Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA and You - The Internet Should Be Free

SOPA and You - The Internet Should Be Free

As if you were going to be surprised on which side I came down on this one. Even if I get a paycheck from a Hollywood studio, I just can't fathom any reason why we should take steps towards a world like China and block, limit or restrict where and what people see on the internet in America. We are, after all, home of the brave and land of the free.

But with that said, I'm going off the assumption that you even know what the fuck I'm talking about when I say SOPA or NDAA is. Maybe I'm just giving the readers of this blog enough credit to follow current affairs. Especially ones that effect places like REDDIT and WIKIPEDIA.

Today you may notice that Wikipedia is currently down. I'm sure you found that out when you were trying to fact check something for your just started class project. The BBC news headline I read stated: "Wikipedia to shut down in anti-piracy protest".

Not to nitpick, but it does kind of make it sound like they're protesting piracy and not anti-piracy laws. Which again, is what all of this is about. Wait for it, I'll explain it soon enough.

So what is SOPA?

SOPA = anti-internet-piracy law that will allow for blanket shutdowns of sites with file sharing content. i think that's right anyway. the big internet companies (google/twitter/facebook) are freaking out over it and now internet people are trying to build momentum against it

NDAA = routine defense funding bill with a cool section that explicitly re-authorizes "enhanced interrogation" and allows the military to indefinitely detain terror suspects anywhere in the world, including us citizens on us soil. the original bill required the military to do this but i think that part was softened in the Bi-partisan Compromise

When you think about it, the entire process regarding SOPA is so fucking absurd. I mean, let's face it, the walls are crumbling and the lights are dimming and the world is in chaos. What do they do? Wring their hands about Mickey Mouse's intellectual property rights.

This is a list from Opencongress on those outside groups that supported SOPA:
  • Motion Picture Association of America
  • Independent Film & Television Alliance
  • National Association of Theatre Owners
  • Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc.,
  • National Music Publishers' Association
  • American Federation of Musicians
  • Directors Guild of America
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • Screen Actors Guild
  • National Cable & Telecommunications Association
  • Recording Industry Association of America
  • Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies
  • Comcast
  • NBC Universal
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • Concerned Women for America
  • Viacom
  • National Criminal Justice Association
  • National District Attorneys Association
  • Council of State Governments
  • International Trademark Association
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
  • International Association of Fire Fighters
  • U. S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Americans for Tax Reform
  • Let Freedom Ring
  • Outdoor Industry Association
  • National Electrical Manufacturers Association
  • Ford Motor Company
  • Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association
  • Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
  • Society of Plastics Industry
  • Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council
  • Software & Information Industry Association
  • Entertainment Software Association
  • American Association of Independent Music
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Merck
  • Specialty Equipment Market Association
  • Universal Music Group Inc.
  • Pfizer
  • Association of American Publishers
  • News Corporation
  • Xerox Corporation
  • Walmart
  • Dow Chemical
  • Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
  • National Confectioners Association
  • Estee Lauder Companies
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • CBS Corporation
  • National Basketball Association
  • Greeting Card Association
  • Advanced Medical Technology Association
  • Beam Global Spirits &Wine
  • Sony Music Entertainment
  • Adidas America
  • Acushnet Company
  • ABRO Industries, Inc.
  • 1-800-PetMeds
  • 1-800 Contacts, Inc.
  • Blue Sky Studios, Inc.
  • Bose Corporation
  • Warner Music Group
  • Major League Baseball
  • Burberry
  • Electronic Components Industry Association
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • Kekepana International Services
  • LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton
  • Nike, Inc.
  • Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc.
  • Timberland Company
  • Time Warner
  • Sporting Goods Manufacturer's Association
  • 3M Company
  • National Retail Federation
  • Retail Industry Leaders Association
  • Viacom
  • Philip Morris International
  • National Association of Broadcasters
  • Disney
  • MacMillan
  • Center for Individual Freedom
  • National Governors Association
  • National Football League
  • International Union of Police Associations
  • Graphic Artists Guild
  • International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition
  • United States Tennis Association
  • Associated Builders and Contractors
  • Christian Music Trade Association
  • National Narcotics Officer's Associations' Coalition
  • Elsevier
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship
  • United States Conference of Mayors
  • Church Music Publishers Association
  • Major County Sheriffs Association
  • Visa
  • Copyright Alliance
  • American Federation of Television & Radio Artists
  • International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees
  • National Songwriters Association
  • Minor League Baseball
  • Coalition Against Online Video Piracy
  • Letter of Council
  • Capitol Records Nashville
  • Church Music Trade Association
  • American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers
  • Country Music Association
  • Country Music Television
  • EMI Christian Music Group
  • Lost Highway Records
  • Gospel Music Association
  • MCA Records
  • Mercury Nashville
  • Provident Music Group
  • Republic Nashville
  • Showdog Universal
  • Sony Music Nashville
  • UMG Publishing Group
  • Warner Music Nashville
  • Word Entertainment
  • BMG Chrysalis
  • BMI
  • Cengage Learning
  • EMI Music Publishing
  • L'Oreal
  • Hachette Book Group
  • Publishers Worldwide, Inc.
  • Hyperion
  • McGraw-Hill Education
  • MPA - The Association of Magazine Media
  • Pearson Education
  • Penguin Group
  • Perseus Books Group
  • Random House
  • Scholastic, Inc.
  • W.W. Norton Company
  • Wolers Kluwer Health
  • True Religion Brand Jeans
  • National Sheriff's Association
  • COTY, Inc.
  • Major City Chiefs
  • National Troopers Coalition
  • National Center for Victims of Crime
  • National Domestic Preparedness Coalition
  • Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies
  • National Association of Fusion Center Directors
  • National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators
  • National Association of State Chief Information Officers
  • Association of Talent Agents
  • Council of the Better Business Bureau
  • State International Development Organizations
  • Beachbody LLC
  • Tiffany & Company
Now you're probably wondering who opposed it: Specific Organizations Opposing H.R.3261
  • Creators’ Freedom Project
  • Engine Advocacy
  • 4chan
  • Boing Boing
  • Creative Commons
  • Daily Kos
  • Disqus
  • Grooveshark
  • Hype Machine
  • Kickstarter
  • MetaFilter
  • O'Reilly Radar
  • Techdirt
  • Torrentfreak
  • Go Daddy
  • NetCoalition
  • Consumer Electronics Association
  • Computer and Communications Industry Association
  • Public Knowledge
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation
  • Open Internet Coalition
  • Bloomberg
  • Google
  • Yahoo
  • Center for Democracy & Technology
  • Business Software Alliance
  • Twitter
  • Zynga
  • Facebook
  • AOL
  • Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz
  • Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google
  • Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square
  • Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr and Hunch
  • David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo!
  • Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn
  • Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post
  • Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube
  • Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and co-founder of Alexa Internet
  • Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal
  • Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist
  • Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay
  • Biz Stone, co-founder of Obvious and Twitter
  • Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation
  • Evan Williams, co-founder of Blogger and Twitter
  • Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!
  • Progressive Change Campaign Committee
  • Tumblr
  • Mozilla
  • Union Square Ventures
  • MoveOn
  • Wikimedia Foundation
  • eBay
  • Men's Rights Advocacy Forum
  • American Civil Liberties Union
  • Consumers Union
  • American Library Association
  • Computer & Communications Industry Association
  • Human Rights First
  • Consumer Federation of America
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Microsoft
  • United States Student Association
  • Irregular Times
  • TechNet
  • Information Technology Industry Council
  • Association of Research Libraries
  • Entertainment Consumers Assocation
  • Writers Guild of America, West
  • Reporters Without Borders
  • Freedom House
  • Association of College and Research Libraries
  • Competitive Enterprise Institute
  • TechAmerica
  • TechFreedom
  • Demand Progress
  • U.S. Public Interest Group
  • Internews
  • New America Foundation’s Open Technology Initiative
  • Center for Media Justice
  • Center for Rural Strategies
  • Brookings Institute
  • American Society of News Editors
  • Benetech
  • Rackspace
  • OpenDNS
For the longest time I thought this wasn't much of an issue because SOPA was no way in hell going to pass and even if it did, it'll basically just set the stage for Google to kick off the corporate revolution to overthrow the US government.

And sure enough, we did it.
In a surprise move, 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 the huge online protest and the White House threatening to veto the bill if it had passed. But don't celebrate yet. PIPA (the Senate's version of SOPA) is still up for consideration.
Sure enough, we win, right? Ha! Nah. PIPA is still alive in the Senate with 40 co-sponsors. It's just a situation of everybody knows SOPA, so let's just use PIPA now to get the same lobbyist to their final destination. And what does PIPA mean?

The Piss In People's Ass Act.. No, wait. That's one too many A's at the end. Hell if I know. You should just realize that it's something the intellectual property owners came up to fuck you out of your internet signal and free ability to pirate shit. And why shouldn't it pass? Every other law to help entertainment industry groups collect rent off other people's work has passed and their former lawyers have appointed positions at all levels of society to make sure it happens.

I know someone who is studying law and is taking a "constitutional law: individual rights and liberties," class. Which I guess is kind of like going to veterinary school and studying about unicorns.

For the time being for the rest of the day, if you try loading up Reddit, Wikipedia and hundreds of other websites today, it'll come up for just a split second before the blackout page shows up. But if you hit escape in that second, it stops loading and you can browse at your leisure...

So hey, you can cruise the net still. it's just a matter of making sure that this doesn't pass. Though even if it does, there's always Obama to carry out our hopes and change.. and veto this potential bill... right?

VETO the SOPA bill and any other future bills that threaten to diminish the free flow of information

"the more freely information flows; the stronger that society becomes" President Obama

By allowing free conversation it is so easy to drop a link

It would be ridiculous for an ISP to block the entire domain on court order because a single user posted a link. It is difficult for any web administrator to know which links to copyrighted material are done with permission. This will kill the free flow of information and conversation on the internet.

SOPA is too blunt. Please veto.

Then again, I have as much thought that Obama would give any shit about any of this and I fully expect him to sign it all away the moment it comes to his desk. You know, to save up those political points and all.

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