Kate sez, "Soapy is a new web browser plug-in that allows users to visit websites blocked by SOPA by automatically redirecting them to the site's IP address. The Firefox version of the plugin is downloadable now; the Google Chrome version will be finished shortly.
This free software makes the practical implementation of SOPA impossible, since anyone can download the plug-in and circumvent SOPA. So--if anybody can unblock SOPA, what is the point of SOPA?"
The code is available on GitHub for programmers, activists, and informed consumers. Every site that Soapy unblocks has a set of XML rules that are tailored to the quirks of that specific site. Much of the code has been borrowed from HTTPS-Everywhere and NoScript. Templates are available so that unblocking future sites can be crowdsourced by hacktivists inside or outside the United States (Soapy's developer is a member of this community) as quickly as they are identified.
Ten days ago, the European Parliament dealt a major blow to a radical proposal that would force online services to deploy copyright bots to examine everything posted by users and block anything that might be a copyright infringement; the proposal would also ban linking to news articles without paid permission from the news sites.
Axel Voss is the German MEP responsible for Article 13 of the pending EU Copyright Directive, which says that it's not good enough for companies to remove infringing material posted by users once they're notified of its existence; instead, Voss wants then to spend hundreds of millions of dollars implementing automated filters that prevent anyone […]
Ray Corrigan (previously), a campaigning computer scientist at the UK's Open University, has an excellent explainer on the EU's disastrous copyright directive on the progressive academic group blog Crooked Timber (previously).
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