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1/18/12- Blog not closing but please support the SOPA Blackout Protest!

January 18, 2012

Many sites are taking a stand for online Freedom of Speech and you may find that these sites will be down for 12-24hrs on 1/18/12. Here is why

I did try to close my blog down but the plug in was only for wordpress.org (then I tried to make all my posts private but wow it was taking too long). So instead I will ask everyone to visit the site that explains what is going on and why it affects all of us online.

While I may be critical of the USA at times, I have always said that the USA is the number 1 country in which Freedom of Speech is protected more than any other country on earth.

Here you can say that government officials are idiots, you can say that green people are superior to purple people etc…and no one can do anything to you. As long as there are no harm or threats you can pretty much say whatever you want. Other countries can have you arrested for “racism”, not in America.

This is why organization like the KKK or Westboro Baptist church can freely spread their hateful messages on the streets, because no matter what they believe they are protected by the American love for freedom of speech. Consequently, those of us who are against hate can counter-protest them as well. That is what makes America so great.

Unfortunately, freedom of speech does not protect creative artists and others from having their work stolen. We can remember the times where people could freely share files of music and media online (hello Napster) until the “industry” did away with that in major lawsuits and even with individual users being sued. Next was the war on Youtube, where countless videos were pulled and or left without sound for copyright reasons. That’s why you can no longer find some of the 2001, 2002 videos you loved so much on your favorites anymore.

Artists should be protected but how much is too far? Going too far is “The Stop Online Piracy Act” and “The Protect IP Act”

I think most of us can relate to this. It’s 2 in the morning and you’re desperately searching for the latest Millie D’Or music video on youtube (I hear she’s a rising superstar singer in a bikini)….and after searching forever you finally find a torrent file from Singapore or Sri Lanka where you can finally view it and send it to all your friends :p…. yeah kiss that goodbye, should these bills pass. Your internet provider will block access to these sites. You, the American consumer, would have no right or option to go to whatever internet address you want to go. In fact, you will  be monitored. And all for what? For the entertainment industry? The internet will have to change, websites will have to constantly monitor their sites 24/7 in order to assist the revenue of the media industry. The internet does not belong to one entity, not to a government and not to movie or music studios. It’s ours, as a collective unit of individuals.

Now what’s the big deal? Obviously piracy is wrong. Obviously Millie D’Or would not appreciate having a bunch of 2am pervs stealing her music video, unless her company has given permission but with this legislation, who cares! It’s more about punishment than finding out who really is to blame. And any company that supports this bill could accuse any website of piracy. Let’s say that there is no piracy violation, let’s say it’s an unfounded accusation by X major music studio who will send their 10 dogs-I mean lawyers to file complaints against a little website that didn’t do anything wrong. The one who would loose is the little website, even if it did not commit any piracy law. The accuser who was wrong to falsely accuse another site would most likely not be punished for the mistake.

Let’s take at the countries that block websites. Vietnam, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia.. WOW we really want to be like them.

Take a look at this: (from http://www.pcworld.com/article/248298/sopa_and_pipa_just_the_facts.html)

Opponents of SOPA and PIPA believe that neither piece of legislation does enough to protect against false accusations. As the Electronic Frontier Foundation argues, provisions in the bill grant immunity to payment processors and ad networks that cut off sites based on a reasonable belief of infringement, so even if claims turn out to be false, only the site suffers. “The standard for immunity is incredibly low and the potential for abuse is off the charts,” says the EFF.

Meanwhile, sites that host user-generated content will be under pressure to closely monitor users’ behavior. That monitoring already happens on larger sites such as YouTube, but it could be a huge liability for startups, the EFF argues.

Some progressive pundits have argued that media companies are trying to legislate their way out of what’s really a business-model problem.

The bills are basically asking ISP to become the internet police, monitoring individual people, blocking sites. And make it illegal for companies to allow the release of information about how to access a blocked site. So…if you go on MySpace and tell your friends “hey I figured out how you can go on x website by typing this IP address” then MySpace would be legally liable for allowing this information to be posted and that user could face criminal action. In essence, MySpace or any other site will have to monitor every inch of their site or face legal action and potentially pay damages to big studios. And if you, a regular internet user, posts a copyrighted material…like “hey check out this amazing picture” or “I’m singing the latest Killers song on a YouTube video so my friends can see how great I sing” then YOU could become legally liable and face legal action. A studio can sue you or you can face criminal action for piracy. This is how abusive a these bills are!

These bills are dangerous because they are vague. They need to be better written in order to pinpoint who/what/how is truly violating piracy laws. Is a high school 15 year old kid who posts a video on his blog a pirate that needs to be arrested? Am I not going to be able to listen to a sound clip on Wikipedia about the first Blues song ever recorded because that would assisting piracy? Would that make me a pirate who would get sued as well? Where does it begin and where does it end.

While it is fair to combat piracy, it would be even more make more reasonable boundaries and start from there. From the view of both sides- as of now the bill is supported by big companies (movie studios, banking firms, music studios:

Here is a list of the supporters (The Empire)
See that? All really big names. Video Game makers are laying low while others withdrew from supporting this

Against (the rebels)

From Wikipedia:

OPA and PIPA are real threats to the free and open Internet. Although recent media reports have suggested that the bills are losing support, they are not dead. On January 17th, SOPA’s sponsor said the bill will be discussed and pushed forward in early February. PIPA could be debated in the U.S. Senate as soon as next week. There is a need to send a strong message that bills like SOPA and PIPA must not move forward: they will cause too much damage.

  • Although the bills have been amended since their introduction, they are still deeply problematic. Among other serious problems in the current draft of the bills, the requirement exists for US-based sites to actively police links to purported infringing sites. These kinds of self-policing activities are non-sustainable for large, global sites – including ones like Wikipedia. The legislative language is ambiguous and overly broad, even though it touches on protected speech. Congress says it’s trying to protect the rights of copyright owners, but the “cure” that SOPA and PIPA represent is worse than the disease.

Check out these blacked out protest sites and give them your full support:

Wikipedia

WordPress

PS: You know the movie V for Vendetta? It fits in more ways these past years than ever before.

BTW: Here are some angry Twitter people at Wikipedia’s blackout

THE INTERNET BELONGS TO US!!!!!!!!

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From → Just Random

2 Comments
  1. anonymous011human permalink

    ¡ɹǝʇsıs ʇı llǝʇ noʎ
    Im RT this

  2. anonymous011human permalink

    ǝɔıʇsnɾ ʍou ʍou ʍou. Thnx

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