Tomorrow, January 18, multiple popular sites like reddit, deviantart, all of Major League Gaming, all of Mojang, etc., as well as hundreds of small time websites will be taking their sites offline. This is due to two bills being reviewed by congress called PIPA and SOPA.
*disclaimer: take what you are about to read from me with a grain of salt, it it an interpretation of an interpretation, and I am no lawyer.
**disclaimer #dos: if you don’t like legal things and their complexity, skip to the bold text.
a more complete analysis can be found here: http://blog.reddit.com/2012/01/technical-examination-of-sopa-and.html but here’s mine: the restrictions will do very little positive wise and destroy websites like reddit. here’s sort of why, in a snippet from the article i pasted above:
- SOPA Domestic Internet Site – A domestic site is defined as a site that corresponds to a ‘domestic domain name’, or if there is no domain name, a domestic IP address.1 A domestic domain name is defined as a domain registered or assigned by a registrar or other authority that is located within the United States.2 Some common examples of domestic top-level domain names are ‘.com’, ‘.org’, and ‘.us’.
- SOPA Foreign Internet Site or PROTECT IP Non-domestic domain name – A foreign site is very simply defined as a site that is not a domestic site.3 4 Under this definition, any site not using a domestic domain name is a foreign site.
Under these broad definitions, domestically hosted sites such as ‘redd.it’ and ‘bit.ly’ can be defined as foreign internet sites. On the other side of the coin, foreign hosted sites such as wikileaks.org and thepiratebay.org can be defined as ‘domestic’, since their domain names are registered through authorities located in the U.S.”
Basically the bill goes as follows. A website that is promoting or has members that are promoting copyright infringement and are classified as a foreign domain can be subject to takeover or shutdown by the attorney general. Even a domestic domain will be required to remove all comments post etc. From their site. And not just a site, but the entire domain. (As in, all of WordPress instead of each individual site)
Imagine YouTube having to remove every user that has promoted copyrighted material(ie, any popular music they didnt ask the maker to use) from their website? As well as scrubbing every comment and video those people made from the website as well.
Many people think this will freeze social networking websites like YouTube, WordPress, Facebook, and especially Reddit and tumblr, popular social sites that would be practically outlawed by the new bill. Some even say that this is the first step in forcing the freedom of speech from the internet.
I’d like to mention that a Chinese Google search for tiannanmen square will bring you nothing but black lines of what used to be text. This is because the Chinese government is telling all the websites to block access to the events records. If our government can block what we say when we infringe on copyrights, they might just end up able to block anything we infringe on. sound like the first amendment anyone?
the bills are soposed to restrict piracy, but so many pirating sites would have domestic domains (and even more considering they could all jus switch to domestic if the bill is passed), that it would do far more bad than good.
I kinda want to get in on this, but i don’t really know how to actually take the blog offline, (silly me) soooo….
IF YOU ARE READING THIS BLOG ON THE DATE OF JANUARY 18, 2012 BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 8:00 A.M EST- 8:00 P.M. EST, CLOSE THIS WINDOW. PRESS THE POWER BUTTON ON YOUR COMPUTER. SLAP YOURSELF IN THE FACE. and have a nice day!
Update: Wendsday, Jan 18, 2012, 4:35 pm. anyone who visits this site today should visit sites like google, wikipedia, and minecraft.net before turning off their computer. Wiki and Minecraft both are shut down completely each with a message about why, (minecraft’s message is simply: PIPA AND SOPA? HOW ABOUT NOPA!) while google’s ever-changing logo is censored in black.
Also, congressional supporters have been abandoning the bill over the past 24 hours, my guess being that they will lose any voters that own a computer if they support it. The proposer of the SOPA bill, Lamar Smith, will still try to go through with it, saying that people are overreacting and that the blackout is an idiotic thing to do, removing their services from their communities for a whole day.
Update #2: still the 18th, now 8:01 The OPEN act (another acronym!) has been proposed that seems to handle all of SOPA and PIPA’s problems in a much more tech-savvy way. Visit http://keepthewebopen.com/sopa-vs-open to find out more.
I apologize for such a long article. i hope i didn’t bore too many of you.
Now i’ll go to slap myself in the face.