Many of the webs most important and integral websites are protesting seriously flawed legislation called SOPA. It would greatly damage the linking structure of the internet, allowing companies to close down websites on flimsiest of premises. It would criminalize even pointing to any site that itself points to a site where there is a Copyright violation.

Over the years, the copyright cartel — this includes Disney and other major content companies — have bought themselves a Congress. They prevented works that were scheduled to enter the public domain, as envisioned in the US Constitution, from doing so.

SOPA is the latest attempt to censor the public’s access to independent information and manipulate copyright laws. The new law works to their own benefit and the public’s detriment.

For more info see Google’s Take Action, and Hacker News.

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Google’s Home Page

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Wikipedia

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WordPress

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boingboing

Category: Digital Media, Legal, Politics, Really, really bad calls, Web/Tech

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

33 Responses to “Google, Wikipedia, 1000s Go Black to Protest SOPA/PIPA”

  1. [...] A world without free knowledge: Google, Wikipedia, WordPress and others go dark in massive SOPA protest.  (TBP) [...]

  2. TLH says:

    Big business and our political elites, aka both parties, have taken over this country for their own enrichment. This will not end well. This is why Ron Paul has a following. This is why there is sympathy for occupy WS. Both political parties occupy extremes to extract as much money as possible in campaign contributions. Solving the problem would only decrease these contributions.

  3. mathman says:

    Yeah, this is pretty important – until the freaking lights go out and there’s no food. As just one example of our short-sighted concern, with what are we going to replace the pollinators?

    http://grist.org/food/2012-01-13-honey-bees-problem-nearing-a-critical-point/

    We better start paying attention to our environment or we’ll cease to have such “important” things to worry about as internet censorship.

  4. The two are not mutually exclusive, and its not hard to imagine SOPA being used against things like critics of HoneyBee die off.

    To put this into context, what happens when Big Agriculture doesn’t like GM opponents and other criticism and uses SOPA to blunt the whistleblowers using internal corp documents? Not to difficult to claim “protected work product: and copyright.

  5. Orange14 says:

    I remember when Sonny Bono got the ‘Mickey Mouse’ copyright extension through Congress some years ago. It was really bad policy then and this effort is no better.

  6. PrahaPartizan says:

    Given the absolutely prescriptive nature of the proposed legislation, I wonder just how even the proponents of these bills plan to get around it for their own sites. Virtually every site seems to have lifted something from somewhere gratis, which seems to me to allow for virtually anybody to shut down anybody else. Just how will the major old media enterprises feel when their sites – all of them – get closed by their suppliers because of complaints? Or, do they plan on using crony capitalism to get exemptions to remain open. That would clearly demonstrate the banana republic status we’re striving to achieve.

  7. ashpelham2 says:

    No one in the world is interested in this freedom we have to use the internet, until it is gone. I don’t hear a lot in the news about this. They are the ones who probably benefit the most, as internet research has taken the place of actual investigative journalism over the last decade or more.

    If SOPA takes hold, it’ll just be one more victory for those who’d like to limit information and take advantage of the public. The American public makes it pretty easy anyway. We will believe just about whatever we are told or sold, as it is today.

  8. Moss says:

    The Big Crony has shown their cards via Dodd and Murdoch:

    http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-01-18/google-rallies-opposition-to-anti-piracy-bill-backed-by-murdoch.html

    If those two corrupt elites are for the legislation than you know it is bogus for the rest of us.

  9. Arequipa01 says:

    Corporations are arrogating functions that are province of the State. Money printing, use of violence, treaties, central planning (otherwise known as price collusion), etc.

    Corporate personhood must be dissolved.

  10. theexpertisin says:

    Creative rights should be protected.

    Unfortunately, what passes as “creative” in today’s world is generally so mediocre I think it should receive scorn, not protection for polluting the intellect of it’s victims.

  11. Greg0658 says:

    to a CBS link yesterday (removed by editors):
    “if allowed to get perfected the online world will be a just cause payolla system .. but I sense the 4 Estates are worried of power slippage .. if Wiki is a joke its reflective of humanity :-|”

    this morning an email to a financial cable tv show:
    “as seen on squawkbox 6:50amESTending
    China is contracted to buy 1/2 tar sands of Canada
    FYI – a couple weeks ago after asking a Congressman at a townhall / we remained unanswered about KeystonePL ie if tar sands are fracked / tunnel dug or open pit (its OPEN PIT) .. I confirmed on Wiki next day (can’t link today – blackout) … but he did know KPL already exists and has a terminal in StLouis with a diameter pipe of 30″ … this advertising campaign is to more than double the KPL with an additional 36″ line – that imo is an attempt to create a diversion away from St Louis and get to the gulf … I also requested some looking into multiple refinerys along the way to create multiple employment zones and spread our infrastructure out”

    I think those are OnTopic .. I contend that the internet is and will be a great resource if managed correctly

    and on a much bigger picture – we in this struggle to get our daily bread out of this system we are locked into – lets just say I’m very worried for the children – I’m glad I didn’t create any :-| .. sorry if you did :-|

  12. Greg0658 says:

    ps – I didn’t get to a point I wanted to make initially ..
    share’g sharing
    I have this plate rack hanging on my wall of Norman Rockwells 4 Seasons
    this link is the season we’re in the northern hemisphere
    http://www.rockwellplates.com/images/rock72downhilldaring1.jpg
    BR – hope you don’t go black for allow’g that infraction

    WHEN can we share something we bought – via an electronic transmission?

    psst – imo Summer is 1st

  13. Jim67545 says:

    Every time any form of legislation is proposed, such as carbon dioxide limits for coal plants or limits on financial transactions, we get great howls of protests from the affected industry and predictions that this will be the end of life as we know it. In the coal case we even get TV ads predicting the end of modern society unless we contact our congressman.
    Before we take up the industry mantle and join the fight maybe we should hear the other side of the story.
    It sounds as if the law, as described above, is unenforceable or hard to prosecute for innocently linking to a problematic website. I suppose if the government wants to enforce this they would have to generate, almost on a daily basis, websites convicted of patent or trademark illegalities. Otherwise, how would they know? And, freedom of speech would trump this law.
    So, is this a real issue or just the affected industry screaming out at being touched, even slightly?

  14. Khav says:

    I’m with Jim – I always like to hear both sides of the story. Affected industries have a tendency to embelish their stories. SOPA must have been created for a reason, and I’d guess the initial reason was honorable (or thought to be).

  15. Irwin Fletcher says:

    Wikipedia has big balls.
    Google response is weak. How serious are they about this?
    The black covering of their logo is lame.
    If Google would do what
    Wikipedia did today the fight would already be over.
    Seriously, all it would take is one day without Google and every
    member of congress would be on the ground tapping out.

  16. http://search.yippy.com/search?query=EFF+EPIC&tb=sitesearch-all&v%3Aproject=clusty

    you know, more People may want to, actually, pay attention to what EFF y EPIC have been attempting to communicate..

    usually, ‘after it’s Gone..’ is a bad Time–to Start doing something for those things you care about..

  17. Irwin Fletcher says:

    Jim,
    Good questions. Here is the point.
    Crony capitalism being rolled out before your very eyes. Large companies with lots of interests
    in copyrights pressuring their lackeys to pass laws to their advantage while crushing individual liberties.
    It’s the same thing that goes on in every other industry where large mega-sized companies buy their politicians and then have them write laws that kill off the small guys, who cannot possibly afford to comply. The internet is one of the few places left that the all knowing central planners haven’t gotten their hands on, which is why it works so well.

  18. eliz says:

    The concentration of wealth and influence, whether in the public or private sector, is at the core of much that ails us.

    Clearly, a few have captured the engines of productivity and government.

    In large part, decentralization and accountability are what are needed to make a healthier world.

    Small(er) is beautiful. (See Schumacher’s book.)

    Excess is the opiate of our era.

    I do not have hope for the near future, but some day….

  19. ashpelham2 says:

    I predict that there will be some changes that will take place to the way we use the internet, at the benefit of the corporate money mongers. And still, the news will report that SOPA did not gain legislative approval.

    The upswelling will be large, but unorganized as usual. No one can organize like a deep pocket corporation on a mission. Sadly, I work for one. And I don’t mind if they find me trolling here and posting.

    This whole argument going on feels so sci-fi-ish.

  20. beaufou says:

    Disney and co would like to turn internet into a giant supermarket and eliminate the free content.
    Google, Facebook and co only exist because of free content and free contributions, it doesn’t make any sense at all economically to vote for SOPA.
    Piracy may be an issue for editors and distributors, but it remains small compared to the free publicity they get from free internet buzz.

  21. formerlawyer says:

    The powers that the Executive, and by extension the corporate overmasters of Congress that have claimed since 911, in the name of Fighting the War on Terror is stunning. Johnathan Turley wrote an op-ed piece on this:

    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/01/15/10-reasons-the-u-s-is-no-longer-the-land-of-the-free/

    He has an instructive blog piece on the sites protesting SOPA

    http://jonathanturley.org/2012/01/18/sites-unite-to-stop-sopa-2/#more-44137

  22. “…Google, Facebook and co only exist because of free content and free contributions, it doesn’t make any sense at all economically to vote for SOPA…”

    beaufou,

    see some of..
    http://search.yippy.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus-ns-aaf&v%3Aproject=clusty&query=Google+Facebook+In-Q-Tel+CIA

    w/ GOOG, and Facebook, you may be confusing ‘their Purpose’.. (re: “… it doesn’t make any sense at all economically to vote for SOPA…”)

  23. Irwin Fletcher says:

    About an hour ago, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida dropped his sponsorship of PIPA.

  24. wally says:

    I saw a post today (on another site) from a person in Missouri who had written SOPA protest letters to both a Republican and Democrat Congressman.
    He received word-for-word identical form letters back from them in response. I guess they must both work for the same boss.

  25. reedsch says:

    So Disney is a big player in copyrights…who was it that was Disney’s biggest shareholder…anybody know who owns the shares now? That nexus seems to straddle the content provider – content distributor divide pretty neatly.

  26. sabre_jenn says:

    It says a lot about the losers in Congress that they can’t control their own spending, can’t come up with a halfway coherent energy policy, can’t manage to vote yes/no on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (forget about your own viewpoint, ask why the so called leaders were unwilling to vote war / no war and instead issued cop-out non decisions).

    What is keeping these nit-wits so busy? Well, they have time to make sure the CEO at Disney — who did not create Mickey Mouse — doesn’t have to trouble himself with creating something new. Congress has lots of time for that.

    They have all the time in the world to focus on bailing out failed bank CEOs. Most members of the armed services committees have gone on dozens of “fact finding” trips to Iraq or Afghanistan — none of them noticed the fact that the troops lacked proper protection from IEDs. Its probably too much to expect them to notice the fact that both wars lack coherent direction.

    Chris Dodd, currently the President of Motion Picture Association of America, was until recently a Congressman from Connecticut… Between visits to AIG, UBS, RBS and GE Capital he was busy collecting a special cut rate mortgage from Countrywide. The man personifies the corruption of Washington DC. Even as an incumbent, even with an endorsement from Obama, the man could not get re-elected and “decided” (after three failed fundraisers) that he would retire… Now he is spearheading corruption from a different place.

    Washington DC has become as corrupt as a third world banana republic, and they have the finances to match

  27. leeward says:

    this link was tweeted by J. Battelle
    http://maplight.org/content/72917

    Entertainment interest groups that support these bills gave 7.2 times as much ($14,423,991) to members of the U.S. Senate as Internet interest groups that oppose these bills ($2,011,332).
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has received 4.8 times as much from entertainment interest groups that support these bills ($571,500) as from Internet interest groups that oppose these bills ($118,050).

  28. wordpress@rubydome.com says:

    Tell the old media companies, that when they are willing to limit copyright to say ~20 years (as written in the constitution) then maybe new statues like SOPA could be considered. Until copyright is limited, no way.

  29. H. Rider Haggard says:

    So why not just deny the use of the free-speech web to the Enemies of Freedom®?

    The list of sites to be blocked already exists: http://list.iblocklist.com/?list=bt_level1

    What happens if congresscritters and their staffers, and all government employees, find they can’t access most of the web unless they use their personal iphones?

  30. bergsten says:

    Abstruse Goose put out a comic with nine completely black boxes to commemorate this momentous occasion.

    Seemed somehow like a waste of ink, even on a display.

  31. ToNYC says:

    History shows Yankee ingenuity involved stealing everything that wasn’t nailed down from their Colonial Masters and the owners of all the Royal Rights. The transformation of such anarchists is similar to the path to workingman’s glory in Malcolm X’s thought: “It is no disgrace to have been a criminal, but it is a disgrace to remain one.”
    Internet control is today’s mental Slavery.

  32. Greg0658 says:

    the phases of Keystone(s) PLs
    http://www.transcanada.com/keystone_pipeline_map.html

    the open pit
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athabasca_oil_sands

    at 6m50s
    http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000068020
    “it will be going to china, right? they’ll build a pipeline the other way, won’t they? a good point. just last week it was reported that another chinese company has bought up half of the oil sands now and the canadian oil minister is in china negotiating for more canadian oil to go over there”