Tag Archive: PIPA

Jan 19 2012

Both SOPA And PIPA Stopped For Now

It certainly been an eventful day. The two bills, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), were defeated Wednesday by an internet blackout of key web sites and the avalanche of petitions, street protests, e-mails and phone calls to congressional members.

When the powerful world of old media mobilized to win passage of an online antipiracy bill, it marshaled the reliable giants of K Street – the United States Chamber of Commerce, the Recording Industry Association of America and, of course, the motion picture lobby, with its new chairman, former Senator Christopher J. Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat and an insider’s insider.

Yet on Wednesday this formidable old guard was forced to make way for the new as Web powerhouses backed by Internet activists rallied opposition to the legislation through Internet blackouts and cascading criticism, sending an unmistakable message to lawmakers grappling with new media issues: Don’t mess with the Internet. [..]

Congress now follows Bank of America, Verizon and Netflix as the latest institution to be forced to change course by an internet led revolt.

It was especially dismaying that First Amendment stalwarts, like Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan, were sponsoring this bill. It took Republicans in the House, assisted by Paul Ryan (R-WI) and, initially, six Republican senators to get both bill pulled from consideration. To his credit, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) was a one man road block to PIPA until the Republicans, pressured by their House compatriots, pulled their support.

So, besides Sen. Wyden, why weren’t there more Democrats opposed? Why were they even supporting a bill that would infringe on free speech and hurt job growth in the technology field? Follow the money. Hollywood, the music and movie industry, are a big supporters of anti-piracy and IP protection laws and Democrats.

Former Senator, Chris Dodd (D-CT), who forswore a lobbying career but is now CEO of Motion Picture Assn. of America, railed against technology companies such as Google, Mozilla and Wikipedia calling the blackout a “stunt”:

“It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and who use their services,” Dodd said in a statement. “It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today.”

It wasn’t until Saturday that President Obama spoke out about the most controversial portions of the House bill that would require Internet service providers to block infringing websites but said nothing about PIPA, the Senate version, and fell short of saying he would veto the bill.

Up until the last few days the media, especially television and cable have been pretty silent. Chris Hayes of MSNBC’s “Up with Chrishosted a debate with NBC Universal’s General Counsel, Richard Cotton, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit.com, former Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA) and former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Since it became apparent that the traditional media was missing the boat on one of the biggest news stories of the year, they all started jumping back on the ship.

Wednesday night, Mr. Hayes was a guest on “The Rachel Maddow Show” where he and Rachel talked about the power and effectiveness of the online protest in influencing Congress who by and large didn’t understand the bills or the internet.

Will this stop these two bills? No, it won’t. As Wikipedia points out in its thank you to its visitors, “we’re not done yet”

SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith stated that the House of Representatives will push the bill forward in February. Senate sponsor Patrick Leahy still plans for a PIPA vote on January 24.

Moreover, SOPA and PIPA are symptoms of a larger issue. They are misguided solutions to a misunderstood problem. In the U.S. and abroad, legislators and big media are embracing censorship and sacrificing civil liberties in their attacks on free knowledge and an open Internet.

Although support has slipped in both the Senate and the House, there is a Senate vote on PIPA scheduled for January 24, and the House will be moving forward as well. It is important to keep the pressure up on both houses. We expect changes that appear to tone down the damaging effects of the laws, without addressing their fundamental flaws.

Keep calling your representatives! Tell them you believe in a free and open Internet!

It looks like this is just start of the war to save the internet.

Jan 18 2012

Stop SOPA And PIPA

Stop SOPA

Jan 17 2012

Protesting SOPA, Web Sites Go Dark

Over the weekend the discussion about bills pending in Congress that would change the Internet has started to get some attention. Opposition to Stop Internet Piracy Act, House version and the Senate’s version, Protect the Internet Privacy Act came from the White House in a statement expressing concerns that the bills would stifle innovation and infringe on free speech and lead to “online censorship of lawful activity.” While the White House statement did not say Pres. Obama would veto it, it was a clear condemnation of the flaws critics have pointed to in the bill.

One of the most controversial portions of the House bill that would require Internet service providers to block infringing websites was removed completely by House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX). Rep. Darrel Issa (R-CA) secured a promise from Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) that the House will not vote unless there is consensus on the bill. A Reddit campaign managed to persuade Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to oppose the bill, for instance.

On the Senate side, PIPA had up unit now blocked by a lone senator, Ron Wyden (D-OR. He has now been joined by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)and Mark Udall (D-CO). Similarly, six Republican Senators, including two co-sponsors — Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) (the two co-sponsors) along with  John Cornyn (R-TX), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Tom Coburn (R-OK) — have asked Aenate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D_NV)not to bring the cloture vote he’s promised to bring on the 24th. Sen. Pat Leahy, a key sponsor of the Protect IP Act, has conceded that more study is needed for the provisions that would allow rogue sites to be delisted from the Domain Name Service (basically the Internet’s phone directory). Critics have warned that mucking with DNS could splinter the architecture of the Internet.

On Wednesday beginning at midnight, several major web sites will go dark for 24 hours. Websites Wikpedia, Reddit, Craig’s List and ICanHasCheezburger.com are among the larger sites that will participate. The document-sharing site Scribd, for instance, made a billion pages vanish to protest the bill. Wikipedia users can view proposed designs for “blackout pages,” which may appear in place of normal Wikipedia entries during the protest on January 18.

Photobucket

click on image to enlarge.

In New York City, New York Tech Meetup, a 20,000 member community of people working in the New York Tech Industry are protesting the pending legislation in from of the offices of Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand who are still supporting the bill and urging Sen. Reid to bring the bill to the floor for cloture. One of the largest areas of job growth in NYC has been in the tech industries. New York Tech believes that SOPA, besides threatening freedom of speech, will kill those jobs.

You can physically join the NYC Protest at this site:

Emergency NY Tech Meetup.

When: Wednesday January 18, 2012

Time 12:30-2:00PM

Where: 780 Third Ave (at 49th street) – outside the offices of New York Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand

» Newer posts

Fetch more items