looked like a bunch of jack-asses.

Speaking of Piracy

On Thursday the House Judiciary Committee will vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Meanwhile the Protect IP Act is making its way through the Senate.

As the Center for Democracy and Technology writes, “If passed, these bills would cripple online innovation, chill online free expression, subvert the inner workings of Internet security, and compromise user privacy.”

At 1WebDesign, they’ve put together the following list of resources for background on SOPA and PIPA:

Don’t Censor the Net has resources for signing petitions and contacting representatives here.