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SOPA and PIPA So Far 273

Since their inception SOPA and PIPA have raised concerns about blacklisting from online freedom advocates, and tech industry giants. Law professors worry that they could stifle growth and innovation. Other's have warned that the legislation would hurt scientific debate and open discourse on the internet. SOPA and PIPA are not without support however. In fact a wide variety of companies have backed the proposed laws, bringing together an eclectic group. After months of debate, the removal of one of the more controversial provisions, and The White House expressing its own concerns over the law in its current form, Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced that he was shelving SOPA. PIPA however remains, and it is likely that a re-worked version of the House bill will be brought up soon.
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SOPA and PIPA So Far

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  • About fucking time (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @09:58AM (#38737200)
    Finally, slashdot chimes in on SOPA...
    • by niktemadur ( 793971 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:12AM (#38737374)

      My thoughts exactly, I came in here a couple of hours ago expecting some SOPA/PIPA acknowledgement, was truly puzzled by the chirping crickets.
      Also but less shocking, the lack of a banner on the issue raises the question: Is Slashdot management neutral, apolitical, or something a little more insidious?
      I'm guessing apolitical, by which I mean, management keeping their opinions to themselves and allowing the users to fire the cannons from all sides, with no interference.

  • SOPA not dead (Score:5, Informative)

    by Vicarius ( 1093097 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @09:58AM (#38737206)
    as of yesterday SOPA was resurrected in the House [house.gov]
    • Re:SOPA not dead (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Vanderhoth ( 1582661 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:01AM (#38737234)
      Looks like they were trying to pull a fast one by claiming the bill was dead, then hoping no one noticed the zombie chewing on their leg.
    • Re:SOPA not dead (Score:5, Insightful)

      by nirgle ( 554262 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:04AM (#38737282) Homepage

      Of course it was. The initial "shelving" of the bill was a last ditch attempt to stop January 18th, so it could continue to be passed quietly. When tech giants of the internet decided to run their message anyway... well, no point in keeping up illusions anymore, might as well actively pass it.

    • Whoo! Ten Points! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RobinEggs ( 1453925 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:36AM (#38737658)
      I actually expected that, and warned of it in my own submission this morning. I think some people don't fully understand what 'tabled' means.

      Eric Cantor is Speaker of the House, and he's the one who 'tabled' SOPA yesterday, according to the stories we've been reading. The Speaker controls the House by controlling the schedule. He decides what gets floor time, and if he refuses to schedule something for a vote it can't become law.

      No bill is actually dead, however, until the legislative year is over. If a bill "died in committee", the committee could consider a new draft or change their minds outright; if it died because the Speaker wouldn't schedule it, he could come into work the very next day and say: "Hey, that thing I said we wouldn't vote on until my mother-in-law gave me a blowjob in the back seat of my Mercedes? Well, granny puckered up last night and it was reeaal nice, so everyone pick up your clickers and put in the old yay-or-nay on this bill!"

      So when he supposedly shelved SOPA yesterday Cantor wasn't making some sort of vow or invoking a rule that destroyed the bill: congresspeople could still talk about it, continue to work on it, and continue rounding up votes for or against it. Apparently they did. He was still free to change his mind, and apparently he did. So at the moment it's been re-scheduled yet again for markup.

      If you don't like a bit of legislation, do not rest until the session is over. That's the only time you can be sure that particular bill won't go through.

      And when I say that particular bill I mean it specifically: it happens frequently that the same proposed law, sometimes word-for-word, comes up year after year after year, in bill after bill, until it finally gets through. It happened when North Carolina effectively banned municipal broadband this year; that was the third try for that one. There could be a second, third, fourth and fifth try for SOPA until Hollywood gets what they want. Pay attention and be vigilant. Their lawyers don't sleep, and neither can you if you want a free internet.
    • Obviously, this bill got zombified due to the lack of confirmation from Netcraft. Damn that blackout!!
    • Wow, thanks very much for sharing that. I suppose I shouldn't be, but I'm really surprised that hasn't been more widely reported. What dirtbags.
  • Screenshots (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nirgle ( 554262 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @09:59AM (#38737208) Homepage

    I am collecting screenshots of blacked-out sites today so we can have them all in one place. If you know of any other sites, please email them to me.

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/117902136861919925087/albums/5698963233208682849 [google.com]

  • by jellomizer ( 103300 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @09:59AM (#38737218)
    Why isn't Slashdot blacking out? It is one of those sites that could be greatly effected by this bill. Besides I need to be more productive today. And most of the sites I visit are blacked out too.
    • by sheehaje ( 240093 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:02AM (#38737248)

      Why isn't Slashdot blacking out? It is one of those sites that could be greatly effected by this bill. Besides I need to be more productive today. And most of the sites I visit are blacked out too.

      I'm willing to bet that the majority of those that would be affected by a Slashdot blackout are already against SOPA/PIPA, and already are vocal about it.

      Not so with sites like Wikipedia, Google, etc.

      • The problem is that both google and wikipedia are still working normally (for most people). Wikipedia is only locked, no blackout, no banner. Considering that most people hit wikipedia by using google/bing, not en.wikipedia.org's main page, and that most people use google/bing via a browser search field (or the URL bar) instead of visiting www.google.com first, the small black google logo is the only indication that something's wrong, but they change their logo every day almost, so a lot of people will ig
    • by DrgnDancer ( 137700 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:10AM (#38737352) Homepage

      Personal Opinion: for sites like Slashdot, the FSF, the EEF, etc, it makes more sense to dedicate a lot of space to discussing the issue on their front pages than to black-out. Most, if not all, people going to these sites are aware of the issue. The blackouts are an awareness raiser, for sites where everyone is already aware, news and information are a more effective form of protest.

      • by limaxray ( 1292094 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @11:03AM (#38737988)
        Exactly. The real question is why isn't Facebook in blackout, or at the very least have a banner at the top of the page noting the issue. I'm really happy about Wikipedia since it is frequently used by the 'unwashed masses' but think Facebook would reach an even wider audience.
        • Twitter too (Score:2, Informative)

          by biodata ( 1981610 )
          I hear lots of celebs use it
        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          The nice thing is that Facebook allows you to join in the protest. Steps required:

          • In your favorite image editor, create an all-black JPEG image.

          • Change your Facebook profile picture to that image.

          • Upload the all-black photo to Facebook to post on your wall. In the description, type the following (or similar):

            If SOPA/PIPA pass, the Internet will look like this. Write your congresspeople. https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/ [google.com]

            (This post has been censored due to copyright claim.)

          That's it. Now you'v

  • by Liam Pomfret ( 1737150 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:02AM (#38737250)
    It's going to resume in February. http://judiciary.house.gov/news/01172012.html [house.gov]
    • Heh - "Shelved" - that's an awesome word.

      "Look! It's on a shelf! Look again! We took it OFF the shelf!"

      What were we thinking, that they threw it in a pit of flames and burned all the copies?

  • by Reverand Dave ( 1959652 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:03AM (#38737268)
    I mean seriously. There is a real reason why congress is less popular than things like Paris Hilton and Nixon [inquisitr.com]. These guys are so far into the pockets of big business that they don't even have a minor inkling of what is best for the majority of America.
    • by countertrolling ( 1585477 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:17AM (#38737422) Journal

      There is a real reason why congress is less popular than things like Paris Hilton and Nixon.

      Could've fooled me. I mean, with a 95% reelection rate, I would say they're a pretty popular bunch

      • by stewbee ( 1019450 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:23AM (#38737496)
        That's because every other congressman sucks, but mine. It's those other assholes that are bringing it down. /sarcasm
        • Nah, My congressman blows as well. I've only ever voted for one person that got elected in my state and he only lasted on term. Stupid Red States.
          • In a somewhat serious answer to the OP rather than the snarky one that I gave. My two senators are Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk. While Durbin may be in bed with all of the special interests that plague Washington, he has actually done some good for someone that I know. His office help with some immigration issues that my friend was having with his fiancee. She was stopped at customs in O'Hare and was sent back to Poland immediately. My friend petitioned Durbin to help and he actually came through. His fiance w
      • by Bengie ( 1121981 )

        No one else to vote in. They come in based on default.

        The problem is our system determines the winner based on the most votes. If you got 1 vote and everyone else got 0, you win! Still doesn't mean the majority wants you in.

    • Um, I mean, when was the time you COULD trust congress to do what's right? That hasn't been the case for as long as I remember, and probably before I was born as well. Congress simply DOES NOT WORK since corporations can lobby, and mass media can brainwash.

      And this isn't just a problem with US congress. All democratic countries are going to hell fast, and have been since corporations & lobbying & mass media. Greed wins.

  • Revolution (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FranktehReaver ( 2441748 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:06AM (#38737324)

    "Every 200 years there needs to be a revolution" - Thomas Jefferson

    Came to mind when reading this...

  • by Eldragon ( 163969 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:08AM (#38737334)

    If SOPA/PIPA dies in Congress, it is not because the people rose up to oppose the terrible legislation. It will die because enough corporations spoke up opposing it to outnumber the supporters.

  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:13AM (#38737380)

    The Hollywood studios behind these bills are some of Obama's biggest contributors. His "expression of concern" is just a pathetic attempt to play both sides of the fence. He would as soon deliver a State of the Union speech in the nude than to veto one of these bills (or anything similar).

  • 2nd Amendment (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Tokolosh ( 1256448 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @10:27AM (#38737528)

    This is the 2nd Amendment issue of our age, and like the NRA we need to be eternally vigilant against never-ending attempts to restrict our rights.

    Personally, I support the EFF as the equivalent of my NRA.

    • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

      As a New Jerseyan, I'd like to say that the 2nd amendment is still very much the 2nd amendment of our age. New and oppressive laws that suppress or otherwise impede our right to keep and bear arms crop up every day, especially in nanny states like NJ and CA.

      Until every state has Shall Issue [wikipedia.org] [1] and Castle Doctrine [wikipedia.org] [2] laws, the fight is nowhere near over.




      (Considering the Wikipedia is blacked out today, I'll add footnotes for these terms - doin' it old school!. The links are mainly for after the blackout

  • I think this topic is so much more than just SOPA and PIPA, it's much more broad, it goes to the very question what is government for? [slashdot.org]

    One cannot be pro-copyright and pro-patent and simultaneously be anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA without a serious case of hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty.

  • It will not die (Score:2, Interesting)

    by trolman ( 648780 ) *
    Internet control by the MSM and Hollywood is going to happen. Maybe not this year. There will be a '9/11' like event or some other method but it will happen. Give it up geeks.
    • On the other hand most of the internet is not in America, and has no interest in being owned by American corporations, and it seems more likely that whatever MSM is, and Hollywood, will get owned by the internet. The movie industry is small fry.
    • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

      It will only happen if we let it happen. Defeatist attitudes and a feeling of powerlessness (which the mainstream media, government, and businesses love to cultivate in us at every opportunity save election years) serve no one but the people in power.

      I wrote my senators and representative today - typed and printed out letters and signed them with my name. Should any of them vote for SOPA or PIPA I'll be spending a great amount of my time campaigning against them come next election and I want them to know th

  • Do something. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RMingin ( 985478 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @11:04AM (#38737992) Homepage

    Sent to Robert P. Casey, JR, Senator (D) from Pennsylvania:

    "Big media may pay your bills, but your constituents elect you, sir. SOPA/PIPA does EVERYTHING for them and NOTHING for us. You should be ashamed of yourself for co-sponsoring PIPA. Please withdraw your support, immediately, and publicly."

  • by Muondecay ( 1841250 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @11:45AM (#38738498)
    Even if SOPA/PIPA is defeated in congress in its current iteration, the media industry and its lobbying arm likely aren't going to worry in the least. Why? Because they have an ace in the hole: H.R 1981 - The Protect Children from Internet Pornographers (PCIP) Act of 2011 [govtrack.us]. While still in committee since being introduced last summer, and containing questionable provisions about IP logging, It carries with it the same crew of supporters that are pushing the media industries' SOPA agenda. Chances are quite high that they will simply copy/paste SOPA's text onto it, thus giving it the "protecting children" shield from public scrutiny. Any opposition to it will easily be re-framed to wanting to "protect child pornogrophers". This will likely be the next battle and won't be easily won with blackouts and internet stunts. In fact, I'm not sure the public could handle the level of nuance that would be needed to explain why such a bill is dangerous.
  • I guess I'll post it in here too. A SOPA comic [upup-downdown.com] for your enjoyment.

  • by Rob Riggs ( 6418 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2012 @01:14PM (#38739600) Homepage Journal
    The outrage over these bills would not be nearly so great had the previous copyright extensions had not utterly eliminated works entering the public domain, and had the DMCA not been systematically abused against fair use. What we lack in the U.S. today is balance in how we treat intellectual property, especially copyrightable works. Restore the public domain and strengthen the rules governing fair use, and you can have fair IP protection. But I strongly believe that the need for PIPA and SOPA would disappear if we restored the public domain and fair use.

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill