SOPA & PIPA Blackout Day

Informed Comment is on strike on Wednesday January 18, 2012, to protest the so-called “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) and “Protect IP” or “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011” (PIPA). Please, please, take a moment to write your elected officials to protest these two horrid pieces of legislation which would have the effect of killing the internet and making Informed Comment impossible. And please remember who favored these Orwellian laws and vote them out in November. (See Vote for the Net.)

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10 Responses

  1. I glad to see you support this action,I just saw former Sen. Dodd now CEO of MPAA quoted in Raw Story…… “some technology business interests are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns”….”corporate pawns” indeed.

  2. Dear Professor Cole.

    “And please remember who favored these Orwellian laws and vote them out in November.”

    Uh Lets keep Obama. The alternatives are worse.

  3. And while we are remembering acronymic reasons to wonder yet again how quickly “freedom” gets the axe, let’s remember (among others) FISA and the recent Obama “I really don’t like this legislation I asked for, but trust me, I won’t abuse the power I just grabbed” NDAA provisions (Sections 1031 and 1032 being the most egregious,) and that “whatthehelldidhejustsay?” performance, standing in front of the Sacred Constitution and describing how the Three Branches are going to salt the roots of the Liberty Tree by creating a “legitimate legal structure” that is OUTSIDE the scope of the Constitution because, well, “al Quaeda has declared WAR on us, and all’s fair in love and war, my fellow Americans!”

    Most of us are dumb enough to believe in a magical Justice Department that only goes after “lawbreakers” and is constrained by that other magical construct that Obama yakked about, the “rule of law.” Sorry, folks — that belief in, that need to have, a structure of laws and limited powers is being used by cynical and greedy SOBs to “legitimize” what they are really doing. And I just saw a discussion of these abuses where several participants were all happy with this War on Terror stuff, coming back with that old idiocy “If you’re not doing anything illegal, you don’t have anything to worry about…”

    Gee, what gets made “illegal” next?

  4. I’ll read you tomorrow. Thanks for the show of solidarity for those of us who put the common interest above the greedy Rupert Murdoch’s of the world.

  5. Why this rush to claim the internet is in danger because of SOPA and PIPA? I would appreciate reading responses from those who think these bills place the internet in danger. Specifically, I have two questions:

    A. Do those who are opposed to the bills think that online piracy and theft of intellectual property should be a right of anyone who can download music, literature, art, or any other type of copyrighted material or intellectual property? Do they think that musicians, authors, and artists do not have a right to collect the royalties they otherwise would have collected had their work not been pirated or downloaded without payment?

    B. If those opposed to SOPA and PIPA agree that copyrighted material and intellectual property should be protected, and that piracy should be discouraged and even punished, what is it about these two bills that is so objectionable?

    I am not trying to start an argument, but I would be interested in the responses from those opposed to the bills.

    • SOPA would make me responsible for checking all links submitted in this comment section to make sure that they did not go to copyrighted material. I don’t have time to do that, and if there were penalties for my failure to do so, I would just have to close down the comments section. I am not employed as a policeman for RIAA and Hollywood, and don’t intend to be dragooned into serving as one at my own site.

      The damn thing would kill hyperlinking, which is how the web works. It is something dreamed up by a committee consisting of old movie executives and old senators, none of whom knows how to use a computer.

      • The truly cynical might also add to that committee “various players in the State Security apparatus,” looking for legal cover (that mythical “ruleoflawthingthatPROTECTSus,” again) for the legitimization and working out of their impulses to dominate and control and repress.

        While hyperlinking is still possible, here’s an entry point to formulate an answer to Mr. Bill’s wide-eyed-innocent, pseudo-Socratic, voice-of-sweet-reason questions: link to

        Wrong tool for a job that may not even make economic sense to do, except, as usual, for a to-this-point privileged few. And as with the NDAA, what a surprise that the taint of suspicion of the possibility of “piracy” (near kin to “terrorism,” I guess) would be enough to grant the “legal authority” under archly worded language to “take down” the defined or interpreted malefactors…

        I got another question: If the people who want to squelch the difficult-to-control ‘net, and related communications tech, as a means to squelch aspirational behaviors award themselves the “legal authority” to do so, is the budding world brain robust enough to circumvent those efforts to strangle the kinds of traffic that enlarge people’s understanding of how badly they are being had by the Few?

        Hint to the Overlords: If you want to maintain your rule, better get crackin’, since the tech you have summoned like a genii to help you Network your freakin’ Battlespace might, as in so many myths and fables and fairy tales, turn out to be a Golem that’s grown too big for you to reach its forehead and erase the summoning spell… But then I’m sure you know that, and have people working on it…

        • I think what McPhee is saying is, you are being too trusting that these evil bills are even meant for the purposes claimed. I’ve followed these issues since the birth of DVD, and what is apparent is that the IP owners literally cannot accept that they don’t own the images and memories in your head. Internet Neutrality and these two bills are the latest attempt to claim a guaranteed entitlement from society for their supposed irreplaceability, but also to drive ordinary private citizens out of the Internet as content producers. It has nothing to do with the artists and writers who continually get screwed by the IP conglomerates. Do you think the guys who drew “Steamboat Willie” benefit from the copyright period being extended by Disney lobbyists just in time to prevent Mickey Mouse from becoming public domain?

          Remember, the definition of property is continually being manufactured and revised by the powerful. Before the Enclosure Acts in Britain, the idea that every square inch of land had to have an owner was alien. The new rich of the Industrial Revolution rammed that atrocity thru Parliament so they could turn their profits into real power, and then hailed economists who quickly convinced everyone that the new arrangment was “natural” and “eternal”.

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