Why SOPA/PIPA protests should matter to people outside the USA

Michael Geist sez,

While there is little that people living outside the U.S. can do to influence SOPA and PIPA, there are many reasons why it is important for everyone to participate in tomorrow's SOPA protest.

First, the SOPA provisions are designed to have an extra-territorial effect in countries around the world.

Second, non-U.S. businesses and websites could easily find themselves targeted by SOPA. The bill grants the U.S. "in rem" jurisdiction over any website that does not have a domestic jurisdictional connection.

Third, millions rely on the legitimate sites that are affected by the legislation. Whether creating a Wikipedia entry, posting a comment on Reddit, running a WordPress blog, participating in an open source software project, or reading a posting on Boing Boing, the lifeblood of the Internet is a direct target of SOPA. If non-Americans remain silent, they may ultimately find the sites and services they rely upon silenced by this legislation.

Fourth, the U.S. intellectual property strategy has long been premised on exporting its rules to other countries. SOPA virtually guarantees that this will continue.

Why Canadians Should Participate in the SOPA/PIPA Protest


  1. The UK government have constantly tried to pass similar laws.

    While we don’t have a voice over the laws in the US, we need to stop this happening.

    How can we help?

    1. The EU have adopted a resolution against SOPA: https://torrentfreak.com/eu-adopts-resolution-against-us-domains-seziures-111117/

      You’re already covered in the UK, but everyone else needs to write their Members of Parliament or similar and encourage them to do the same. Still waiting to hear back from mine, and I wrote back in November …

      1. Damn it EU, every time i think i have you down for permanent hate you turn around and do something i can agree with!

  2. Our biggest local public tv station just mentioned on their news show “Chicago Tonight” that Boing Boing and others were going dark for the protest.  Thought that was cool to hear.

  3. I’m confused as to the current status of SOPA and PIPA, given Obama’s opposition to parts of the legislation. The New York Times called SOPA “all-but-dead” and Forbes called it “dead,” and PIPA is supposedly in serious trouble, but activist sites like EFF continue to issue statements as though nothing has changed. Apparently the blackouts planned by Wikipedia, Internet Archive, and other sites are still scheduled for Wednesday.

    What gives? I’ve requested clarification from EFF but haven’t head anything yet.

    1. I think everyone’s just keeping up their guard until it’s ultra-dead. It’s like the end of a horror movie- nobody wants to risk SOPA or PIPA jumping up and attacking at the last possible moment just because everybody assumed they were done for. We’re too genre-savvy to make that mistake.

      1. We have to keep going until it’s ‘ultra-dead’. Ultra-dead comes 15 minutes after the Universe goes cold. Or until copyright is ultra-dead, so, that.

  4. AAAAAAAARGH!!! we’ve still got such along way to go until those small minded, selfish, bittier billionaires are superseded by people who the people who want to share the love, and go forward, instead of shut things down and go backwards!
    the Evolution will come!!! I just hope I’m alive to see it!

    1. I like the sentiment, but keep in mind that money will flow towards those who seek money, and power will flow toward those who seek power.

      So perhaps if you would share love, you must also seek money and power.

  5. It’s even worse.  There is nothing the US loves to do but force it’s broken legal system on the rest of the world, and as Canada is right next to the US, we’re their favourite target.  Just remember things like the yearly blacklist we are put on that ranks Canada among the worst piracy havens in the world, (the listed is unvetted before being published by the US government, and created by industry pannelists), or how they keep trying to force the DMCA on us, even though it has been a horrific failure in the US.

    Even the CRIA no longer represents Canadian music, because they started acting like the RIAA and suing people, and most of the legitimate Canadian artists left.

  6. Maybe Everyone around the planet should just take one day and not consume any movies or television productions put out by the companies that are behind this travesty. Maybe we should all forgo it all on February 26- the day of the Oscars. It would serve Chris Dodd head of the Motion Picture Association of America and his ilk right.

    1. Hmm. Motion seconded, sir. I don’t know about others, but I declare that on the 26th of February I will be reading either PKD’s Exegesis, Rucker’s Nested Scrolls, some Ted Sturgeon, or the new Gibson collection. If physical books are cool, that is ;)

  7. The New Zealand National government is rabidly in favor of SOPA and PIPA legislation. A number of their members of parliament are pocket-pis*ers on behalf of overseas media cartels.

    One of National’s MPs, Simon Power, lost no time in deceiving the NZ public and greasing through new copyright legislation “under urgency” while the public’s attention was on the devastating Christchurch earthquake.

    Contrary to public belief, the Labour opposition is not far behind in this trickery – they are the same crowd under a different banner.

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