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Why SOPA And PIPA Matter: Say Goodbye To The Internet As You Know It

January 17th, 2012 by MomsLA
I hope you don’t have a burning question you need answered tomorrow. Wikipedia won’t be there to help you. The site, along with several others, will go dark tomorrow to protest two of the internet’s dirtiest words: SOPA and PIPA.
You may have heard about SOPA  and PIPA. SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act. PIPA stands for Protect Intellectual Property Act.
SOPA is supposed to protect artists from online piracy but the act is flawed in ways that range from laughable to anti-American. Many TV Networks, SAG and brands like L’Oreal endorse SOPA, some of it makes sense, but some of it is a headscratcher. SOPA would give the Department of Justice the authority to shutter websites who hosted copyrighted material. At the moment we have Safe Harbor laws which require websites like eBay, Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, reddit, Wikipedia and others to prohibit their users from uploading content they don’t own. Were SOPA to take effect your counterfeit listing would allow the goverment to effectively shut down eBay.

For the moment SOPA has been shelved. Relax, but only a little, shelved is different than dead. We need SOPA dead.

PIPA is up for a vote on January 24. PIPA will allow U.S. corporations and the government the right to seek affirmative legal action with any website that they see as enabling copyright infringement whether of U.S. origin or not.

  • Force U.S. internet providers to block access to websites deemed as enablers of copyright infringement
  • Seek legal action by suing search engines, blog sites, directories, or any site in general to have the black listed sites removed from their website
  • Will be able to force advertising services on infringing websites, and those supporting of them, to remove them from their advertising accounts
  • Companies will also have the power to sue any new websites that get started after this bill is passed, if they believe that they are not doing a good job of preventing infringement on your website

(source 1st web designer)

Politicians aren’t known for being web savvy. In addition to dealing a deadly blow to just about the only part of the US economy that is actually flourishing, the House of Representatives appears confuddled about what the internet actually is. The internet is not a US only tool. Much like the FTC “blogger guidelines” it feels like a bunch of very old men sat in a windowless room and had the steno pool type up their ideas. Since The Interwebs exist outside the US this blogger is unsure how a cuckold on US based social networks would keep old media happy, but if you look at this list you’ll find the companies that support PIPA.

For a great discussion about SOPA/PIPA check out Blogworld.com/SOPA.

Reddit, img.ur and Wikipedia will go dark tomorrow (I sure hope your kids don’t have “research” due Thursday). Dick Costolo isn’t in agreement with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales. When Jay Rosen suggested that Facebook, Twitter, and Google shut down for the day Costollo replied:

That’s just silly. Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish.

If you want to join Wikipedia and others in going black tomorrow, here is the WordPress Plugin to help you do it.

UPDATE: Looks like the protests had an effect and the legislation has been withdrawn, according to the LA Times – read on!

MomsLA (499 Posts)


21 comments

  1. You just can’t put a lasso over the moon. I honestly can’t wait to see what happens tomorrow.

  2. Thanks so much for writing this, Jessica. My husband is in the business, so our household is aware of all of the implications of SOPA and PIPA… but there are so many out there that just don’t get it! I will be sure to pass along this post to inform those out there that need a little understanding. :)

  3. On NPR this afternoon I heard one of those “very old men” you reference, a congressman from North Carolina, who is supporting (maybe sponsoring? I tuned in halfway through the spot) SOPA. He was saying that doesn’t understand all these modern technological whoomajiggies and doesn’t want to use them. What an expert.

  4. I had no idea any of this was happening – geez I have been living under a rock! Thanks for the post and I will happily partake in online hibernation tomorrow!

  5. I wish I was having twins so I could name them Sopa and Pipa.

  6. I will ask those of you with an opinion on the matter to call your Congressional and Senatorial reps and make sure they know how you feel! If you don’t know how to contact them (or who they are – ahem) please check here: House: http://www.house.gov/ and Senate: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

  7. can you please correct the second sentence in the second paragraph “SOPA stands for Stop Online Privacy Act. PIPA stands for Protect Online Privacy Act.” This is misinformation.

    The correct meaning of SOPA is Stop Online PIRACY Act and PIPA is Protect IP Act.

  8. This is great. I will spread the word. How many people are going black tomorrow?

  9. Can’t wait to see what is going to happen tomorrow!!!!

  10. I had no idea……wow…..going to share with everyone I know too

  11. Thank you so much for this valuable information!

  12. I agree that SOPA and PIPA are flawed pieces of proposed legislation, but I think we also need to figure out how to stop online piracy. Of course the MPAA is coming up with solutions — they’re the ones losing a lot of money because of the piracy. So how do we get workable solutions from actual people in the know (Web-wise), who can take into account all of the ramifications?

  13. Great post! Thank you for bringing attention to this issue.

  14. This is just terrible….SOPA is the equivalent of curing a headache with a guillotine. It may stop piracy, but it would shut down our economy and unconstitutionally erode our most basic freedoms in the process.

    I just hope that everyone realizes how important this is and does their part to save the internet & our economy! …here is another good video that explains the consequences of SOPA pretty well:
    http://www.peeje.com/peeje-goes-strike-stop-web-censorship-bills-congress-209/

    1,000s of more websites have joined the force and went dark today, we need EVERYONES help!!!!

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