Brief Interruption

by wjw on January 18, 2012

This page will be shut down on Wednesday, January 18, as a protest against forthcoming SOPA/PIPA legislation, which would severely affect the ability of the Internet to do what it does best: serve as the greatest force for free speech, liberty, and cooperation in the history of the world.*

How would this work?  Here’s what would happen to popular site Boing Boing, in the words of Cory Doctorow:

[I]n order to link to a URL on LiveJournal or WordPress or Twitter or Blogspot, we’d have to first confirm that no one had ever made an infringing link, anywhere on that site. Making one link would require checking millions (even tens of millions) of pages, just to be sure that we weren’t in some way impinging on the ability of five Hollywood studios, four multinational record labels, and six global publishers to maximize their profits. […] If we failed to take this precaution, our finances could be frozen, our ad broker forced to pull ads from our site, and depending on which version of the bill goes to the vote, [and] our domains confiscated.”

And for you, my friends, I would simply have to end your ability to comment here entirely, for fear that you might post a link to a site where there might be some content that some international corporation might consider belonged to them.

*I should point out that this site will shut down if the SOPA WordPress Plugin actually works, and I figure out how to install it.  Because I’m a word guy, not a tech guy.

In any case, I won’t be posting here tomorrow.

UPDATE:  I went on strike, and Congress crumbled.  Coincidence?— I think not.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

DensityDuck January 19, 2012 at 6:22 am

Hooray for mob rule!

wjw January 19, 2012 at 6:52 am

I think the word you’re searching for would be “democracy.”

Ralf The Dog. January 19, 2012 at 7:25 am

Democracy is just another word for letting the mindless rabble control government. Can you think of anything more un-American? I think letting the people have a say in the government is (gasp) Socialism!

DensityDuck January 19, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I have to say that so many people protesting legislation that would have screwed Google is perhaps the ultimate expression of the Web 2.0 ideal. When even lobbying is crowdsourced, you know we’ve really arrived.

Ralf The Dog. January 19, 2012 at 10:16 pm

Mr. Duck, Not just Google. I make most of my money off of the internet. Most of the people I know make most of their money off of the internet. The country I live in is a free country because (in part) people can express themselves on the internet. The author who provides us this board, makes his money by free expression of ideas (sometimes on the internet).

It is not just Google that would have been screwed.

Ralf The Dog. January 19, 2012 at 10:46 pm

Edited to say, Congrats for making Congress cave. Next up, we expect you to solve the budget crisis and the Greek economy.

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