This past Wednesday was quite the eventful day. The impact of Wikipedia, Google, TechCrunch, Mozilla, Wired, Reddit, WordPress, Funny Or Die, and many more big names, and of course those of you in the community who knew about the events and blacked out your own websites was DEFINITELY FELT!
Because of the Blackout and the continued efforts of many before, we got these great results:
- more people around the world are aware of SOPA and PIPA
- President Obama has publicly stated that he does not support the legislation
- plaintiff attorneys for content providers fighting torrent–based copyright infringement like Jay McDaniel opposes the legislation as well and proposes something he feels we all can live with
- there were 2.4 million anti SOPA and PIPA tweets within a 16 hour period
- Co-sponsor of SOPA Sen. Maro Rubio dropped his support for the bill
- Google started a strong online campaign
- Major hacking spree by “Anonymous”
- 10 million online protests signatures, over 3 million emails sent to political leaders, and 115,000 sites participated in the Blackout(more statistics)
Does This Mean It’s Over?
*Image Credit: Tjflex2
There is, of course, a lot more good news than what is listed above, but too much of a good thing in one place might make you think the situation is over. IT IS FAR FROM THAT! In fact, on Monday Senators return to discuss and vote on PIPA. Everyone needs to call, email, leave a voicemail message, or whatever method of communication you prefer, their state senators and tell them how you feel. However before you do that, you should first make sure you know what you’re talking about. Here are some quick things you should keep in mind before contacting them with this great tool provided by Americancensorship.org.
Read Up On These Bills As Much As Possible
There is nothing more hurtful to a cause than having someone who is not fully informed on the matter calling on behalf of any stance. This gives an example of an uneducated person who easily fell for the hype surrounding the event, proving that people are easily influenced. If the actual SOPA and PIPA bills in their entirety are a too much for you to comprehend, then finding some accurate blog articles written to state facts and less on personal viewpoints are a great stepping stone.
Last month I published a well-received article, the preceding one to the current one you are reading. Take a good look, and figure out where it is you stand on the matter.
SOPA’s Author Breaks Copyright Laws Too
This is just funny and shows how hypocritical the US government has become.
Actually Read The Legislation
These bills are not the easiest things to read, that is kinda the case for any legal doctrine of this nature presented. It is this way so that things can be hidden inside them, or there will be so much of one thing that is perceived as good hopefully the perceived bad aspects will be ignored. It is always best to go to the source and see the information for yourself.
Learn About The Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Now reading this you sure will be surprised that a bill passed into law around a decade ago sounds a lot like the SOPA and PIPA of today, just less as severe but by no means a non threat. You can read up on it at a friendly supporter of the cause Wikipedia. Here is something about it that should really interest you,
“It also criminalizes the act of circumventing an access control, whether or not there is actual infringement of copyright itself. In addition, the DMCA heightens the penalties for copyright infringement on the Internet”
Stop Saying This Will Destroy The Internet
I don’t know where this saying came from, but it is not a good one. In fact, it really is doing more harm than good. This saying shows that we as an internet community won’t allow for an internet where piracy laws are in effect, and are willing to stand against anything they push are way related to stopping us from stealing content. You may not think this is the case, but anything can easily be twisted around to prove this statement true.
Some Bad News
*Image Credit: Isaac Leedom
Hiding Laws In “Safer Titles”
Now we all are against children getting access to pornography right? Well that is what the hopes for the Protecting Children from Internet Pornographers Act of 2011 are resting on. What this bill really is doing is acting as a cover for a massive data retention law, so lets just call it SOPA or PIPA with a justifiable face change. You can learn more about it on this article from Techdirt.com.
MegaUpload Is Gone
MegaUpload was easily a top file sharing site, I bet most of the readers of this articles all either have files on their or have downloaded some. Well as of yesterday, MegaUpload is officially no more. On Thursday, MegaUpload was shut down by the US government on the allegations of costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. The founder, and other members of the company, are being indicted right now because of these charges. Lean more about it on this article from the Washington Post. And for the record, MegaUpload is a Hong Kong based website.
BTW, I wanted to know if the above paragraph sounded familiar to something I might have said in my previous article. Yes? No? Let me refresh your memory:
“ There would be no Facebook, YouTube, MediaFire, SoundCloud, Twitter, DropBox, or any other site that can be targeted as a place where online piracy could take place.”