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November 15, 2011 10:24 PM   Subscribe

What's that black thing on the logo? MetaFilter is participating in American Censorship Day to help draw attention to a bill in congress that could hurt sites with user-contributed content—sites like MetaFilter.

The black banners across the logos on the site today are are a way to let people know about the Stop Internet Piracy Act. The EFF has a good round-up of recent news about this proposed legislation: An Explosion of Opposition to the Internet Blacklist Bill. And Matt recently tweeted about an email campaign to let folks in congress know people are opposed. (There's a great video by Kirby Ferguson at that site that explains the many problems with the bill.)

The Stop Censorship banner will be up for 24 hours or so.
posted by pb to MetaFilter-Related at 10:24 PM (126 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

Thank you for answering the question that brought me here before I could even ask it.
posted by infini at 10:28 PM on November 15, 2011 [17 favorites]


This is awesome. Well done MetaFilter.
posted by clearly at 10:30 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


My first thought when I saw it was, "Wait, was Metafilter deleted? Isn't the deleted bar supposed to be red?"

It got my attention. For a worthy cause.
posted by meese at 10:31 PM on November 15, 2011


At first I thought "Oh great, somebody got mad their guideline-breaking comments were deleted and decided to hack the site."
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:34 PM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


I approve of this.
posted by twirlip at 10:34 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm in.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:38 PM on November 15, 2011


That is a great way to attract attention -- nice work.
posted by spiderskull at 10:38 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you for this. Petition signed and up-tweeted and whatnot.
posted by mumkin at 10:44 PM on November 15, 2011


If you feel uncomfortable typing in your identity and address into a mailing list with no listed privacy policy terms, contactingthecongress.org keeps a searchable database of contact information for your Congressperson.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:48 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


In before the govt censors.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:48 PM on November 15, 2011


Y'all probably don't remember Turn the Web Black from 1998.

No, I didn't think so.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:53 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Er, 1996. How time flies.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:54 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Who gets my email address if I use the form that this thing links to to contact my representative in congress? I did one of these sorts of things *years* ago and I *still* get e-mails from random people about it (most recently from Raja Krishnamoorthi, whoever that is). It seems that I got added to a bunch of different mailing lists and each time I unsubscribe, it just removes me from that one specific list.

I would like to add my voice to the cause, but I would not like to receive endless emails about related things for years.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:55 PM on November 15, 2011


I visited my representative's (Anna G. Eshoo) website, and apparently she is already opposed to this bill, so I guess this issue is now moot for me.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:02 PM on November 15, 2011


twoleftfeet: "Y'all probably don't remember Turn the Web Black from 1998."

There have been other, more recent "internet blackout" campaigns where you were supposed to turn your site gray or black.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:03 PM on November 15, 2011


Anna Eshoo is right about pretty much everything.

(former constituent)
posted by ryanrs at 11:04 PM on November 15, 2011


Afaik, all the posts covering this bill use the COICA tag, one of it's many names.
posted by jeffburdges at 11:05 PM on November 15, 2011


I am suddenly filled with a desire to see those old Blue Ribbon Campaign animated GIFs plastered all over the Web again.
posted by Kalthare at 11:08 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Don't Censor Censorship Opponents: Let Us Testify!

As the House of Representatives opens hearings on SOPA, the worst piece of Internet legislation in American history, it has rejected all submissions and testimony from public interest groups and others who oppose the bill. -Cory Doctorow
posted by jeffburdges at 11:09 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Anna Eshoo not only replies to constituent letters, she'll argue with you and tell you why you're wrong.
posted by ryanrs at 11:11 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Stop Metafilter
posted by philip-random at 11:11 PM on November 15, 2011


I'd be all over this if the fire wall in China didn't (ironically) stop access to the website.

Collusion!
posted by arcticseal at 11:14 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Holy crap, thanks for putting this up! I'm working on the project with Fight for the Future and it's great to see support like this. We've got more info and campaign goodies over at American Censorship.
posted by thebigdeadwaltz at 11:15 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Awesome. I was another what the fuuuuu.... oh cool! person.
posted by grapesaresour at 11:17 PM on November 15, 2011


Anna Eshoo not only replies to constituent letters, she'll argue with you and tell you why you're wrong.

I need an opportunity to test this.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:23 PM on November 15, 2011


I love John Perry Barlow's Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace :

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.
...
Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

posted by jeffburdges at 11:26 PM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


Major kudos for advocating against this bullshit. Metafilter has played an important role in keeping me sane and informed throughout the past few years (although I've only recently become a member, and a mostly favoriting only one so far) and to see it, and other websites I love, under threat like this is pretty fucking scary.
posted by Dr. Christ at 11:30 PM on November 15, 2011


we're in too!
teens love dystopian novels, but that doesn't mean they want to live them.
posted by changeling at 11:43 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


there is no argument in favor of censorship that doesn't come out of some asshole.
posted by philip-random at 12:00 AM on November 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


I just clicked over to Facebook thinking that since they oppose the bill, they might have put the banner up. No such luck. Ditto Google.

It's a shame. The big players could really use their weight to make some changes on this one.
posted by auto-correct at 12:36 AM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


deleted thread

Wow, I realize how weird it is to delete this today, but
posted by philip-random at 12:53 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Raja Krishnamoorthi"
Illinois pol, ran for comptroller and lost by like a lot, but I know this because he went to high school with my doctor of all things. Running for congress now I think my doc said. My doc isn't in his area but is very rah-rah for the guy.


Good cause, tho their site is a bit tough to navigate on mobile.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:08 AM on November 16, 2011


I visited my representative's (Anna G. Eshoo) website, and apparently she is already opposed to this bill, so I guess this issue is now moot for me.

There's probably not a single congressperson with as many constituents who are actively incensed by this.
posted by atrazine at 1:45 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


No worries, people like black on top.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:13 AM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Stop Metafilter censorship! Sack the mods!
posted by Decani at 3:56 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Y'all probably don't remember Turn the Web Black from 1998 (1996)."

Which was inspired by the Paint it Black campaign from 1966.

Good on Mefi for participating.
posted by ersatz at 4:01 AM on November 16, 2011


Meanwhile, the UK has censorship issues of its own.

I would love if metafilter could (at the same time as this) sidebar digital rights issues that other countries have. There's an obvious danger that your primary message will be diluted but metafilter has an international readership.

The UK is currently pushing for a streamlined scheme where specific websites can easily be blocked by ISP's. More information in the link above. ORG are pushing for people to contact MP's and to get involved. Again, follow the link.

Content owners push back our rights to content one territory at a time. Although this particular campaign may feel like a national issue, I believe that it's actually an international one. If you think it's going to be hard to block this now, imagine how harder it would be if Europe had already signed up to it.
posted by seanyboy at 4:03 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Agree with what seanyboy says. The Internet does not start, stop and belong to the USA (regardless of what the politicians say).
posted by episodic at 4:07 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Agree with what seanyboy says. The Internet does not start, stop and belong to the USA (regardless of what the politicians say).

But as long as they hold on to ICANN et al, they do hold disproportionate power/influence
posted by infini at 4:34 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm worried about this, too. What seems to happen lately is the US government puts a ridiculous law like this in place, then puts great pressure on the Canadian government to do the same thing. Which the Canadian government will then try to do, repeatedly, despite considerable opposition. So my feeling is that whenever bad tech laws get passed in the US, it's virtually guaranteed we'll get similar ones here. I guess as a foreigner, there is no one I can really write to about this.

Hmm... what if I said I would convince all my American friends to vote for someone else if they vote for this law? Would they listen to me then, do you think?
posted by FishBike at 4:38 AM on November 16, 2011


how nice and all. but if you really want to get someone's attention stop doing business entirely with the film and music industries. what? yeah, i thought not.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:53 AM on November 16, 2011


There are a ton of digital rights issues in other countries (Estonia, Iran, China, Burma, Cuba, and so on) very few have actually passed draconian legislation in the name of copyright protection like the PROTECT IP act and SOPA, both currently ping-ponging through congress. The only one I can think of at the moment is France's HADOPI law, which, unlike this law, places the onus squarely on the shoulders of the end user, and has seen a couple of people kicked off the net already.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:53 AM on November 16, 2011


Seanyboy, what sort of idea do you have about how to do that? I'm looking at something at the moment that I may post... Maybe you could make a post about the Open Rights Group?
posted by taz (staff) at 5:09 AM on November 16, 2011


yeah, i thought not.

The trouble with this complaint is that it ignores the fact that certain markets are easier or harder for consumers to influence with their consumption choices. It's easy for me not to buy diamonds, and hard for me not to buy oil. It's not harder because of a moral failing on my part -- it's a characteristic of the market and the good.

You can say that I don't have a right to regulate a market I won't boycott -- but that's a totally subjective claim and I think a fairly ideological one.
posted by ~ at 5:27 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


whoosh. are you buying corporate music and movies, or aren't you?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 5:31 AM on November 16, 2011


I'm in. I don't get much traffic but even if I convince one person...
posted by tommasz at 5:36 AM on November 16, 2011


I saw the banner before coffee and had a moment of eeek. Then I sipped some coffee and came to meTa where I knew everything would be okay.
posted by rtha at 5:43 AM on November 16, 2011


tylerkaraszewski writes "I visited my representative's (Anna G. Eshoo) website, and apparently she is already opposed to this bill, so I guess this issue is now moot for me."

Write anyways; people who deal with complaints all day long love letters saying they are doing the right thing.
posted by Mitheral at 5:47 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


So......interesting that Metafilter is promoting this.


I would imagine that this is the ONE thread here on Metafilter where I could actually post a comment that is not gushingly fanboy about Community where it wouldn't be deleted censored. But I may be wrong about that.

logging out...

posted by HuronBob at 5:48 AM on November 16, 2011


I'm in full support of this effort and our sites participation in it. However, I do think it is interesting how the consensus in this thread from just three days ago seemed to be demanding a bill exactly like this to close the loophole that Hunter Moore, owner of IsAnyoneUp.com, exists in.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:49 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


A comment on Reddit re: how to get your Congressperson's attention.
posted by swift at 5:57 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hardly think my music taste matters. Perhaps I misunderstood: I thought your point was that it would be hypocritical of me to be opposed to this law while buying goods from the companies that fund and promote it. If that is your point, then I think you've missed my point: preferences for a legislative regime aren't subjected to a litmus test of my consumption purity. Why should thy be?
posted by ~ at 6:01 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do remember the Internet blackout from 96. Now get of my damn lawn you whippersnappers :)

And I'm in today too.
posted by COD at 6:03 AM on November 16, 2011


omg it's so ugly
posted by mullacc at 6:21 AM on November 16, 2011


Great way to get us involved in this - I noticed it right off, was compelled to click, and was able to quickly take action. Righteous.
posted by batmonkey at 6:31 AM on November 16, 2011


Is it coincidental that today is also UNESCO's International Day for Tolerance? Or just amusingly appropriate?

And can I claim semi-purity if all my "major label" music, "major studio" movies and "network" TV shows are more than 10 years old? 20? Not just created back then but purchased/acquired then? (I'd like to replace VHS tapes with DVDs, but I wouldn't be heartbroken by dumping all the content created since '90... yes, I'm becoming an old fogey)
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:36 AM on November 16, 2011


Oh good. This bill might help turn the noise down a bit.
posted by scruss at 6:54 AM on November 16, 2011


I would imagine that this is the ONE thread here on Metafilter where I could actually post a comment that is not gushingly fanboy about Community where it wouldn't be deleted censored. But I may be wrong about that.

Wait, this is the thread for misrepresenting stuff? I'm in, thanks for the heads-up!
posted by inigo2 at 6:55 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


The only one I can think of at the moment is France's HADOPI law...
The Kiwis have started down that route. No bans yet AFAIK.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 6:58 AM on November 16, 2011


Michael Geist notes that SOPA also claims very broad jurisdiction for US law enforcement.
posted by frimble at 7:01 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


i ██████ the ███ █████ then maybe ███ █████ ██████ about ███████ ██ ██████.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 7:02 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to console myself by "the worse the better" reasoning, but it's not working. And I'm not a US citizen. I really feel for you people.
posted by hat_eater at 7:21 AM on November 16, 2011


Don't feel sad for us, the rest of you'll gotta deal with this stupidity.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:24 AM on November 16, 2011


We need to support this if we want to avoid being SILENCED ALL OUR LIVES.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:33 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


This may be stupid, but which committee is holding the hearings? I've googled for a few minutes, and can't find it... (I'm guessing it's in the House?)
posted by schmod at 7:36 AM on November 16, 2011


Don't feel sad for us, the rest of you'll gotta deal with this stupidity.

Well, only if similar legislation is adopted elsewhere. I hope that if SOPA or some essentially equivalent mutation of it passes, we'll be able to point at it and tell our legislators, "see how it worked for them? let's don't repeat that here".
But I also hope that reason (and self-preservation) prevails and this act goes nowhere. I think the Hollywood lobby really, massively overshot their target.

This may be stupid, but which committee is holding the hearings?

The House Judiciary Committee.
posted by hat_eater at 7:39 AM on November 16, 2011


I would imagine that this is the ONE thread here on Metafilter where I could actually post a comment that is not gushingly fanboy about Community where it wouldn't be deleted censored. But I may be wrong about that.

Feel free to contact us directly via the contact form if you'd like to discuss why those comments were removed. Or I can send you the form letter about why comment removal is a different animal than government-sponsored censorship. And while we're on topic, why this bill IS actually government censorship, and why it's a problem.

If anyone needs the walkthrough about why this sort of thing is absolutely dangerous to the continued health of a site like MetaFilter, I suggest reading the PDF letters that are attached to the page that pb linked to. This bill is overbroad, uses language that is imprecise and basically puts the onus on the people running these sites to police their content and penalties are severe. It wants to dig right into the mechanisms of DNS to break the internet.

Sorry about my Senator, usually he is okay. It's weird to see a former Deadhead getting like this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:41 AM on November 16, 2011 [8 favorites]


Ah. Here's a live webcast of the hearing (Windows Media). It started at 10AM EST.
posted by schmod at 7:45 AM on November 16, 2011


schmod, is it hanging up on your end, too? I'm having a heck of a time getting a full sentence out of these guys' mouths before they repeat themselves...

Maybe there's another feed somewhere?
posted by Xoder at 7:54 AM on November 16, 2011


I like HuronBob, and I hope he comes back. Man, weird hill, right?
posted by box at 7:58 AM on November 16, 2011


The live stream has had some problems, but seems to be doing a bit better now. (Apparently this law will SAVE LIVES!! Also, the First Amendment does not cover stealing things off a truck.)

You can also follow along by watching EFF's reports on its new live-tweet account
posted by KatlaDragon at 8:11 AM on November 16, 2011


When I logged into Tumblr today, my entire dashboard was censored with a single link to a page about the censorship bill. That's quite an effective strategy, actually.
posted by kingfishers catch fire at 8:26 AM on November 16, 2011


My tumblr dashboard isn't - have they done it only within the specific political zone (US) where its relevant/useful with regard to political opposition. That is, while it may affect us all, we can only watch helplessly from the sidelines of the Rest of the World (tm)
posted by infini at 8:43 AM on November 16, 2011


Here's the thing I don't understand - do they honestly think this will do little more then curb piracy for more a short timeframe? Technology is evolving and adapting at a breakneck pace, so anything they set up now is sure to be outdated in just a few short months, maybe years. Regardless of if the numbers on piracy are exaggerated or not, the fact remains that the entire system is broken. This would do little more then put a band-aid on a gaping wound and open the door to serious censorship concerns. Who is to say what a "legimate platform" is

The true solution is to find an acceptable distribution model that allows the wide spread content distribution that the internet offers while still allowing the artists to profit from their work. You're never going to fully stop the illegal distribution of media. However, by offering an easier and more attractive option that fulfills the needs to the business along with that of the user, the stealing is curbed. H

Maybe I'm overlooking the entire purpose and problem of this bill, but it seems like to me that it's easier to rally on Capital Hill then adapt to the emerging distribution model. So instead corporations bitch and moan, and try to pass bills to temporarily put a stop to their problems.
posted by lpcxa0 at 8:46 AM on November 16, 2011


The stream sounds OK here, although the video is stuttering. I'm physically located about 2 blocks from this hearing, so I have a suspicion that bandwidth/latency issues aren't going to affect me here (although it looks like they're using Akamai, so that really shouldn't be an issue for anyone.
posted by schmod at 8:49 AM on November 16, 2011


I filled out the form. Here's the bit I wrote at the top of the form letter ...
The rest of this is a form letter, but seriously: I beg you not to throw America's might behind the technology of censorship. Censoring the internet is hard. If we learn how to do it well, we will only be aiding the regimes we should stand against. Find a way to kill this bill.
posted by jhc at 8:55 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm in. See web link in my profile.
posted by ardgedee at 8:56 AM on November 16, 2011


...It's weird to see a former Deadhead getting like this.

No such thing as a former Deadhead.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:56 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


My tumblr dashboard isn't - have they done it only within the specific political zone (US) where its relevant/useful with regard to political opposition. That is, while it may affect us all, we can only watch helplessly from the sidelines of the Rest of the World (tm)

It's probably only a US thing. They wanted me to give my zip code so I could call my congressperson, armed with talking points.
posted by kingfishers catch fire at 8:58 AM on November 16, 2011


I'm in. I don't get that much traffic but hopefully it will bring it to a couple peoples attention what the bill is about.
posted by lilkeith07 at 9:07 AM on November 16, 2011


do they honestly think this will do little more then curb piracy for more a short timeframe?

Yes. Because they are complete fucking idiots about technology. This is like Ted Stevens-level thinking.
posted by AugieAugustus at 9:23 AM on November 16, 2011


do they honestly think this will do little more then curb piracy for more a short timeframe?

Yes. Because they are complete fucking idiots about technology. This is like Ted Stevens-level thinking.


Also, because their campaigns every two years are funded largely by the various interrelated content industries.
posted by Inkoate at 9:46 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm by no means a free speech absolutist, but this really sends shivers up my spine. Would the US have claimed Wikipedia was mainly distributing stolen US property and erased the site from search engines in the US and if Geist is right in Canada as well?
posted by ~ at 9:52 AM on November 16, 2011


Estie. Wikileaks not wikipedia.
posted by ~ at 9:53 AM on November 16, 2011


The best summary I found online about the legislation is here, by EFF.

Question for anyone who knows a lot about this -- is the initial power given to the Attorney General to file suit against "foreign infringing sites" an enlargement of it's current power? I understand how all the other procedural mechanisms work together to change the status quo, but I'm just wondering if the AG already has the substantive power under existing laws to go after foreign sites.
posted by yarly at 9:53 AM on November 16, 2011


Christ. The people in this hearing are assholes.

Let this go to SCOTUS. For all the current court's faults, they're more or less First Amendment absolutists. Scalia would strike this down with impunity -- hell, he'd probably even write the opinion.
posted by schmod at 9:56 AM on November 16, 2011


Actually, Augie and lpc, this can't be shrugged off as damage that the internet will route around, because it fundamentally breaks the ability of the internet to route around things. Specifically, the bill allows content providers to go nuclear: it allows them nuke the DNS and payments of anyone they don't like, without any judicial recourse. Any user merely mentions the next "piracy" tool on a bulletin board you host? Boom, your site and your revenue stream are toast.
posted by louie at 9:56 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am assuming that my congress people (Texas) are for this, but I can't seem to find any info on their websites. Is there a list of Senators for/against somewhere specific to this bill?

The streaming webcast is pretty enlightening. Some of these guys are really teeth-grindingly aggravating.
posted by blurker at 10:20 AM on November 16, 2011


louie, if this goes live, the US of A will be the damage that is routed around.
posted by hat_eater at 10:22 AM on November 16, 2011


Thanks for pointing this out. I'm going to add it to our site.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 10:35 AM on November 16, 2011


People in Germany got sent to the camps because they kept thinking Hitler was only temporary and by the time they realized they'd have to get out, it was too late. How will I know when it's time to leave the US of A?
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:37 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh for fuck's sake.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:39 AM on November 16, 2011 [10 favorites]


How will I know when it's time to leave the US of A?

When the McRib leaves us, it's time to go.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:51 AM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


Looks like it is time for another trip up to Marcy's office across the hall. Too bad she isn't in today, but maybe her staff can let me know where she stands on this.
posted by charred husk at 11:00 AM on November 16, 2011


I quickly scanned the MetaTalk front page, saw "What's that black thing on the logo?" and "posted by pb" and I'm like, of all people shouldn't you know?
posted by desjardins at 11:35 AM on November 16, 2011 [7 favorites]


Could someone summarize what's happening in the hearing? I'm behind a slow dsl connection and can't stream anything. Who wants to be The Whelk of SOPA?
posted by wayland at 12:04 PM on November 16, 2011



posted by not_on_display at 12:05 PM on November 16, 2011


You take that back, RIGHT NOW, n_o_d.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:13 PM on November 16, 2011


Obscure Reference: "People in Germany got sent to the camps because..."

Oy vey.
posted by zarq at 12:36 PM on November 16, 2011


At Web censorship hearing, Congress guns for "pro-pirate" Google "How low was the level of debate? The hearing actually descended to statements like 'the First Amendment does not protect stealing goods off trucks' (courtesy of the AFL-CIO's Paul Almeida). Right from the start, the knives were out for Google. Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) made it only halfway through his opening statement before asserting that 'one of the companies represented here today has sought to obstruct the Committee’s consideration of bipartisan legislation.'"
posted by crunchland at 12:44 PM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


meanwhile back at the ranch...
posted by infini at 12:51 PM on November 16, 2011


blurker: "The streaming webcast is pretty enlightening. Some of these guys are really teeth-grindingly aggravating."

The House is like the Minor League of Congress. However, I've got to say that I'm still surprised by the apparent lack of professionalism exhibited by the current batch of representatives. They don't even obey their own #*ing parliamentary procedures half the time. And the House rules make it very easy to adjust those procedures as they deem necessary.

I've got to say, that for all of the dysfunction in the Senate, there's at the very least far more professionalism and respect. Sure, there's nasty politics that go on behind the scenes, but even the worst-of-the-worst are polite and respectful when they're on the floor (and the ones who continue to be firebrands past their first year in office usually don't have productive legislative careers, and don't get reelected. Even Scott Brown and Rand Paul have learned to keep their heads down.)

You could tell that the Google rep at that hearing was not at all happy with the way that she was being respected as a witness, and that there is definitely a large army of lawyers preparing a case against this law if it's passed. Although, we evidently need to live with unchecked corporate power for now, there are a few corporate allies fighting on our side.

Meanwhile, in related news, Obama is threatening to veto a new set of laws that would end Net Neutrality.
posted by schmod at 1:55 PM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


When I logged into Tumblr today, my entire dashboard was censored with a single link to a page about the censorship bill. That's quite an effective strategy, actually.

Very. They'll call you, give you some talking points, and then connect you to your congresscritter's office. Here is the page, if you're not on Tumblr (they say they don't store the information.)
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:13 PM on November 16, 2011


And there's a web form for helping you with an email. Very nice. I have a good feeling about my congressperson and one of my senators (but not the other one, yes, I'm looking at you, Dianne). Hopefully it'll help.
posted by zomg at 2:24 PM on November 16, 2011


I love this chart.
I was nervous, but the call went really well. Please call your representative. Tumblr makes it really easy for you.

The Internet is my home; keep it free
posted by cashman at 2:39 PM on November 16, 2011


It appears the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) is an AFL-CIO union. Any members should apply some pressure against their support for this madness.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:52 PM on November 16, 2011


Chief Sponsor Wavers on Internet Censorship Bill! Although, frankly, the article isn't as encouraging as the headline.
posted by clockwork at 3:01 PM on November 16, 2011


IATSE (the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) is supporting it as well (PDF.) They need to hear from members that this is a Really Bad Idea™.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:17 PM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh, that's interesting. My congressman "wrote" me back.

He sounds suspiciously like he's in favor of it.
posted by royalsong at 3:27 PM on November 16, 2011


Called my dumbass representative today.
posted by odinsdream at 4:44 PM on November 16, 2011


Huh, that's interesting. My congressman "wrote" me back.

My congresswoman didn't. That said, not like DC residents get a vote in any of this, anyone know what Eleanor Holmes Norton's opinion is on this, since her staff doesn't bother with constituents? (And why bother, really.)
posted by inigo2 at 6:07 PM on November 16, 2011


If this bill passes everyone should start posting links to outlawed material on government websites and then report them. Bring popcorn.
posted by troll on a pony at 6:51 PM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I got a form letter after writing Leahy a very long letter about how this would affect my ability to be one of those telecommuters that his state [also my state] is trying so valiantly to attract and how it betrays several fundamental misunderstandings about not just the infrastructure of the internet but also its original purpose. Asked for sanity, that sort of thing. Told him I'd ship the enterprise up to Canada. Grab your anorak restless_nomad, we're going camping!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:56 PM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I foresee some jobs postings for lawyers outside the U.S. at least.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:29 PM on November 16, 2011


If you're a DC resident and fill out that Tumblr form, whom does it prompt you to call? Every time I call Eleanor Holmes Norton's office, they tell me "Look; we know, we agree with you, and would love to do something about it if we had the power. Now, please stop calling us."
posted by schmod at 8:47 PM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


I found out today that my Representative helped co-sponsor this bill. Come on, Marsha! What were you thinking?? I wrote her saying basically I felt betrayed after supporting her and implied (in a non-threatening way) that if she doesn't see the errors of her ways I'll never vote for her again.

Is there a way for non-Tumblr users to easily find the phone numbers for our representatives to call?
posted by Deflagro at 9:30 PM on November 16, 2011


That reference isn't quite as obscure as you think it is....
posted by schmod at 9:31 PM on November 16, 2011

Let this go to SCOTUS. For all the current court's faults, they're more or less First Amendment absolutists. Scalia would strike this down with impunity -- hell, he'd probably even write the opinion.
Yeah right. They'll see this as just another mechanism to enforce copyright.

Stuff like AFL-CIO and other unions backing this is just an example of the incestuous lobbyist/lobbyist relations that go on in DC. Lobbying groups get eachother's backs on stuff like this. It's probably not even about the groups having 'solidarity' but rather the careers of individual lobbyists. For example, you work for (totally hypothetical example) the National Restaurant Association, you back big tobacco on some issue, and big tobacco companies make donations too your organization (maybe) but more importantly it's good for your specific career when you leave the National Restaurant Association and move up to the chamber of commerce, or whatever.
posted by delmoi at 11:16 PM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


My representative, Elijah Cummings (D-MD), is also my landlord. RENT STRIKE!!! (not really)
posted by josher71 at 4:41 AM on November 17, 2011


Deflagro: " Is there a way for non-Tumblr users to easily find the phone numbers for our representatives to call?"

house.gov has a "find your representative by zip code" field in the upper right hand corner of the window.

If you input your zip and press enter, you'll see your Representative's name appear in a new window. From here you have two options:

1) Click on their name, and you'll be taken to his or her official website. Most of them list their DC number and local office number at the bottom of their front page.

2) Look them up on this list.
posted by zarq at 7:51 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


This hasn't been voted on yet, so let's wait and see what happens before posting.
posted by coolguymichael at 10:52 AM on November 17, 2011


smbc-comics.com
posted by jeffburdges at 1:21 PM on November 17, 2011


EU Speaks Out Against US Censorship
posted by jeffburdges at 3:55 PM on November 17, 2011


Tumblr alone generated almost ninety thousand calls to Congress.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:44 PM on November 18, 2011 [2 favorites]


We should have a campaign for an amendment to shorten copyrights to 7 years or so, give them some pause about trying this crap too seriously.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:24 PM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


New theorem: as the internet wood-chippers through the industrial-age economy industry-by-industry, "it", collectively, will always be in aggregate slightly more powerful than its contemporary opponents

It looks like the content industry bit off a bit more than it could chew. This was an incredibly fast, effective mobilization - it shows the power the people who know how to use these new tools are beginning to wield
posted by crayz at 12:36 AM on November 19, 2011


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