Left In Lowell

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January 17, 2012

Website Strike Tomorrow Against SOPA

by at 11:53 am.

It’s not an exaggeration to say that no web content maker on the internet should NOT be in total fear of SOPA. (Edit: I meant no web content maker should NOT be in fear…) I knew it was bad, but BoingBoing put it into real perspective:

Boing Boing could never co-exist with a SOPA world: we could not ever link to another website unless we were sure that no links to anything that infringes copyright appeared on that site. So in order to link to a URL on LiveJournal or WordPress or Twitter or Blogspot, we’d have to first confirm that no one had ever made an infringing link, anywhere on that site. Making one link would require checking millions (even tens of millions) of pages, just to be sure that we weren’t in some way impinging on the ability of five Hollywood studios, four multinational record labels, and six global publishers to maximize their profits.

If we failed to take this precaution, our finances could be frozen, our ad broker forced to pull ads from our site, and depending on which version of the bill goes to the vote, our domains confiscated, and, because our server is in Canada, our IP address would be added to a US-wide blacklist that every ISP in the country would be required to censor.

So LeftinLowell is going to join the one-day blackout tomorrow, Jan 18th, from 8am to 8pm. Lest we go dark permanently under a SOPA world. If you have a website, you might want to consider the simple steps that the website gives you to do so - a simple javascript that goes into your head tag.

3 Responses to “Website Strike Tomorrow Against SOPA”

  1. Max Gordon Says:

    I’m with you. Although copyright issues are critical to me (I am a writer), SOPA is badly conceived and would most likely be used punitively and selectively by the more powerful groups to squash competition and collaboration. It is NOT about protecting the artists.

  2. Lynne Says:

    Via Corey S on Facebook, another really great article from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

  3. joe from Lowell Says:

    SOPA is an example of the technologically-savvy being able to take advantage of the low level of online, modern technology skills in Congress.

    In 2008, somebody finally showed John McCain how to operate a web browser, and that’s only because he took flack for it on the stump.

    I remember Ted Kennedy doing a local cable access show, and making reference to his guest’s “er ah web numbah.”

    George Bush said that he’d seen a lot of rumors about bringing back the draft “on the internets.”

    And, of course, we all remember the Senator from Alaska’s explanation that the internet is a series of tubez.

    Congress is a great deal older than the population at large, and what’s more, most of them are lawyers, the wonderful profession still based on a platform of Yellow Legal Pad 1.0. They don’t have the background knowledge to understand what the legislation they’re voting on means.

    They can’t even have it explained to them, the way they can be briefed on, for instance, a new type of submarine. It would be as if they didn’t know what “floating” or “underwater” meant.

    Newt Gingrich’s buddy Alvin Toffler wrote an interesting book 40 years ago called “Future Shock” that predicted a lot of this. It’s only going to get worse as the rate of technological advance keeps increasing.

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