UPDATED: SOPA is DYING; its evil Senate twin, PIPA, lives on

Updated: Commenters have pointed out that I've jumped the gun here. SOPA is shelved, but not killed. It could be put back into play at any time.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has killed SOPA, stopping all action on it. He didn't say why he killed it, but the overwhelming, widespread unpopularity of the bill and the threat of a presidential veto probably had something to do with it.

Before you get too excited, remember that the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), the extremely similar Senate version of SOPA, is still steaming forward, and has to be stopped.

But you can get a little excited, as this is pretty goddamned great news. Six weeks ago, I was in DC talking to all the Hill rats of my acquaintance and to a one, they sucked their teeth and said, "Yeah, this thing really looks like it's going to pass. I don't like our chances." A friend who had served in several administrations said he'd "never seen the MPAA get its ducks in a row like this." So we did something amazing here. Thank you all for helping to save the net again.

Let's keep on saving it. Let's kill PIPA, then use this amazing energy to build something positive: a lobby for networked freedom, that acknowledges that the net is more than a glorified form of cable TV -- it's the nervous system of the information society. Any pretense that is used to build censorship and surveillance into the network will touch every part of networked life.

House Kills SOPA (via /.)


  1. Maybe we can then move on to killing the RIAA and MPAA directly? Attacking the existing laws that allow them to exist in their current form, and attacking their members in various ways?


    That Slashdot report is from an Examiner blogger. The Examiner is a blog that pretends to be a news portal.

    If you read the source article, he’s just happy at the bill being shelved. Shelved is not dead.

    As far as we know, the bill is alive and well until it’s actually been staked through the heart and had its head cut off and placed in a pickle jar with a slice of lemon in its mouth. Even then, I’d keep a sledgehammer handy.

    1. Regretfully, I agree with David’s assessment of Examiner.  I’m also a writer for Examiner, and I can tell you that you really have to know your writer because Examiner itself exercises VERY little control over content and journalistic standards.  Lots of folks just use it for their own causes, period. 

      I’ll be perfectly frank, I used it for that. 

      1. I don’t want to be too down on it :-) Examiner blogs are fine for what they are, some bad and some good. (Like WordPress.com or Blogger.) But the Slashdot story just reports on one post by one blogger.

        Put it this way, the Wikipedia blackout is proceeding. (I’m preparing to have my phone melt Wednesday … ah, the luxury of seeing the media storm coming.)

  3. Even if both SOPA and PIPA are defeated, I still think sites should go dark for a day. Show everyone what will and can happen if these vile lobbyists get their way (they will surely try and try again).

    I’d also want to see a boycott of Hollywood movies. There are only shit movies coming out at this time of the year anyway, so no one would really miss anything worthwhile and it’d show those bastards that we, the consumers, are in charge. Try hurting our freedoms and we will hurt you right back in the only place you do hurt, your wallet.

  4. Like I’ve said before, this SOPA nonsense is merely a show vote.  The law is so heinous that it doesn’t have a prayer of being implemented.  It would have to be passed in both chambers (doubtful) and then signed by President Obama (never). NO WAY he signs the bill.


    Again, this is a show vote. Reps and Senators accepted money from big media, and big media wants action. So the legislators go through the motion, knowing full well nothing is going to happen. But by going through the motion, they can say, “If you only gave us more money, we could make the law a reality.”

    It’s really nothing more than an elaborate con game put on by Washington insiders to separate money from big media.  As Willy Sutton answered when asked why he robbed banks, “because that’s where the money is”, Congressmen and women are taking money in exchange for making promises they’ll never keep.

  5. I just don’t get it: what is the source of the Examiner’s claim? I can’t find any other media outlet reporting on that «surprise move» by Cantor. I tried asking Cantor (most likely his stuff) on Twitter, and I think we should all do to be sure that the report is correct. 

    1. Actually, this should be the source: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/204167-sopa-shelved-until-consensus-is-found 

      «House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said early Saturday morning that Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) promised him the House will not vote on the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) unless there is consensus on the bill.”While I remain concerned about Senate action on the Protect IP Act, I am confident that flawed legislation will not be taken up by this House,” Issa said in a statement.  “Majority Leader Cantor has assured me that we will continue to work to address outstanding concerns and work to build consensus prior to any anti-piracy legislation coming before the House for a vote.”»Date is jan 14, though. So, again: where is the «surprise move today»?

  6. Hope is the cause of despair. There’s nothing to break the spirits of your enemy that letting it indulge into false hopes that you can crush at any time.

  7. No offense but I get why you are against SOPA and PIPA.  They were terrible ideas and undoubtedly like prohibition passing draconian legislation against piracy will do only make the problem much worse.


    Don’t you think that the creative people who make the things we love, i.e. movies, music, books etc… deserve to make a living?  Piracy eats into our ability to express ourselves.  And while an argument can be made that due to the internet we’ve seen an explosion of indie content (which is a good thing).  At the end of the day, if something I’ve created has been downloaded umpteen billion times, but I must work at a coffee shop to pay the bills, well fuck I’m probably not going to have as much motivation to create something again.

    A lot of times when people ask me about the whole freedom of the internet thing I liken it to the old west of America.  With an east coast government futility passing unenforceable laws on a wide open frontier and where the only justice is six gun justice.  In this kind of a environment you need a certain amount of rugged individualism and libertarian spirit to flourish & grow.


    While we talk about open source and internet standards, never forget that the big pushes behind these movements, the people who lobby and shape the direction of things like the W3C and internet standards are corporations like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Oracle etc… Call them the Cattle Barons of the Techno-old-west.   Add Amazon, Facebook into the mix and this is pretty much the behind the scenes face of the internet the internet lobbying community.

    These are fairly innocuous companies to be sure.  Right?  And of course we all expect them to “self-regulate” themselves right.  And they have consumers best interests at heart right?  Everyone who wants to can very well switch to Linux right?

    Maybe, but maybe not.

    But I have a hard time thinking of anything that has ever read on BoingBoing that wouldn’t be expressible by say a Koch Brother any other “Government has no business interfering in the private lives of corporations” douchbag.

    1. Nobody *deserves* to make a living doing whatever they want. They either can or can’t make a living doing the thing they choose to do. If they can’t then they have to do something else to put bread on the table, or be supported compassionately by the community if they really can’t do anything worthwhile.

       The corporations that have been lobbying for censorship and removal of criticism and competition from the internet without due process are not acting in the best interests of creative humans. They are fighting to support a lazy business model that exploits those very artists and props up prices by creating artificial scarcity. They are in bed with politicians who should damn well know better but actually don’t seem to be able to see what is wrong with putting unaccountable powers of censorship in the hands of corporations.

      The corporations that have been fighting *against* that crazy corporatist-fascist nonsense no doubt contain enough real human beings who are rightly appalled by it, but I think we all know that without real human beings pushing for real human values, corporations tend towards a pretty sociopathic aggregate behaviour. And when they do, damn right we real human beings would be wanting them interfered with by a democratically-elected government of the people for the people. If you can find one :(

      1. By focusing on “deserve,” you scored merely a semantic point.

        Try this instead:  if you’ve enjoyed reading a (particular) book of 100,000 words, do you feel that that experience is worth assigning a trade-value to?  Will you trade some of the fruits of your own productivity (i.e., in the form of $$) to pay for the pleasure you’ve derived from that book?  If your answer is no, are you similarly okay with others free-riding on your own productivity?

      2. Actually the only thing we are doing is trading set of corporate overlords for another.

        The key thing that you seem to be forgetting is that while the movie companies, publishers and record labels whom you might label as the corporatist fascists lobbying for the legislation, there are the very same kind of anti-competitive corporatist fascist media empires of Apple, Google and Amazon are exploiting your naivete to carve out market share and eliminate rivals.

        Or rather, when SOPA was introduced, count the major websites that lined up threatening to shut down operations in protest, and then ask yourself what their financial interests are.

        The interests of artists are best served when there are as many viable outlets for them to express themselves. As wonderful as the internet and torrents are, if bookstores, movie theaters, cable tv, go the same way as record stores, then in the end we all lose.

        1. The enemy of my  enemy is not necessarily my friend – I’m not that naive. But my enemy is still my enemy.

          You are aware, aren’t you, that SOPA is the very kind of thing that can be misused to carve out market share and eliminate rivals? So if you don’t trust Google and Amazon, you don’t want them to be able to use SOPA either, right?

          I know I don’t.

          1. Like I said originally, I think that SOPA is asinine.  My point basically boils down to a “What is the purpose of Government?” question.

            Basically file sharing as it stands today treats artists exactly the same way that corporations do when they ship jobs overseas.  It treats artistic labor as a commodity that is intrinsically valueless. 

            Furthermore, if say Cory Doctorow wants to give away his work as an open source project, he has every right to do so.  He owns the rights to his intellectual property and he has the rights to do with it as he sees fit.  If, someone does not want to give away these rights, then file sharing strips him of the inalienable rights of being a citizen in a Western Democracy.  It violates their right of property, free speech, and privacy. 

            I would say that a government which cannot protect, cannot even make the pretense of protecting its own citizens rights, is a weak and ineffectual government (which looking at the state of the current US Senate is pretty much the case).

            And I find it really bothersome, that the very arguments that are used by the biggest pro-corporation, pro-wealthy elements in our society are being expressed here to squash the rights of a kind of minority (If you can counts artists as a kind of minority) 

  8. ‘[T]he net is more than a glorified form of cable TV — it’s the nervous system of the information society.’

    I don’t agree with everything Cory writes, but this has to be the best précis of the value of the Internet I’ve ever read. Well put.

  9. This post will most likely see yet another of my profiles blocked from any further postings on boingboing; I do however believe strongly in free speech and the sharing information even if the information doesn’t always meet the agenda of everyone.

    Harold Camping has famously predicted the end of the world three times.

    His first prediction — September 6, 1994 — came and went with little fanfare. His second attempt at setting a date for the apocalypse was far more successful. The Internet was abuzz as May 21, 2011 approached. But again, the world did not end.

    Undeterred, Camping checked his math and announced a new date. October 21, 2011, would mark the final day of everything we know, for real this time. Wrong once again, the former leader of the California-based Family Radio has apparently retired from his role as apocalyptic soothsayer.

    Apocalypse Now?

    I mention Camping because a similar phenomenon occurs in the copyright realm. It seems that whenever new legislation is introduced, there are those who are ready to predict that if it passes, it will surely result in the demise of the Internet, or innovation, or some other thing we hold dear.

    You can see this in action by taking a look at some of the headlines in response to the US House’s introduction of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA):

    Don’t Let Hollywood Break the Internet With the PROTECT IP Act!
    Stop (U.S. Innovation) Online Piracy Act of 2011
    SOPA: US House of Reps copyright bill proposes national censorship, attacks on hosting services, Twitter, YouTube
    SOPA: Hollywood Finally Gets A Chance to Break the Internet
    New Internet Blacklist Bill Could Shut Down Twitter And Youtube!
    E-PARASITE Bill: ‘The End Of The Internet As We Know It’

    This are just a sampling of the dire predictions about the epic catastrophes SOPA would bring if passed — the SOPAcolpyse, if you will.

    But, like Camping, copyright’s skeptics have made these predictions before.

    Sometimes they are done with striking consistency. Sci-fi author Cory Doctorow says SOPA “might be the worst-ever copyright proposal in US legislative history.” Not one to make use of hyperbole sparingly, Doctorow also declared a 2005 French proposal the “worst copyright law in Europe”; in 2007, it was an EU proposal that would surely be the “worst copyright law in the world!”; little more than seven months later, he stated that a Canadian legislative proposal “promises to be the worst copyright law in the developed world.”

    The same goes for copyright activist Lawrence Lessig, a big proponent of the “break the internet” line over the years. Talking in 2003 about his idea for a compulsory license that would cover P2P activity, he said, “We have to buy [music and movie companies] off, so they don’t break the Internet in the interim.” That same year on PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, it was DRM: “The response that the music industry has insisted on would be technologies that would essentially break the Internet.” Fast-forward to 2008, and Lessig, speaking at an event hosted by Harvard’s Berkman Center, Google, and the Family Online Safety Institute, again cautions against letting copyright law “break the Internet.”

    The doomsday scenarios began on day one. In February 1993, the Clinton administration put together the Information Infrastructure Task Force to study the advancement and development of information technologies, including the burgeoning Internet and infant web. Part of their mandate was examining the intersection of copyright law, digital technologies, and networked communications and exploring what changes were necessary.

    The Working Group on Intellectual Property Rights released its report, Intellectual Property and the National Information Infrastructure (the “White Paper”), in September of 1995, sparking the first wave of the “parade of horribles” that would accompany copyright reform from then on out.

    Copyright scholar Pamela Samuelson penned an article in Wired magazine that gave a laundry-list of reasons to oppose legislation proposed after the White Paper was released: “your online service provider will be forced to snoop through your files”, it would “transform the emerging information superhighway into a publisher-dominated toll road”, it would “eliminate fair-use rights”, “it can be construed as outlawing many activities widely believed to be lawful.”

    Others concurred. “The bill in Congress now, critics say, goes much too far … the Internet’s potential as a source of public education and free expression could be crippled … [it] could instead turn out to be the executioner of the Internet’s real promise.”

    The initial legislation evolved to become the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which became law in 1998. Some still weren’t convinced the days of a free Internet weren’t numbered. A writer in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal predicted shortly after the DMCA became law that:

    The post-DMCA Internet will feature even more of those damnable “404 – file not found” messages than it currently does. As media companies expand their demand-letter operations from commercial “piracy” to include negative commentary, transformative uses, and what they deem to be a little bit too much sampling or quotation, the ranks of the independent Internet publishers will be radically depopulated.

    Ten years later, many of those same critics couldn’t praise the DMCA enough. Wired magazine calls it “the law that saved the web.” “Blogs, search engines, e-commerce sites, video and social-networking portals are thriving today thanks in large part to the notice-and-takedown regime ushered in by the much-maligned copyright overhaul.”

    A Decade of Falling Sky

    Since the DMCA, most copyright legislation has elicited similar responses.

    The No Electronic Theft (NET) Act was passed in 1997, expanding the definition of “financial gain” in criminal copyright infringement and increasing criminal penalties. Among the opponents of the bill was the Association for Computing, which raised concerns that it would restrict dissemination of science, criminalize the transfer of information protected by fair use, and chill free speech in research institutions. Others warned it would greatly expand the scope of criminal infringement; “aggressive prosecutors would abuse their discretion to win convictions” or “bring weak felony cases to get quick misdemeanor plea bargains.”1

    None of these concerns materialized. As Eric Goldman concludes after examining the five years following the Act, “the prosecutions to date appear generally consistent with Congress’ objectives for the Act.” None of the convictions could be fairly characterized as “de minimis“, none of the defendants could have raised a legitimate fair use defense, and universities and educators remained untouched by efforts under the Act.2

    The Artists’ Rights and Theft Prevention (ART) Act of 2005 added provisions to criminal copyright law that expressly targeted “camming” and distribution of pre-release commercial works. Critics called it draconian, foresaw an uptick in prison sentences, and decried a lack of fair use in the Act. The provisions have instead been used judiciously; prisons have not been filled with cammers and leakers.

    2008 brought the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act, a broad bill that amended civil and criminal provisions of the Copyright Act and created the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator position, currently held by Victoria Espinel.

    The response? Michael Seman of NetSherpa wrote, “The passing of the PRO-IP act is the latest in a string of actions taken by the U.S. Government that result in further constricting the free exchange of ideas,” one that “means we’re close to losing the flow of culture that the Internet so greatly facilitates.” Mike Masnick said, “All it will actually serve to do is to limit more creative forms of expression and much more innovative business models from being allowed to thrive.” And noted copyright scholar William Patry remarked, “The dangers in the new Zero Tolerance to copyright go far beyond the individuals swept within its net, although that is bad enough: the Zero Tolerance approach threatens respect for law itself.”
    Grokster pt. 2

    Legislative proposals aren’t the only things that brings out the freedom and innovation pessimists.

    The Supreme Court issued its decision in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios v. Grokster in 2005, holding that “one who distributes a device with the object of promoting its use to infringe copyright” may be liable for the resulting infringing acts by its users. In its amicus brief to the Grokster court, the National Venture Capital Association warned that a rule holding Grokster liable would “have a chilling effect on innovation.”

    However, since Grokster:

    [V]enture capital in the media and entertainment sectors grew faster than the rest of the VC market in four out of the six years. By comparison, in the five years before the Grokster decision, growth was lower in four of them. From 2000 to 2004, media and entertainment venture capital accounted for about 4.6 percent of total VC dollars invested. From 2006 through 2010, media and entertainment VC dollars grew to 7.1 percent of total VC dollars.3

    This year alone, in a down economy, music-based startups have received nearly half a billion dollars in funding. And some of these startups are far more exciting than the mere hoarding of music files that Grokster and other P2P services offered.

    Little difference that makes though. In a letter to Congress on the proposed PROTECT IP Act, a group of venture capitalists offer the same warning: the bill would “throttle innovation” and “chill investment.”
    It’s the End of the World as We Know It

    Despite this history, critics of the Stop Online Piracy Act promise that the bill spells the end of innovation, culture, freedom, and the very Internet itself, for real this time.

    It won’t.

    In the long term, the public benefits the most when both creators and innovators succeed. And our laws should continue to adapt to make sure that happens.

    Terry Hart • November 2, 2011

      1. Well, I read it, and I’m grateful.  I actually found it kinda soothing, to see the view a few steps back from the precipice!

        Now, to be sure, I completely defer to Cory’s, and to Larry Lessig’s opinions about the directions in which legal efforts supported by the RIAA/MFAA are likely to drive us.  I’m grateful for their efforts to raise awareness of this SOPA/PIPA stuff–to say nothing of the excellent work behind Creative Commons!  OH, also, really looking fwd to attending Lessig’s SALT talk tomorrow night!–and I’ll be blacking out my own website and blog on Wednesday, in solidarity.

        But I confess: I don’t really read up on any of this stuff, anywhere outside of BB, and the links to which they point me (i.e., EFF, etc.).  So, while I don’t know a thing about Terry Hart’s objectivity on the matter (and am inclined not to trust it), I’m glad to have my own view balanced to some extent, or broadened, if for no other reason than that I’m now less anxious about a webpocalypse, wherever SOPA winds up. 

        Particularly, my gut reaction to “many of those same critics couldn’t praise the DMCA enough”, was, “Poppycock!”, until I perused the mentioned Wired article.  It, frankly, had never occurred to me that there was anything redeemable about the DMCA!

        So, thanks, danick.  Even though this whole post seems (?) to have disappeared from the main BB feed, I might stick a link to Terry Hart’s blog post in my G+ stream just to keep my own mania reined in.

        1. “So, while I don’t know a thing about Terry Hart’s objectivity on the matter (and am inclined not to trust it)”

          The point of my post wasn’t to sway anyone to any side or direction; it was to add to the on going dialog.

          We are grown ups and responsible for our thinking and actions, being spoon-fed is not a good idea even at the best of times.

          Trying to understand where the ‘other’ side may be coming from really isn’t such a bad idea.

          Canada’s struggles:

          For Immediate Release
          January 16, 2012

          “At stake is the integrity and vibrancy of the Canadian broadcasting system,” Coalition tells highest court
          OTTAWA – The Canadian creative community and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) appeared in front of the Supreme Court of Canada today to contest the issue of whether ISPs should be subject to the Broadcasting Act when they provide their subscribers with access to video programming. At stake is whether the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has the authority to regulate ISPs in a manner that furthers the objectives of the Act.

          “This case is about ensuring the integrity and vibrancy of the Canadian broadcasting system – a system that continues to evolve and that Canadians have built through sound public policy,” the Creative Coalition, an umbrella alliance of organizations including actors, directors, producers and screenwriters, said in a joint statement.
          After conducting a review of its policies regarding broadcasting on the Internet, the CRTC referred the legal question of whether ISPs can be considered “broadcasting undertakings”, as defined under the Act to the Federal Court of Appeal. While the Federal Court of Appeal held that ISPs are not “broadcasting undertakings”, the Supreme Court of Canada granted the Coalition leave to appeal and heard the case earlier today.
          The Creative Coalition argued that Parliament had always intended that the Broadcasting Act be applied in a technology neutral manner.
          “Broadcasting is evolving as more and more Canadians watch television on their computers and flat screen TVs via their Internet connection,” continued the Creative Coalition in its statement. “Contrary to the assertions of the ISPs, the CRTC has the tools under the Broadcasting Act to evolve with the broadcasting system it regulates.”
          Members of the Creative Coalition:
          Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA): ACTRA is the national organization of 22,000 professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada.
          Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA): The CMPA is a non-profit trade association that represents almost 400 film, television and interactive media production companies across the country.
          The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC): The Directors Guild of Canada is a national labour organization that represents key creative and logistical personnel in the film, television and digital media industry. Its membership includes over 3,500 individuals drawn from 47 different occupational categories covering all areas of direction; production; editing; and design of film, television and digital media production in Canada.
          The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC): The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) represents more than 2,000 professional English-language screenwriters across Canada. These are the creators who write the Canadian entertainment we enjoy on our televisions, movie screens and digital platforms.

          1. Hum, I have to point out that the various lobbies mentioned above are the Canadian version/little cousins of the RIAA and the others. I have no sympathy for them. I am a Canadian and therefore run a Canadian-based Website. These jokers above want to have the right to tax my income, generated through my Website to use to finance so-called “Canadian productions.” Whereas I bootstrap and built my sites on my own dime, these jokers want the right to come and force me to pay 10% of my meager income so they can produce “Canadian contents” – whatever that means, instead of using their own money.

            These guys already get money off any media/blank CD-Rom, blank USB key, hard drive I and every other Canadian buy, claiming that if we buy blank media, it’s to copy music. That I want to back up my own data, my own pictures, my own movies, my own Web site and my own projects eludes them. They claim that the reason I buy blank media is to copy stupid Celine Dion and Bryan Adams records. Every time I buy a USB key or a blank DVD for back ups, Celine Dion and Bryan Adams gets money in the bank. I like neither Dion nor Adams, yet I make them richer every day.

            This is what the “other side of the story” looks like from the point of view of this Canadian consumer. And on top of that, they want to force me to pay out even more money I dare publish my own Website, as if I owe them any  money, when I post pics of my dog.

            This Danick guy is one of those overpaid PR guy trying to change people’s opinions and vilify people that fight his employers’ lobbying efforts in Washington DC and Ottawa.

            Why did he not mention in his enlightening post what’s in store for the Canadian tech industry if the federal court had not dismissed their case? Why doesn’t he mention that Google, Facebook, Twitter would have to fork money over to record labels and what passes for a film industry in Canada every time a Canadian accessed their network, so Celine Dion and Bryan Adams can continue having fat checks every months on the back or ordinary Canadians. Why doesn’t he mention that every Canadian Website would be assessed by the media companies, including their tax reports, so that they could then determine how much to charge those Canadians entrepreneurs for the privilege of publishing a Website. And did I mention how they would have competitive information based on your tax reports, enabling them to tax you to death if they wanted to put your out of business, you know, because every freaking Website in Canada is about Celine Dion and Bryan Adams

    1.  Very interesting read! Some good points I hadn’t considered before.
      But – the overall tone is similar to, say, climate change deniers. Looking for any opportunity to disprove even in the slightest way, while ignoring the big things that can’t be disproven.

      It’s certainly true that the internet hasn’t been destroyed yet, despite all of the legislation already in effect. The point of loudly protesting such legislation – perhaps to the point of hyperbole, unfortunately – is to make it clear what the potential of this kind of legislation is. 

      We’ve already seen things like the DMCA breathlessly abused, and the abusers receiving no punishment. This is already damaging the internet, and the ability for its users to use it to its potential. We’ve already seen people taken to court, disconnected from the internet, or whatever in various countries due to these types of laws – all unjustly (from a normal person’s perspective) and without recourse. 

      What would happen if there weren’t people like Cory and Lawrence Lessig loudly protesting this type of thing whenever it comes up? It’d pass with few people knowing about it, and the internet would slowly fall apart as governments censor and prosecute at their leisure.

      To be clear – no one thinks the internet will suddenly explode if SOPA, PIPA, or the like pass. But it would slowly degenerate as politicians and law enforcement realize what it is exactly that these laws allow them to do, regardless of what the stated intent of the laws are.

  10. We go dark anyway. Groundwork is already lain. Let us take advantage of the moment to show everyone else just what would happen if any law were to pass to try mucking around with the web.

    Gotta be some way to shake the masses from their apathy after all. ‘Oh it can’t happen to US. We did nothing wrong. Go take your tinfoil hat and shove it.’

    Pity we can’t get the backbones to either shut down or do a mass redirect to why Censorship in any form is bad.

  11. A small victory here, for sure, and I’m glad, at least for the time being, that a wrench has been throw into the machine.  Cheers to all who helped to disseminate real information about SOPA/PIPA’s dangers.

  12. Thats not a victory (even if it is really dead), its just a tactical  retreat of the enemy. Every time I can remember, such things come back with only a new name and a few little changes.

    1. Yes, I agree with this. The answer is not to “lobby up” and perpetuate a pay to play system, but to restore some semblance of democracy where policy can be made without regard to money for re-election.

  13. Joey Hoey  –  “This Danick guy is one of those overpaid PR guy trying to change people’s opinions and vilify people that fight his employers’ lobbying efforts in Washington DC and Ottawa. ”

    On one hand I’m flattered for the PR overpaid thingy, I am self-employed however and far from overpaid!

    I made clear I have no interest in changing anyone’s mind on anything.

    “Why did he not mention in his enlightening post what’s in store for the Canadian tech industry if the federal court had not dismissed their case? Why doesn’t he mention that Google, Facebook, Twitter would have to fork money over to record labels and what passes for a film industry in Canada every time a Canadian accessed their network ………”

    You did, I didn’t need to.
    Which is why I posted what I did in the first place; more people need to get involved in the dialog.

    Why your anger is directed at me is a little disturbing though Joey.

    Have you thought of writing your government and detailing to him what you decided was better for me to tackle?

  14. As I have told my elected representatives, the internet is the last frontier of free speech, free thought, and the exchange of ideas.  In my younger days (I’m 61) colleges and universities were the bastions of the above mentioned.  Now they are constrained by “political correctness”.  The government is already far too large & powerful.  Do we need to create yet another bureaucracy with it’s added costs and further loss of our freedoms & liberty?  We already have laws prohibiting copyright infringment, theft of intellectual property, child pornography, fraud,etc.  Do we truly desire to emulate repressive regimes such as Iran, China, and all those of that ilk?  Think about it.     Love & Peace…..Duck

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