Khan Academy explains SOPA/PIPA

The globally praised Khan Academy comes out against SOPA and PIPA in this explainer video, which does a really excellent job of digging into the implications for legitimate sites (like Khan Academy) in a world where SOPA/PIPA become law. This is a great explanation of what SOPA and PIPA means for people trying to communicate with a broader public, but one thing to keep in mind as you watch is that there's another constituency that's missing: all the people who are using the net for other reasons: people who want to post videos of human rights abuses, who want to talk with other sufferers from a rare disease, who want to privately share private family moments with distant relatives. All these constituencies depend on services like YouTube and Twitter as a platform for communications, too.

SOPA and PIPA (via Waxy)


  1. I called in to Thom Hartmann today to discuss the larger systemic problem of how cheap most people have become on both ends of the scale, the rich not wanting to pay taxes and everyone below them not wanting to pay a fair price for things, this “divine right to pay as little as possible” rather than respecting the value of the work of others. SOPA/PIPA is this “gimme gimme gimme” mentality coming to a crisis point. NO, the studios aren’t losing THAT much money. NO, you’re not really helping your favorite band THAT much by giving away dupes of their album, but YES, buying knockoffs from con artists who use slave labor is killing innovation, so opponents of SOPA must admit their own culpability (if they have any, we’re not ALL guilty) if they are to have any credibility.

    1. Not all “Piracy” has to do with counterfeit items. Do you really think that copyright for physical items is the only application for these laws? Are you aware of the diverse types of sites that ICE/DHS have already blocked without needing SOPA/PIPA ?

  2. I’ve believed for some time that folks (AKA: society in general) place way too much importance on the creativity of others, including the almost obsessive hoarding of music albums, DVD films, AVI files, Quicktime files, FLAC, AIFF, streaming films, TiVO archived material, etc that other people have produced, played on or written

    It’s a cliche’ now, but how many albums does one need to listen to in a lifetime? How many films are good for a person to watch before they turn into a quivering mass of goo?

    I myself used to be quite the book collector, until I realized that I would need to ask The Great Spirit for 30 more lives in order to read the books I have – so I don’t collect so much anymore,
    and I also don’t rely so much on mass entertainment that much anymore and I feel a lot more healthy now and not freaked out that Congress will take away my good times

    Shamanologist and butterfly collector Terence McKenna said it best when he said:


    1. Yes ye it takes eight forevers to read all the books, but I keep having this delusional idea of donating ’em all to a library when I go. That or my collection BECOMING a library.

      Or something.

      1. “donating ’em all to a library when I go”

        It’s a noble idea, but have you been to a real library lately? Many are downsizing and liquidating unwanted stock through book sales and even simply discarding the rejects. City libraries don’t have the money they once did. Unless your personal library is filled with first editions and rarities I would just read ’em all while you can! Try to start and finish one book a day. It’s a challenge!

  3. Maybe I’ve missed something, but where was Congress when the internet and social media stripped people of their privacy?  If corporations don’t want their “privacy” , ie copyrights, violated, the whole privacy equation needs rethinking.  But, me thinks, there’s no putting the genie back in the bottle.

  4. One thing that’s puzzled me: has anyone thought of the implications of code that’s been copyrighted? So, let’s say, I program my site, and include some javascript that’s copyrighted; couldn’t the owner claim a violation, and then get that site taken down? I wonder how many of the US congresscritters have sites which have copyrighted code on their sites?

  5. So, I understood it to be the case the foreign domains (not ending in .com, etc) are the only ones which qualify for this banning process, but the nice gentleman here seems to be implying that would be vulnerable to ad network, search, and DNS blocking.  Am I missing something here?

    1. .com, .net, and .org are top-level (global) domains. If a site is hosted outside the US, it is a foreign domain. With enough vagueness in the law, and the fact that many youtube users are foreign and probably some servers associated with youtube are outside the US etc., then yes sites like youtube would be vulnerable.

  6. Reminds me of a story i read where a guy would notice conversations popping up in the comment section of old blog posts, that had nothing to do with the actually content of the blog post.

    When he interacted with the posters to find out what they were up to, he found that they were kids that picked random blogs each day as a message board to get around site filters at their schools.

    Btw, i wonder how long it will take, after such a law is passed, before someone uses this in a offensive manner. Post a link and boom goes the page…

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