Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, BoingBoing plan unprecedented Internet ‘strike’ Wednesday
(Computerworld) – In a remarkable example of a grassroots campaign gone viral, several websites including Google, Reddit, Wikipedia, BoingBoing, Imgur and Tucows, are planning an unprecedented Internet “strike” Wednesday to protest controversial anti-piracy legislation being considered by Congress.
Many of the sites plan to go completely dark on Jan 18 to show opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Google will not go dark, but plans to note its opposition by sticking a protest link on its home page.
“Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet,” Google said in a statement. “So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our US home page.”
According to Fight for the Future, one of the groups organizing the protests, nearly 12,000 websites have said they will join the blackout. That number is still growing.
The planned strike prompted a sharp response from at least one major supporter of the legislation. In a statement Tuesday, former Sen. Chris Dodd, now chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), blasted the so-called Internet Blackout Day.
“It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information,” Dodd said. “It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today.
Dodd pointed to comments from the White House last week about concerns over the two bills and called for cooperation between all stakeholders.
“Only days after the White House and chief sponsors of the legislation responded to the major concern expressed by opponents…, some technology business interests are resorting to stunts that punish their users,” Dodd said in the statement.
Both SOPA and PIPA are aimed at giving copyright and IP owners more tools to go after foreign sites they claim are dedicated to the theft and sale of U.S. goods, music, video and other material. SOPA is being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives; PIPA is under consideration in the U.S. Senate.
Opponents argue that the bills will give content and IP owners too much power to go after websites they decide are infringing on their rights. Though the bills are ostensibly targeted only at foreign websites, critics contend that legitimate U.S. websites will inevitably be forced to undertake costly and impractical monitoring of their sites to ensure compliance with SOPA and PIPA.
Many contend that the provisions in the bills will enable a sort of Internet censorship and prior restraint on free speech, though supporters have insisted that such criticisms are overblown.
★ ★ ★ Please take a moment to learn more about how you can help save the internet, then tell your Members of Congress you OPPOSE PIPA & SOPA ★ ★ ★
Knowledge is Power!
about > SOPA
Corporate supporters of Senate 968 (PIPA) and HR 3261 (SOPA) demand the ability to take down any web site (including craigslist, Wikipedia, or Google) that hurts their profits — without prior judicial oversight or due process – in the name of combating “online piracy.”
PIPA and SOPA authors and supporters insist they’d only go after foreign piracy sites, but Internet Engineers understand this is an attempt to impose “Big Brother” controls on our Internet, complete with DNS hijacking and censoring search results. Incredibly, many Congress Members favor this idea.
<RANT>Try to imagine jack-booted thugs throttling free speech, poisoning the Internet (greatest of American inventions, the very pillar of modern democracy), and devastating one of the our most successful industries. Totalitarian, anti-American, massively-job-killing nonsense.</RANT>
Tell Congress you OPPOSE Senate 968 “Protect IP Act” (PIPA) and H.R. 3261 “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA):
- Phone your Member of Congress via nifty Progressive Change app
- Contact Senators who are refusing to meet with constituents about PIPA.
- Reverse Robocall pro-PIPA & pro-SOPA MOC + Lobbyists (More at Ars Technica)
- EFF Congressional Emailer – Oppose Internet Blacklisting (PIPA & SOPA)
- ECA Congressional Emailer - Don’t Censor Our Internet!
- OpenCongress Congressional Emailer – Oppose SOPA
- Generic Congressional Emailer (You’ll need your Zip+4)
- Petition Congress – Protect Innovation, Dump SOPA (Progressive Change )
- Outside the US? Sign Petition Opposing US Censorship of Global Sites (EFF)
Supporters of PIPA and SOPA: RIAA, MPAA, News Corp, TimeWarner, Walmart, Nike, Tiffany, Chanel, Rolex, Sony, Juicy Couture, Ralph Lauren, VISA, Mastercard, Comcast, ABC, Dow Chemical, Monster Cable, Teamsters, Rupert Murdoch, Lamar Smith (R-TX), John Conyers (D-MI)
Opponents of PIPA and SOPA: Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay, AOL, Mozilla, Reddit, Tumblr, Etsy, Zynga, EFF, ACLU, Human Rights Watch, Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Ron Paul (R-TX)
Where does your Member of Congress stand on PIPA and SOPA? (Project SOPA Opera)
PIPA and SOPA Are Too Dangerous To Revise, They Must Be Killed Entirely
Congress needs to hear from you, or these dangerous bills will pass - they have tremendous lobbying dollars behind them, from corporations experts say are attempting toprop up outdated, anti-consumer business models at the expense of the very fabric of the Internet — recklessly unleashing a tsunami of take-down notices and litigation, and a Pandora’s jar of “chilling effects” and other unintended (or perhaps intended?) consequences.
Don’t believe it? Monster Cable has labeled craigslist a “rogue site,” earmarked for blacklisting and full-takedown under PIPA – resale of stereo cables by CL users reduces Monster ‘s new cable sales. (reddit).
There is still time to be heard. Congress is starting to backpedal on this job-killing, anti-American nonsense, and the Obama administration has weighed in against these bills as drafted, but SOPA/PIPA cannot be fixed or revised — they must be killed altogether.
Sen Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Rep Ron Wyden (D-OR) are championing an alternative to SOPA/PIPA called Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) that addresses foreign sites dedicated to piracy, without disrupting basic Internet protocols, or threatening mainstream US sites like craigslist.
Tim O’Reilly, a publisher who is himself subject to piracy, asks whether piracy is even a problem, and whether there is even a legitimate need for any of these bills.
Learn more about SOPA, Protect IP (PIPA), and Internet Blacklisting:
- Growing Chorus of Opposition to PIPA and SOPA
- Open Letter against SOPA from 83 Prominent Internet Engineers
- Why SOPA and Protect IP (PIPA) are Bad, Bad Ideas (Techdirt)
- Piracy not a problem, PIPA and SOPA are unnecessary (Tim O’Reilly on GigaOM)
- PIPA and SOPA News (Google News)
- PIPA Wikipedia entry ::::: SOPA Wikipedia entry
- SOPA FAQ (CNET)