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Old 01-18-2012, 07:23 PM   #1
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Default SOPA/PIPA protests via Wikipedia, Google, reddit, Mojang, has cause 4.5mil to sign.

Today, websites such as the ones listed in the title and many more have been protesting two bills: SOPA and PIPA.
Quote:
WASHINGTON — When the powerful world of old media mobilized to win passage of an online antipiracy bill, it marshaled the reliable giants of K Street — the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Recording Industry Association of America and, of course, the motion picture lobby, with its new chairman, former Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat and an insider’s insider.

Yet on Wednesday this formidable old guard was forced to make way for the new as Web powerhouses backed by Internet activists rallied opposition to the legislation through Internet blackouts and cascading criticism, sending an unmistakable message to lawmakers grappling with new media issues: Don’t mess with the Internet.

As a result, the legislative battle over two once-obscure bills to combat the piracy of American movies, music, books and writing on the World Wide Web may prove to be a turning point for the way business is done in Washington. It represented a moment when the new economy rose up against the old.

“I think it is an important moment in the Capitol,” said Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California and an important opponent of the legislation. “Too often, legislation is about competing business interests. This is way beyond that. This is individual citizens rising up.”

It appeared by Wednesday evening that Congress would follow Bank of America, Netflix and Verizon as the latest institution to change course in the face of a netizen revolt.

Legislation that just weeks ago had overwhelming bipartisan support and had provoked little scrutiny generated a grass-roots coalition on the left and the right. Wikipedia made its English-language content unavailable, replaced with a warning: “Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet.” Visitors to Reddit found the site offline in protest. Google’s home page was scarred by a black swatch that covered the search engine’s label.

Phone calls and e-mail messages poured in to Congressional offices against the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and the Protect I.P. Act in the Senate. One by one, prominent backers of the bills dropped off.

First, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a rising Republican star, took to Facebook, one of the vehicles for promoting opposition, to renounce a bill he had co-sponsored. Senator John Cornyn of Texas, who leads the G.O.P.’s Senate campaign efforts, used Facebook to urge his colleagues to slow the bill down. Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina and a Tea Party favorite, announced his opposition on Twitter, which was already boiling over with anti-#SOPA and #PIPA fever.

Then trickle turned to flood — adding Senators Mark Kirk of Illinois and Roy Blunt of Missouri, and Representatives Lee Terry of Nebraska and Ben Quayle of Arizona. At least 10 senators and nearly twice that many House members announced their opposition.

“Thanks for all the calls, e-mails, and tweets. I will be opposing #SOPA and #PIPA,” Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon, wrote in a Twitter message. Late Wednesday, Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, withdrew his support for a bill he helped write.

The existing bill “needs more due diligence, analysis and substantial changes,” he said in a statement.

Few lawmakers even now question the need to combat pirates at Web sites in China, Russia and elsewhere who have offered free American movies, television shows, music and books almost as soon as they are released. Heavyweights like the Walt Disney Company secured the support of senators and representatives before the Web companies were even aware the legislation existed.

“A lot of people are pitching this as Hollywood versus Google. It’s so much more than that,” said Maura Corbett, spokeswoman for NetCoalition, which represents Google, Amazon.com, Yahoo, eBay and other Web companies. “I would love to say we’re so fabulous, we’re just that good, but we’re not. The Internet responded the way only the Internet could.”

For the more traditional media industry, the moment was menacing. Supporters of the legislation accused the Web companies of willfully lying about the legislation’s flaws, stirring fear to protect ill-gotten profits from illegal Web sites.

Mr. Dodd said Internet companies might well change Washington, but not necessarily for the better with their ability to spread their message globally, without regulation or fact-checking.

“It’s a new day,” he added. “Brace yourselves.”

Citing two longtime liberal champions of the First Amendment, Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, Mr. Dodd fumed, “No one can seriously believe Pat Leahy and John Conyers can be backing legislation to block free speech or break the Internet.”

For at least four years, Hollywood studios, recording industry and major publishing houses have pressed Congress to act against offshore Web sites that have been giving away U.S. movies, music and books as fast as the artists can make them. Few lawmakers would deny the threat posed by piracy to industries that have long been powerful symbols of American culture and have become engines of the export economy. The Motion Picture Association of America says its industry brings back more export income than aerospace, automobiles or agriculture, and that piracy costs the country as many as 100,000 jobs.
[NYTimes]

Quote:
Members of the Senate are rushing for the exits in the wake of the Internet's unprecedented protest of the Protect IP Act (PIPA). At least 13 members of the upper chamber announced their opposition on Wednesday. In a particularly severe blow from Hollywood, at least five of the newly-opposed Senators were previously sponsors of the Protect IP Act.

The newly-opposed Senators are skewed strongly to the Republican side of the aisle. An Ars Technica survey of Senators' positions on PIPA turned up only two Democrats, Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who announced their opposition on Wednesday. The other 11 Senators who announced their opposition on Wednesday were all Republicans. These 13 join a handful of others, including Jerry Moran (R-KS), Rand Paul (R-KY), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR), who have already announced their opposition.

Marco Rubio, a freshman Republican Senator from Florida who some consider to be a rising star, withdrew his sponsorship of the bill, citing "legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government's power to impact the Internet." He urged the Senate to "avoid rushing through a bill that could have many unintended consequences."

Another co-sponsor, Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) echoed that sentiment. He blamed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) for "pushing forward w/ a flawed bill that still needs much work."

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), one of the chamber's longest-serving members and another sponsor, described the Protect IP Act as "simply not ready for prime time."

The partisan slant of the defections is surprising because copyright has not traditionally been considered a partisan issue. Before Wednesday's protests, PIPA had 16 Republican co-sponsors and 23 Democratic ones. The bill lost a quarter of its Republican sponsors on Wednesday, while we know of only one Democrat, Ben Cardin (D-MD), who dropped his support.

Those who dropped their support were most likely bolstered by strong opposition from conservative think tanks and blogs. On Tuesday, the influential Heritage Foundation announced that it would include SOPA and PIPA as a key issue on its voter scorecard. And the popular conservative blog redstate.com, whose founder threatened to mount primary challengers to SOPA supporters last month, has been hailing Senators who come out in opposition.

Neither side is close to having a majority. A whip count by OpenCongress found 35 supporters (including 34 cosponsors), 18 opponents, and 12 more Senators leaning toward opposition. About 35 Senators have not committed to a position, perhaps reluctant to do so for fear of angering either deep-pocketed Hollywood campaign contributors or their constituents back home.
[Arstechnica]

Google's link to a petition also resulted in 4.5 million signatures against the bill (one of which being mine).



Quote:
When Google speaks, the world listens.

And today, when Google asked its users to sign a petition protesting two anti-piracy laws circulating in Congress, millions responded.

A spokeswoman for Google confirmed that 4.5 million people added their names to the company's anti-SOPA petition today.

Not too shabby.

The petition, which was available via a link from Google's homepage, states that although fighting online piracy is important, the plan of attack described in the SOPA and PIPA bills would be ineffective.

PHOTOS: Sites on strike

"There’s no need to make American social networks, blogs and search engines censor the Internet or undermine the existing laws that have enabled the Web to thrive, creating millions of U.S. jobs," the petition reads. "Too much is at stake -– please vote NO on PIPA and SOPA."

The search engine frequently delights users by toying with its homepage logo, but on Wednesday it did something it had never done before: it blocked out its logo completely.

A link below the blackout read "Tell Congress: Please don't censor the web!" and lead to a page with the petition.

Of course, Google's anti-SOPA and PIPA petition is not the only one out there on this day of mass online protest. As of this writing 1.458 million people signed a similar petition at the activist website Avaaz.org, and Fight for the Future said that between its two sites, Sopastrike.com and AmericanCensorship.org, at least 350,000 people have sent emails to representatives in the House and Senate.

A graphic put out by Google shows that before today's coordinated protests, 3 million Americans had signed various petitions against the two bills.

In other SOPA number news, a spokeswoman from the popular blogging platform WordPress, said that at last count, 25,000 WordPress blogs had joined the SOPA and PIPA protest by blacking out their blogs entirely, and another 12,500 used the "Stop Censorship" ribbon.

Today, the White House Blog reports that 103,785 people signed petitions through the We The People website asking the president to protect a free and open Internet.
[LATimes]

Great success.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:09 AM   #2
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I am not worrying about PIPA and SOPA, however I am worried about NDAA, because I am not a terrorist and certainty don't want to be arrested without a trial for being suspected of one.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:41 AM   #3
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Yeah, I just thought I wouldn't do shady things and I'd be fine.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:20 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Legend View Post
I am not worrying about PIPA and SOPA, however I am worried about NDAA, because I am not a terrorist and certainty don't want to be arrested without a trial for being suspected of one.
You are mistaken, the NDAA does not give the government that power. There is another bill that in theory(on phone to lazy to go look which one) could. The NDAA does not void any rights of a US citizen.



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Old 01-19-2012, 11:05 AM   #5
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nationa...scal_Year_2012
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which deal with detention of persons the government suspects of involvement in terrorism, have generated controversy as to their legal meaning and their potential implications for abuse of Presidential authority.
Quote:
including contentions that those whom they claim may be held indefinitely could include U.S. citizens arrested on American soil, including arrests by members of the Armed Forces.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:51 PM   #6
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Don't be a dumbass, that means if you have been arrested for suspected terrorism or if you are known to be in cahoots with Al-Quaeda, or any other known terrorist groups (like the Amish), they can't just arrest you for no reason, this has been said hundred of times. read the whole thing.

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"Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States." As reflected in Senate debate over the bill, there is a great deal of controversy over the status of existing law.[20].



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Old 01-19-2012, 02:16 PM   #7
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back on topic:
signed, posted to facebook, got 45 likes




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Old 01-19-2012, 02:28 PM   #8
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My representative, Keith Ellison, is against SOPA/PIPA, so I sent him an email thanking him for his opposition. On the contrary, both senators for Minnesota are for it. I also sent them emails expressing my grave disapproval.




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Old 01-19-2012, 06:00 PM   #9
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I am going to need to send emails soon, haven't got around to it yet.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:29 PM   #10
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I find the misconceptions about SOPA rather humorous. It's a useless bill for sure and if the Megaupload takedown says anything it's that we already have sufficient laws to bring down offenders. I don't like SOPA, it's a bad bill, but it's not the incredibly horrendous bill everyone says it is. The main theory behind SOPA isn't all that bad, but how it is written and a few rules ruin the entire thing. SOPA isn't going to take away our internet freedom, saying that is ridiculous. Since when was downloading illegal files a part of being free? Why is taking down sites that knowingly host illegal files a bad thing? Is it that we have become so used to breaking the law on the internet that we now consider not being able to do so an attack on our freedom? If anything, this would just cause file sharing sites like mediafire and 4shared to more closely regulate what gets put up.

The big problem with the bill is how vaguely it is written and how stupid the punishments are, not to mention how much it would cost tax payers in court fees and what not. The chances are, if a site ever got accused of hosting illegal files it would take years to get a final verdict from a court on what to do anyways.

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Old 01-20-2012, 09:12 PM   #11
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The main theory behind SOPA isn't all that bad
Unless you mean "piracy is bad," then no, the main theory is bad. The backbone of the bill is the ability to interfere with DNS and order payment stops without due process. That is fundamentally flawed can never be made into a good thing. Even with due process, removing websites from DNS is inherently a bad thing that every expert is telling Congress is a bad thing.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:36 AM   #12
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Unless you mean "piracy is bad," then no, the main theory is bad. The backbone of the bill is the ability to interfere with DNS and order payment stops without due process. That is fundamentally flawed can never be made into a good thing. Even with due process, removing websites from DNS is inherently a bad thing that every expert is telling Congress is a bad thing.
I get the whole due process part, but the whole idea of taking down sites that host illegal downloads is not a bad idea, just how they plan to do it is bad.



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Old 01-21-2012, 10:36 AM   #13
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I get the whole due process part, but the whole idea of taking down sites that host illegal downloads is not a bad idea, just how they plan to do it is bad.
There are already ways to take down sites. What gives SOPA a reason to exist is the mechanism (DNS removal) and the owners of that power (copyright holders, not the government). These two things are the sole reason why this is being introduced as a bill, as without them it does not change anything. Both of these are inherently bad.
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Locke View Post
There are already ways to take down sites. What gives SOPA a reason to exist is the mechanism (DNS removal) and the owners of that power (copyright holders, not the government). These two things are the sole reason why this is being introduced as a bill, as without them it does not change anything. Both of these are inherently bad.
Ah, that makes sense then. I guess I didn't exactly know the specifics about the bill.



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