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SOPA not the only battle; don't forget to help kill Protect-IP

Maxwell Kielt writes in: "While much of the media's attention is directed towards SOPA, Protect-IP (PIPA) is nearing completion. PIPA is arguably as bad as SOPA, and while it has received a great deal of criticism in the Senate, it is not as well-known in the public eye. Senator Wyden has promised to filibuster the bill, but the vote scheduled for January 24th is a cloture vote - meaning that unless Wyden has a set number of supporters, he cannot filibuster, and the vote will progress without delay." Rob

Sign the petition against SOPA/PROTECT-IP, and Ron Wyden will read your name into the Congressional record in an epic filibuster

As SOPA ("the worst Internet law in American legislative history") steamrolls its way through the House, the slightly less batshit senate version, PROTECT-IP, is also heading for passage. But Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has vowed to block it with an epic filibuster in which he will read into the record the names of every American who signs the petition against the bill. If you want to be part of the historic effort to save the Internet from money, corruption, and depraved indifference to the side-effects of lining Hollywood's pockets, sign up NOW.

Wyden Call To Arms -- Ask Him To Read Your Name During Filibuster Of SOPA/PIPA Censorship Bills

Tumblr users give Congress an earful about SOPA


Tumblr has rounded up the effects of its participation in American Censorship Day, a global day of protest of the prosed Stop Online Piracy Act, the worst proposed Internet law in American legislative history. Tumblr users did themselves very proud indeed:

Yesterday we did a historic thing. We generated 87,834 phone calls to U.S. Representatives in a concerted effort to protect the Internet. Extraordinary. There’s no doubt that we’ve been heard.

Yesterday we did a historic thing. We generated... | Tumblr Staff (via Beth Pratt)

Rebecca McKinnon in NYT: SOPA will strengthen the Great Firewall of China

James Losey from New American Foundation sez, "Rebecca MacKinnon, former CNN Beijing Bureau Chief and now a researcher focusing on the intersection of the Internet, human rights, and foreign policy warns that the Stop Online Piracy Act introduces Chinese style censorship to the United States in a New York Times op-ed:"

China operates the world's most elaborate and opaque system of Internet censorship. But Congress, under pressure to take action against the theft of intellectual property, is considering misguided legislation that would strengthen China's Great Firewall and even bring major features of it to America.

The legislation -- the Protect IP Act, which has been introduced in the Senate, and a House version known as the Stop Online Piracy Act -- have an impressive array of well-financed backers, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Motion Picture Association of America, the American Federation of Musicians, the Directors Guild of America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Screen Actors Guild. The bills aim not to censor political or religious speech as China does, but to protect American intellectual property. Alarm at the infringement of creative works through the Internet is justifiable. The solutions offered by the legislation, however, threaten to inflict collateral damage on democratic discourse and dissent both at home and around the world."

Stop the Great Firewall of America (Thanks, James!)

Infographic: How SOPA will change the net


Dean sez, "Here's a really helpful infographic that shows how the Blacklist Bill/SOPA could drastically change the Internet."

SOPA Infographic

EFF to Chamber of Commerce: of course SOPA is a blacklist

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has more on the deadly Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the most extreme, anti-Internet, anti-privacy, anti-free speech copyright proposal in US legislative history. Today, EFF responds to claims from the Chamber of Commerce that SOPA isn't a blacklist because the law doesn't actually contain the word "blacklist":

First, the new law would allow the Attorney General to cut off sites from the Internet, essentially “blacklisting” companies from doing business on the web. Under section 102, the Attorney General can seek a court order that would force search engines, DNS providers, servers, payment processors, and advertisers to stop doing business with allegedly infringing websites.

Second, the bill encourages private corporations to create a literal target list—a process that is ripe for abuse. Under Section 103 (cleverly entitled the “market based” approach), IP rightsholders can take action by themselves, by sending notices directly to payment processors—like Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal—demanding that they cut off all payments to the website. Once notice is delivered to the payment processor, that processor has only five days to act.1 The payment processor, and not the rightsholder, is then responsible for notifying the targeted website. So by the time Visa or Mastercard—who will no doubt be receiving many of these notices—processes the notice, informs the website, and the website decides whether to file a counter notice, the five days will almost certainly have elapsed. The website will then be left without a revenue source even if it did nothing wrong.

Third, section 104 of SOPA also allows payment processors to cut websites off voluntarily—even if they haven’t received a notice. Visa and Mastercard cannot be held accountable if they cease processing payments to any site, as long as they have a “reasonable belief” that the website is engaged in copyright violations of any kind. Hmm, wonder how long it will take big media to publicly post a list of allegedly infringing sites, and start pressuring payment processors to cut them off? As long the payment processors are willing to comply, the rightsholders can essentially censor anyone they see fit. Even well-meaning payment processors might do this to avoid liability down the road.

The Stop Online Piracy Act: A Blacklist by Any Other Name Is Still a Blacklist