What We Talk About When We Talk About SOPA

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SOPA, the Stop Internet Piracy Act, is the latest congressional move to put an end to the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material.

The basic idea of SOPA -- now considered in the House of Representatives -- and its Senate analog, the Protect Intellectual Property Act, purportedly aims at protecting intellectual property.

Critics -- including sci-fi star William Gibson, who wrote cyberpunk classic Neuromancer and came up with the term "cyberspace" -- say that the proposed laws are so poorly written, however, that they threaten freedom of speech, according to the Wall Street Journal. They say that websites could get in trouble simply for featuring links to other websites containing copyrighted media.

Though lawmakers seem less enthused about SOPA and PIPA than before -- MSNBC reports that supporters have eased up, that the Obama administration has voiced uncertainty about the bill, and that votes on both legislations have been delayed -- internet giants have planned a "blackout" tomorrow to protest the proposed laws. Their basic plan: to go dark for a day and "display a message of protest on a black background."

Among them?

Wikipedia has decided to shut down its site for 24 hours Wednesday, reports the Atlantic. Reddit will go offline from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., MSNBC notes. Hacker group Anonymous has tried to get more to join the demonstration via Twitter with the hashtag #BlackoutSOPA, according to the MSNBC.

Even Google will participate by featuring a link to SOPA info on its homepage.

Occupy Wall Street plans on shutting down its Twitter feed for this first time since OWS began. Alternet will also go on temporary hiatus, as will Reporters Without Borders' English-language site.

Check back to Runnin' Scared for breaking info on the blackout.


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6 comments
confusedman
confusedman

wtf does anonymous have to do with this article? Why is that picture even included?

msbpodcast
msbpodcast

First of all, nobody shut down anything, unless you showed the integrity and tenacity of a News of the World reporter... 

There were info pages which were displayed on the front of the sites and then you could continue. 

Eat sh*t Murdoch, nobody was deprived, but they WERE informed, BILLIONS of times today. (Some on corporate websites and, if you believe Romney, corporations have the right to free speech, because corporations are people.)

SOPA/PIPA wouldn't work at all to stop piracy but would make criminals out of anybody using the internet and the web the way its meant to be used. 

Its a BAD IDEA. BAD... CACA... LIKE ROLLING AROUND IN A DEAD ANIMAL CARCASS BAD. ITS STOOPUD!

DengZoo2
DengZoo2

The whole thing sounds like a bunch of nonsense to me dude.www.Total-Privacy dot US

Confusedman
Confusedman

Wrong.  Wikipedia and Reddit were both blacked out today.

Steffi
Steffi

nope, not really. On Wikipedia, if you clicked the link they offered you for more explanation, the page they sent you to said you could go ahead and disable Javascript for everything to work normally, or use the mobile version. They said that rather than completely deprive people of using the site, they just wanted people to become aware of what was going on and what the protest was about.

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