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Jan 17 / Geoffrey Nathan

SOPA Protest will spread all over the Web

You may recall I’ve blogged about the exceedingly ill-advised legislation entitled SOPA (‘Stop Online Piracy Act’) here and here. I am not alone in being very concerned about its potential effect on freedom of speech and expression, and the power it places in the hands of anyone with enough money to purchase a team of lawyers, not to mention the US Government. Tomorrow a number of major Internet entities will be running an organized protest (going dark for twenty-four hours, actually) against the proposed¬† law, including Wikipedia, Boingboing, and Reddit. Here’s a news article about the protest.

In addition WordPress (the originators of this blog software), Mozilla (the creators of Firefox and Thunderbird) Craigslist and Facebook are planning organized protests, including, perhaps, going dark also.

It appears the White House has begun to distance itself from the legislation, and it’s been interesting to observe a real-live popular uprising in the US that has apparently had an effect.

Tomorrow should be an interesting day on the Web.


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  1. Geoffrey Nathan / Jan 17 2012

    Now the protest has hit the big time. Here’s an interview with Jimmy Wales, the ‘inventor’ of Wikipedia, on CNN:

  2. Geoff Nathan / Jan 18 2012
  3. Kel / Jan 19 2012

    The wonderful and culturally saturated lessons we learned from prohibition lead to the War on Drugs–which has been almost completely ineffective, extraordinarily expensive, discriminatory, and socially regressive! Thank the lord we learned not to criminalize substances whose uses are more or less inevitable, forcing the business underground where it cannot be regulated, thus dramatically increasing the likelihood of systematic crime and violence! I’m sure we’ll learn our lesson with SOPA! Today, it’s the enforcement of copyright! Tomorrow, maybe it’s “hostile speech,” then the next day “undesirable speech”! Soon we could have a War on Communication, effectively banning the entire internet (except where experts deem its use to be necessary, under highly controlled conditions, of course). But hey, we would have learned our lesson with SOPA and PIPA, and we’d have overturned them! Foreign piracy sites for everyone

    • Geoffrey Nathan / Jan 19 2012

      I’d say your prognostication is ridiculous too, but look at the fact that you now need to ask a pharmacist for antihistamines, then sign a form promising you won’t buy too many of them. And this for a drug that is not only completely legal but technically ‘over the counter’, like aspirin. Sigh…

  4. Geoffrey Nathan / Jan 19 2012

    Apparently some universities joined in by partially blacking-out their websites or having links to informational pages on how this will damage the university. Here’s an article about it:

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