Stuff-n-Things Thursday is here a day early, and although there are a few things I had to show you this week they are on hold until next week due to SOPA. As I ‘live’ online these days I feel that I have a bit of a responsibility to at least tip my hat to the worldwide internet protest happening right now. Let’s note up-front that I have not done near enough research on this subject, these are just a few things I’ve come across recently.
The ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ or SOPA’s full purpose/title is ‘To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.’ —H.R. 3261. Sounds great, right? Lets get people who steal stuff and encourage prosperity…
But it’s not just ‘combating theft’ it’s about censorship. And in the words of Wikimedia Foundation General Counsel Geoff Brigham, “SOPA has earned the dubious honor of facilitating Internet censorship in the name of fighting online infringement.” It’s one of the better explanations I’ve seen as to why SOPA is being protested so vehemently. An open law to let the US government shut down anything they brand as copyright infringement is a like giving them the right to arrest and hold indefinitely on suspicion only anyone who they remotely suspect as perhaps, maybe, possibly being involved in terrorist activities… oh, wait…
So if you want to know more start with Wikipedia, or sopastrike.com If I’ve got something wrong and it bothers you, let me know about it.
To be honest, the stuff I find really interesting is the reaction being seen around the world. What the online community is doing about an act that could put us all at risk, and how a new way to protest is coming together. Here are a couple of them…
Many bloggers have activated a plug-in like this one or this one that replaces their site with something like the below in support of the protest.
Here’s another which is quite cool as seen at willowbirdbaking.com – the spotlight moves around to reveal the message.
Reddit has gone black too:
Google has done this with their logo for the day – screenshot imported from America-land because I can’t see it here [grr!] compliments of Lizz from Am I a Funny Girl.
Check out what Wired is doing – the full site is all censor blocked out and the content reveals on rollover [thanks Mel!]
The lovely Lizz also alerted me to the brilliance happening over at The Oatmeal…
And because permission was given on the protest page to ‘P.S. Please pirate the shit out of this animated GIF.‘, here it is for your viewing pleasure. FYI, it explains SOPA pretty well. And there are inappropriate pictures. It’s win-win really.
Finally, here is the New York Times article with more protest pics… oh right, and some information too.
If you find anything interesting send it to me on Twitter or leave a comment below – credit given if posted!
For now, the bill is put off until February, apparently. The attention span on the interwebz is about 3 seconds and that’s probably what they are hoping for, but try to take our livelihoods away and I think they’ll discover our memories are a hell of a lot longer than that.
I bet the politicians wish there was a way to pepper-spray peaceful online protesters into submission like they did in Cali.
Chocolate to return shortly – promise!
UPDATE – 19 Jan
Propublica.org posted the below photo today in their update article about the ‘SOPA Opera’. It shows “the likely vote tallies for SOPA Opera at the beginning of the day Wednesday and the likely tallies as of early Thursday.” The tides are turning, lets see if it stays that way.
UPDATE – 20 Jan
SOPA is dead. Well dead for now or as Mashable put it, dead like a zombie. Dead in politics for a bill means it will probably re-appear tucked between a llama breeding scheme and a street sweeping law during a non-election year. But for now we celebrate, because the bill has been pulled from the House and the Senate. For some reason they didn’t want a test vote after most of the major online properties staged protests and 7 million people signed Google’s petition. Imagine that. Power to the people. ~fist pump~
google did the cool black bar.
Peter G | Souvlaki ForThe Soul says
Good to see you taking a stance JJ! I can’t believe I only heard about this the other day (bubble?)…if this gets passed, it’s going to be death knells for the internet as we know it!
I do find it interesting that there wasn’t more about it over here! Lets hope it doesn’t get much further than it is.
mel @ crunchytiger says
Great post JJ! It’s such an important issue, and so important that people understand why this law is bad for content creators (despite SOPA claiming otherwise). Here’s a great open letter signed by artists & creators (incl Neil Gaiman, Trent Reznor, The Lonely Island, MGMT + more) that explains why this is so: http://stopthewall.us/artists/
Loving the examples you’re posting! Wired’s implementation is cool too! http://www.wired.com/
Anna@ The Littlest Anchovy says
Great article JJ. I myself am not up to date with the latest on this but thanks for the rundown. You have inspired me to read up on it further. I think it is fantastic to see the community rallying around something that could be a detriment to many peoples creativity and livelihoods.
This is a great post about making a stance and getting heard! Although it has not spread here like it did in the US, its a crucial issue that everybody should be aware of. I can’t believe how my life will be without Wikipedia and Google for one. 😀