Join 3,523 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

SOPA/PIPA blackout
January 17, 2012 9:06 PM   Subscribe

We are putting up a black interstitial about SOPA/PIPA for the next 24hrs or so. If you click away from it, you'll get a cookie stored so you won't see it again in the same browser, but what follows is my reasons for doing it.

SOPA and PIPA are bad laws written with sites like The Pirate Bay in mind, but if enacted into law, would certainly go beyond the original intent to shut down foreign sources of piracy, much in the same way the DMCA is used as a blunt instrument for stifling tons of sites, videos, and documents in ways never intended. We decided to make a point of alerting the general public today about this pending legislation, to let everyone know the provisions to delist sites from search engines and hand over control of root DNS to judges making decisions on behalf of the US government is the kind of thing that could be abused and silence pretty much any blog, including MetaFilter. The SOPA/PIPA bills grant extraordinary powers to shut down sites, but it's a frightening step to take and I'd rather existing anti-piracy measures would be employed instead of sweeping new problematic lawmaking.

I've never written about my problems behind the scenes with the DMCA, a similar piece of law written to stamp out piracy but in the decade since it passed has morphed into a blunt instrument to silence websites for a variety of reasons. I was stuck in a Brazil/Catch-22 situation a little over a year ago due to a five year old song in MetaFilter Music that shared a filename with a leaked (November 2010) unreleased Michael Jackson song. Sony music group employed a dumb simple bot called "Web Sheriff" that crawled the web looking for filename matches and when found, alerted IP range owners of infringing works being offered by their customers. I got slapped with a 30 day ultimatum to immediately take down the uploaded song on MeFi Music or find my hosting account closed and banned, and all of MetaFilter erased in the process. The claims were ludicrous and I informed my host of the impossible nature of the claim but was told per DMCA guidelines I had to either file a counterclaim notice with Sony/Web Sheriff or ask them to issue a formal retraction.

I didn't want to waste money on lawyer time by filing a counterclaim and prolonging the fight so instead I had to contact Web Sheriff directly to request a retraction. This took many back-and-forth emails, and thanks to Web Sheriff being in London, added days to the process of exchanging emails. Eventually I got a human at the company to look at the dates on my files and agree it was not a Michael Jackson song. The formal retraction took nearly two weeks to secure and convince lawyers for my host that it was adequate for removing the DMCA claim. That's two weeks into a 30 day window before I lost my rack of servers and hosting account completely. I'll never forget last year when I went through this because it was two of the stupidest weeks of my life, all because of some problematic laws granted new powers to copyright holders and I had to engage in a prolonged legal fight thanks to a mistake made by a bot.

I'm not the only one that got stuck in pointless DMCA battles, my friend Ben Brown stuck his iPhone out of a window, recorded a shot of a Transformers movie being filmed on the street below him and had his own video blocked from YouTube for a week because of a bogus DMCA claim by the movie studio (how they could claim any copyright ownership on his own movie is beyond me).

SOPA/PIPA grant powers way beyond the simple DMCA, and like the DMCA, if enacted, I see these laws mutating over the next few years and affecting all sorts of sites in ways never intended. Tim O'Reilly has a great piece on why SOPA/PIPA make for bad policy, and if you're interested do check out if your senators and congressional representatives are supporting or opposing the bills.

I felt this issue was important enough to warrant drawing as many eyeballs as possible to it, without negatively affecting the utility of what we have here, so today we're putting up the interstitial you might have seen calling attention to this bad law, this discussion, and things you can do to prevent it from happening. If you click away or the button, you will be cookied and you won't see it again in that browser. Thanks for everyone's help in our previous discussions about this.
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 9:06 PM (563 comments total) 377 users marked this as a favorite

I promise I will read and comment thoughtfully, but I just wanted to say HOLY CRAP THAT SCARED THE SHIT OUT OF ME.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:09 PM on January 17, 2012 [37 favorites]


Thanks Matt.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:10 PM on January 17, 2012 [28 favorites]


Good stuff.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:11 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks, Matt.
posted by lalex at 9:11 PM on January 17, 2012


I like this, thank you.
posted by Lyn Never at 9:11 PM on January 17, 2012


Thanks for the explanation and for lending this site's voice to the chorus. Here's to freedom.
posted by chrisamiller at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


Fist-bump for Matt Howie: Protector of the Internet and all around good egg.
posted by Skygazer at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


You can thank Matt calling your congresspeople.
posted by weinbot at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


*by calling
posted by weinbot at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2012


A black box showed up for me, but there wasn't anything in it. Was that the intention?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2012


It's very nicely implemented. Thanks for having Metafilter participate in the blackout. Off to call my congress critters again!
posted by mosessis at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It breaks metatalk on my android phone. I can't click around it, and when i try to scroll past it the rest of meta is grayed out.

Running 2.1 on a Samsung Continuum.
posted by zarq at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2012


Trying to browse MetaTalk in Skyfire on a Droid 2, I get a very large black box at the top of the page that obscures a good portion of the text, including headline and front page text, and then the rest of the page is rendered in a discolored dark grey with hard to read font coloring. Both effects go away as soon as the text box gained focus, but then I don't see any blackout change at all.
posted by Errant at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2012


Hey Matt, it's just a blank box for me in Chrome. (Safari looks good)
posted by paddingtonb at 9:12 PM on January 17, 2012


I liked it.
posted by sweetkid at 9:13 PM on January 17, 2012


Working for me in Safari and Chrome.
posted by lalex at 9:13 PM on January 17, 2012


Thank you, Matt. I promise to call my representatives tomorrow.
posted by mogget at 9:13 PM on January 17, 2012


Call them, email them, and write them. If you have a group of friends, go by their office with your mail printed out to hand to their people. Don't let them ignore you.
posted by fuq at 9:13 PM on January 17, 2012


looks fine for me in Chrome (Mac).
posted by sweetkid at 9:13 PM on January 17, 2012


I want to let you know that what showed up for me was a black box in the center of the screen with the text of the page I'd clicked through to (from GReader) darkened behind it; there wasn't any information about SOPA. I figured that's what it was and clicked through, but if I hadn't been following the MeTa conversation I wouldn't have known what it was meaning to convey.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:13 PM on January 17, 2012


Short of clearing cookies, is there a link where we can change our minds and read it properly if we clicked away from it the first time? I got it during a comment preview and didn't want to be distracted (even if I did abandon the comment), but I'd be interested in following it now.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:14 PM on January 17, 2012


Thanks, mathowie. I'm inclined to support an entire blackout, but this message is equally effective in educating users about the ills of SOPA/PIPA.
posted by chimaera at 9:14 PM on January 17, 2012


Oh yeah, I'm in Chrome on a Mac. So sweetkid is CLEARLY LYING.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:14 PM on January 17, 2012


Wow, that actually scared the crap out of me too, which is exactly what it should be doing.

Thanks, Matt.
posted by loquacious at 9:14 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good call.
posted by stp123 at 9:14 PM on January 17, 2012


I should probably mention, too, that on Firefox 9/WinXP here at work, I got a quick flash of the lightbox, then straight through to the thread I was in, uninterrupted. I assumed that's what it was, so I went and deleted the SEENSOPA cookie to actually see it. Could have been the very instant it was switched on, though, so.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:15 PM on January 17, 2012


I think this is a really effective way of making your point. Good job.
posted by BlahLaLa at 9:15 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I heartily approve of this.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:16 PM on January 17, 2012


George_Spiggot, you can just use your browser's cookie management to find Metafilter cookies and delete the SEEN_SOPA cookie.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:17 PM on January 17, 2012


Well played, Matt. Works for me in Safari (!) on a Macbook (?).
posted by joe lisboa at 9:17 PM on January 17, 2012


Ah. I was reading in GReader like tivalasvegas (Chrome, Mac) and had the same blank black box.
posted by paddingtonb at 9:18 PM on January 17, 2012


stavros, I know: "...short of clearing cookies..."

I asked mainly because it might be nice if Matt posted a link to a static copy of it so we can link to it, call the attention of others to it, or just read it at will without dinking around with the browser.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:19 PM on January 17, 2012


Thanks for the link for us non-Americans!
posted by Midnight Rambler at 9:19 PM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Fixed now, we had a cross-domain script problem for about ten minutes so it was a black box on everything but www.metafilter.com. Should be working now, and looks like this.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:19 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like the blackout as a way of making your point, but a couple of bugs (?) for me in Safari on a Mac:

On the blue, the text explanation comes up properly, though if I click the link to the Meta thread directly (without clicking "continue to the site"), it takes me to a completely black page, no text and no button to click.

If loading the green or the gray directly, they come up as plain black boxes, again no text and no buttons.

Maybe you could reproduce the text and button on the front pages of green and gray?

(Also, I went to use the "contact your reps" site Engine Advocacy that you link to, but it did nothing when I clicked "send".)
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:21 PM on January 17, 2012


heh, yes. like you just said.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:21 PM on January 17, 2012


Thank you, all. Well-done and good work for an important topic.
posted by introp at 9:21 PM on January 17, 2012


I asked mainly because it might be nice if Matt posted a link to a static copy of it so we can link to it, call the attention of others to it, or just read it at will without dinking around with the browser.

Ah, OK. I thought you meant you were leery of clearing all your cookies (or MeFi cookies) wholesale.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:21 PM on January 17, 2012


Thanks for doing this.
posted by Artw at 9:23 PM on January 17, 2012


I'd just as soon see the interstitial every time...so I can use the helpful information in it!
posted by leahwrenn at 9:23 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nicely done. Works for me on Android 2.3.4/Dolphin.
posted by octothorpe at 9:24 PM on January 17, 2012


Logging out will clear your MetaFilter cookies and you'll see the interstitial again if you need to get back to it. If you're handy with cookies you can also remove the SEEN_SOPA cookie by hand. Here's the full text of the interstitial:

Help Stop SOPA/PIPA

MetaFilter could go dark if the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) bills pass. Every link mentioned on the site would open MetaFilter up to legal repercussions including the possibility of the entire site being forced offline due to a complaint.

Please help us combat this misguided legislation

If you're in the United States, you can send a letter to your congress/senator person instantly (or better yet, call them).

If you're outside the United States, petition the State Department.

We are discussing today's SOPA/PIPA protest in MetaTalk

[Continue To Site]
posted by pb (staff) at 9:27 PM on January 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


There are a few other sites doing this that you can check out right now, Wikipedia, Google, WordPress have something up. I blacked out my librarian.net site entirely and there are a lot of libraries and librarians participating including the Syracuse iSchool and the Radical Reference folks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:27 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Broken with Dolphin HD on Android 2.3 too. The box is weirdly zoomed in, so I can't read the entire message, and clicking a link just loops me back to the SOPA window. Changing user agents fixed it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:27 PM on January 17, 2012


If you want to see the interstitial again without fussing around with cookies, you can also right-click on links and select 'Open in incognito window' in Chrome, I think other browsers have similar functions but I can't remember what they're called.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:27 PM on January 17, 2012


Link to the EFF page for mailing your congress critters if you didn't click on the link in the black popup.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:27 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Class act, folks. Thank you.
posted by brennen at 9:28 PM on January 17, 2012


Once again, I fail to preview.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:28 PM on January 17, 2012


Looks great! However the "engine advocacy" site is broken.
Clicked on the "send your letter" button and nothing happens. No loading, nothing. Like it's unhooked. Cleared cache/cookies and tried again, still nothing.
I emailed them to let them know. I'm on firefox 9.0.1 though and lots of the web seems to be broken. Possibly time to finally switch to chrome.
posted by Tennyson D'San at 9:29 PM on January 17, 2012


Very much appreciate it.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:29 PM on January 17, 2012


Thanks for the good and wise solution in support of an important cause. ( I think the Wikipedia "strike" action goes too far, IMHO. OK, it's possible to circumvent by turning off javascript or using phone browsers (both which Wikipedia suggests only should be used as "emergency" measures ) but most people won't see that possibility and its silly taking the functionality away for most users).
posted by Bwithh at 9:30 PM on January 17, 2012


As an FYI, I don't see anything with my BlackBerry Curve default browser - I came to MetaTalk wondering if you guys had turned it on yet.
posted by SMPA at 9:30 PM on January 17, 2012


Should "send a letter to your congress/senator person instantly" instead read "congressperson/senator" or maybe "representative/senator"?
posted by Mr. Pokeylope at 9:31 PM on January 17, 2012


This is good.
posted by naoko at 9:32 PM on January 17, 2012


SMPA, you might check to see if JavaScript is enabled on your Blackberry. Without JavaScript, you won't see the interstitial.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:32 PM on January 17, 2012


Or just "congressperson", since that covers both houses.
posted by Mr. Pokeylope at 9:32 PM on January 17, 2012


This is well done. Thanks for doing this.
posted by mintcake! at 9:33 PM on January 17, 2012


Weirdly zoomed in on my Android 2.3.5/Dolphin, but I was able to see the "Click through to site" button.
posted by trip and a half at 9:34 PM on January 17, 2012


I blocked out my own blog, and linked to the EFF, even though it's a pitifully insignificant gesture for a pitifully insignificant site like mine.
posted by crunchland at 9:34 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks Matt, this is awesome!

I'm going to call my reps first thing tomorrow morning.
posted by honest knave at 9:35 PM on January 17, 2012


I think the Wikipedia "strike" action goes too far, IMHO.

I don't particularly -- I mean, if this legislation were to go through, Wikipedia could very likely go dark forever from what I understand. So why wouldn't they (for all intents and purposes) close down for a day if they thought that would help to defeat the legislation? Of course, you could say that this isn't going to do anything to help, but in that case less drastic measures like MeFi's interstitial page, or a banner ad wouldn't do anything either.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:35 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Which is not to say that I'm not going to be super-annoyed when I try to use Wikipedia for the next 24 hours. However, I suppose that basic free speech rights trump my need to know random facts (insofar as Wikipedia can be described as factual) from the Internet.
posted by tivalasvegas at 9:37 PM on January 17, 2012


You can check the Google cache and be fine for Wikipedia, for the most part.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:39 PM on January 17, 2012


Or you can disable javascript.
posted by crunchland at 9:40 PM on January 17, 2012


Just stopped in to say thanks!
posted by neversummer at 9:41 PM on January 17, 2012


Well Done ████ It's important for everyone to ███████████████ and stop ██████████!
posted by ~Sushma~ at 9:41 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is good. Thanks.
posted by rtha at 9:42 PM on January 17, 2012


Signed the petition. Nice job Matt.
posted by tracicle at 9:45 PM on January 17, 2012


Like. Although, I'm not sure if the Engine site actually sent my email, edited or not. Or maybe it sent a dozen or so, one for every time I clicked and nothing appeared to happen. (Mac OS 10.5.8, Chrome 16.0.912.63)

I'll just do it manually.

Thanks, Matt.
posted by ctmf at 9:46 PM on January 17, 2012


Thank you.
posted by Minus215Cee at 9:46 PM on January 17, 2012


Am I nuts? When I fill out the form on EngineAdvocacy and click "Send Your Letter" nothing happens. In Safari and Chrome.
posted by phaedon at 9:47 PM on January 17, 2012


I blocked out my own blog, and linked to the EFF, even though it's a pitifully insignificant gesture for a pitifully insignificant site like mine.

I got all jointhusiastic and threw up a corner banner at MefightClub, too.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:48 PM on January 17, 2012


>> I think the Wikipedia "strike" action goes too far, IMHO.

My MIT Media Lab colleague Matt Stempeck has posted A great post on the theory of change behind website shutdowns. But you can't read it because we have blacked out our site :P

Here are some of his substantive points:

The backlash to the SOPA backlash makes three specific points:
1. Wikipedia asked users for donations to keep running, and therefore voluntarily shutting down is a violation of trust
2. Wikipedia asks its editors to honor strict neutrality guidelines on articles ranging from abortion to torture, and here they are taking sides on a piece of legislation
3. SOPA and PIPA are a national US problem

Point one is almost moot. A nonprofit can (and most do) accept small donations without then basing every critical organizational decision on the perceived intent of those donations. Nowhere in Wikipedia's donor appeals did they mention 100% uptime, or offer to compromise the organization's most cherished values (an open web where knowledge can proliferate) because of an annual pledge drive. Yes, some of their donors could get pissed off by this move. Many more will support the organization taking a bold stand. That's actually what taking a stand is: risking pissing some people off, even people you like, over something that's more important than any of you. (According to Wikimedia's press release, support has been overwhelmingly positive within the 1,800 Wikipedians who have discussed the action).

Point two is a stronger argument but conflates Wikipedia, the online resource, and Wikimedia, the nonprofit organization that runs it. Wikipedia, the encyclopedia, enforces neutral language in all of its articles so that they'll provide the best reference material possible. That's not the same thing as Wikimedia, the organization, which is free to make decisions like this, especially as the decision doesn't affect the quality of the reference material itself. If Wikimedia feels these bills are a threat to its very existence, a 24-hour shutdown has nothing to do with violating the ethics of authorship on the site. The SOPA and PIPA pages will be held to the same neutrality language as all of the other pages.

On the point that these bills are "a single national issue," Carr and Costolo are dead wrong. First, the US has crazy disproportionate power, hard and soft, over the workings of the global internet. Second, it's not like the same battle isn't going on everywhere else, too. Third, this bill would specifically allow the US to essentially shut down foreign-hosted websites. It's about as international as it gets

[....]

When the Massachusetts ballot included a resolution to lower taxes on liquor, every liquor store in the city displayed some sort of support in their windows and at their cash registers...this is just the most obvious place to have this conversation.

[....]

Finally, traditional broadcasters have yet to give SOPA much play on the evening programs, where most Americans still get their news. I'm going to wager that these shutdowns compel the broadcasters into covering the issue.
posted by honest knave at 9:49 PM on January 17, 2012 [33 favorites]


Good job, mefi overlords. Yay, team.
posted by dejah420 at 9:50 PM on January 17, 2012


Oh no. I forgot to close my <strong>. Administrator, please hope me!
posted by honest knave at 9:50 PM on January 17, 2012


I'm wearing black to work tomorrow. In fact I've been doing that for weeks now.
posted by desjardins at 9:51 PM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Am I nuts? When I fill out the form on EngineAdvocacy and click "Send Your Letter" nothing happens. In Safari and Chrome.

Same here on Chrome.
posted by parudox at 9:51 PM on January 17, 2012


Thank you for taking action and encouraging others to do the same!
posted by ioerror at 9:52 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Am I nuts? When I fill out the form on EngineAdvocacy and click "Send Your Letter" nothing happens.

Same here. Maybe the server is overloaded.
posted by esome at 9:55 PM on January 17, 2012


Sorry about the trouble with EngineAdvocacy. I found my representatives via this page at Pro Publica: SOPA Opera, and then went to their individual sites and used their contact forms.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:55 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bwithh wrote: I think the Wikipedia "strike" action goes too far, IMHO.

I think it's very effective. When I clicked through to this page and hit the wiki link for the Michael Jackson song and got the blackout page it drove home the point, despite knowing it was going to happen.
posted by wierdo at 9:56 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


i miss wikipedia already.

though I don't miss Jim Wales' face.
posted by jb at 9:57 PM on January 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


Good show, mathowie. I came tonight via phone-browser simply to see what MeFi was going to do, and I'm happy to see this. (I am actually lacking internets for the past few days, as I just moved into a new place and the cable co. screwed everything up).
posted by exlotuseater at 9:58 PM on January 17, 2012


This was a great reminder to email my reps once again, thanks!
posted by Bibliogeek at 10:00 PM on January 17, 2012


What the hell?! Al Franken supports SOPA? I thought he wasn't supposed to be, y'know, evil.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:03 PM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


minecraft.net (screenshot)
posted by crunchland at 10:06 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


What are people liking as links for getting folks to contact their Congresspeople? I'm using this: http://www.stopcensorship.org/ on my Twitter Account. Amongst other things.

And yes, I'm being detained by NBC Universal's private mercenary army who are about to take away my
posted by Skygazer at 10:08 PM on January 17, 2012


Insert strained joke about how minecraft.net's protest would be more conspicuous if it involved the site being up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:08 PM on January 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


A Twitter search for "fuck Wikipedia" is really depressing.

Seriously, don't look. It'll make you want to rage.

You did it, didn't you? I warned you!
posted by Effigy2000 at 10:11 PM on January 17, 2012


Twitter account @katienotopoulos is doing some fantasic retweeting of angry wikipedia users right now just sos you know.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:11 PM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Thanks for taking part in the blackout, MetaFilter.

The most important thing is to stay vigilant. Of course SOPA and PIPA won't become law; they're in the spotlight now. But after them will come something else, something less egregious, something people will tell themselves is okay, because it's "not as bad as SOPA or PIPA." And it will make its way up the same channels, with less resistance unless the internet balks again. And others will follow it, each building upon the last, until we're miles further down the SOPA/PIPA road than anyone would imagine possible today. Unless we object EVERY TIME. We absolutely cannot rest on our laurels after this victory.

So we have to pay attention, and throw another fit when that day comes. And after it will come more and we must protest again, and again, until we're beaten down and tired of protesting. And then protest some more. The parade of censorship will never tire — that's politics. If you want the internet to remain free, this is not the end: it's the very beginning. We must stay alert and press on.

Sorry for the pessimism. Thanks again, Matt and friends, for doing your part.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 10:14 PM on January 17, 2012 [29 favorites]


A service to the surfing public! Rock on.
posted by 0rison at 10:14 PM on January 17, 2012


A Twitter search for "fuck Wikipedia" is really depressing.

My normal reaction would be recommending a policy of forced sterilization, but some of that blurry anger, for a few of the slightly brighter lights, might end up directed towards the US government, which is as it should be. Anger is an energy.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:16 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is awesome. Well done, Metafilter.
posted by Tha Race Card at 10:16 PM on January 17, 2012


What the hell?! Al Franken supports SOPA? I thought he wasn't supposed to be, y'know, evil.

Technically he not just supports but *sponsored* PIPA, the less evil but still pretty nasty one of the two.
posted by Artw at 10:18 PM on January 17, 2012


Those aren't "angry wikipedia users", they're kids who can't possibly do their homework without cut-and-pasting from Wikipedia oh noes!!!1 Maybe they'll learn a valuable lesson about turning in assignments based on a website anyone can edit...
posted by vorfeed at 10:20 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


This was a very nice way to address the issue, I think.

A Twitter search for "fuck Wikipedia" is really depressing.

I believe you mean depressilarious, which is totally a word, look it up on Wikipedia if you don't believe me.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:24 PM on January 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


Technically he not just supports but *sponsored* PIPA, the less evil but still pretty nasty one of the two.

Wow. I wish I'd voted for the lizard people. Say what you will about the enslavement of the surface dwellers, at least it's not outright evil.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:24 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Everyone call your congressman or woman. Let them know to vote no. Today is the day, it will all be concentrated for psychological effect.

I live in DC. I don't get to tell anyone about how I feel about this, because I am denied the right to vote for a voice in the legislative branch. There is no congressman for me to call.

You have to be my voice on this.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:28 PM on January 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


OK, I'm in favour of the Wikipedia blackout, but let's not come down too hard on the kids freaking out about it.

I mean, think about it. We put an encyclopedia containing damn near the whole of human knowledge at the fingertips of almost everyone in America, and then HAHAH JUST KIDDING IT'S ALL GONE TODAY because of something called SOPA that lots of people have never heard of.

For you and me, savvy internet users that we are, no big deal. Disable javascript, find some other sources, problem solved. But for lots of people Wikipedia is basically magic, and I don't think they should be laughed at because they aren't as technophilic as we are.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 10:29 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]



Those aren't "angry wikipedia users", they're kids who can't possibly do their homework without cut-and-pasting from Wikipedia oh noes!!!1 Maybe they'll learn a valuable lesson about turning in assignments based on a website anyone can edit...


Aagh, this is so depressing. Not only this, but they're posting "Why is it down? FML...." blah blah.

It says it right there. Right there on the English language homepage. It says exactly why.

I feel 90.
posted by sweetkid at 10:30 PM on January 17, 2012 [29 favorites]


OK, I'm in favour of the Wikipedia blackout, but let's not come down too hard on the kids freaking out about it.

I mean, think about it. We put an encyclopedia containing damn near the whole of human knowledge at the fingertips of almost everyone in America, and then HAHAH JUST KIDDING IT'S ALL GONE TODAY because of something called SOPA that lots of people have never heard of.


And also at least some of those tweets are expressing outrage at Congress and the bill, rather than Wikipedia, which means the blackout is having its intended effect.
posted by Tha Race Card at 10:31 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Good luck America.

(If you're quick, you can click X in your browser on Wikipedia, after the page you want has loaded but before the black screen appears.)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:31 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm going to be quite interested in talking with my co-workers tomorrow, many of whom are not what you'd call tech savvy. I expect to spend a good chunk of my day explaining why the internet is blacked out and what they can do to help ensure the blackout isn't permanent.

I am astonished by how few people I've already talked to have even heard of SOPA much less how badly it will ruin the internet if it passes.
posted by fenriq at 10:35 PM on January 17, 2012


My groundless DMCA story:

I run a handful of Scientology-watchdog sites. One of them, Truth About Scientology, collects, summarizes, and analyzes information about individuals who have taken Scientology courses, using data published in Scientology magazines.

Under US law, this is perfectly legal and not a violation of copyright. (Under US law, you can't copyright raw data.)

Within the past year, two journalists have publicly acknowledged the usefulness of my site in their reporting on Scientology. I can also tell from my server logs that various government departments, big and small, all around the world, access my data. So I believe this is a useful site that helps inform the citizenry, the press, and governments.

In 2005, Scientology's lawyers filed a DMCA takedown notice, claiming (under penalty of perjury) that using the data was a copyright infringement. Their takedown notice lives on at chillingeffects.org.

I filed a counter-notice pointing out that my use does NOT infringe copyright. Under DMCA safe harbor guidelines, my host took down all the pages Scientology named (about 95% of my site - but a few pages remained up, including a page I created to let people know what was happening ... under SOPA/PIPA, my entire domain would just go away, *poof*). During the safe harbor period, Scientology had 14 days to file a copyright infringement lawsuit. They didn't. So my host reinstated the hundreds of pages they had removed.

Under the badly flawed DMCA, my webhost was at least protected, and I was able to get my pages reinstated after 14 days. But there was absolutely no penalty to Scientology for filing that false claim; there was no restitution for my time, none for my webhost, and no consideration for the people who couldn't use my site while those pages were down.

Under SOPA/PIPA, there is NO protection for legally protected use, and NO protection for webhosts (unless you happen to be GoDaddy and wrote exceptions for yourself into the legislation).

I've already called my legislators three times. I even mistakenly called Al Franken's office to say thanks for what I was sure was his enlightened opposition to PIPA - I was disgusted when I learned he was a PIPA co-sponsor.

SOPA and PIPA are terrible, terrible bills, and I am appalled that we have to spend so much time and energy pointing that out to our elected officials when we have so many real, serious, immediate problems we should be tackling instead.
posted by kristi at 10:36 PM on January 17, 2012 [102 favorites]


'Send Letter' link is not working for me either. Safari.
posted by bonsai forest at 10:36 PM on January 17, 2012


but let's not come down too hard on the kids freaking out about it.

I am not freaking out about the kids freaking out about Wikipedia being down. I am freaking out about the kids who a) apparently know of literally no other way or venue to do Internet research; b) cannot be arsed to push the button that explains why it is blacked out.

Anyway, I have done my duty. I did the expat thing, but I also would like to point out that US expats can call the elected representatives of the state in which you were last registered to vote, since as far as that state is concerned, you are still a resident.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:36 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anyone who thinks this is a purely internal matter to the US is not paying attention.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:36 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


working well on ubuntu Firefox.
posted by chapps at 10:37 PM on January 17, 2012


Tsk... OK, not a very big tsk, but a tsk nonetheless.
posted by Artw at 10:42 PM on January 17, 2012


Ah, it's gone.
posted by Artw at 10:42 PM on January 17, 2012


Michael Geist, Canada's research chair on internet and e-commerce law is painting a bleak picture of what SOPA could mean for Canadians and is participating in the blackout

his site:
http://www.michaelgeist.ca/

globe article with Geist interview
http://blogs.vancouversun.com/2012/01/17/canadians-joins-sopa-opposition/
posted by chapps at 10:43 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is the "Send Your Letter" button not working for anyone else? I tried in Chrome, FF and IE with no luck.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:44 PM on January 17, 2012


Two more amusing twitter jokes:



@herpderpedia retweeting some of the angriest student rants


and


@fakewikipedia : Bringing you FACTS while the real Wikipedia is blacked out. [citation needed]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:49 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Can you add a note about ACTA? It's a massively bad bill being quietly snuck through the EU legislative process, and exports all of the bad parts about the DMCA to the rest of the world without bringing any of the US case law around fair-use with it. How to act against ACTA.
posted by cmonkey at 10:51 PM on January 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Matt, the specific story of your trouble with a DMCA is perfect for this kind of discussion. If you could have received a takedown request on such poorly considered "evidence" under the status quo, it should be obvious how intolerable a state of affairs would be were SOPA/PIPA to mean that nobody is owed even the courtesy of a notice before a site is taken down and there's no option for getting it back beyond a countersuit.
posted by weston at 10:51 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you want to get around the wikipedia blackout and you're running a plugin such as adblock, then disable this script. http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special:BannerController&cache=/cn.js&303-4

Would this be illegal in the eyes of SOPA?
posted by neversummer at 10:54 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the Wikipedia "strike" action goes too far, IMHO.

It's going to make journalists pay attention, given that for many, it's their primary source on everything from SOPA to soap operas.
posted by holgate at 10:54 PM on January 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


OK, I made the mistake of clicking through to @herpderpedia, and I'm going to reverse my position and once more recommend a policy of forced sterilization.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:54 PM on January 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


let's not come down too hard on the kids freaking out about it.

I'm not coming down hard on them, honest, and as a former high school teacher I fully grok that this makes me a bad person, but reading those tweets I am just plain finding it impossible not to crack up laughing.

I am terribly sorry about that, I swear.
posted by mediareport at 10:55 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Signed the State Dept petition. Am horrified that Sherrod Brown (D) OH is a CO-SPONSOR of PIPA. Gah!
posted by bardophile at 10:56 PM on January 17, 2012


HOLY SHIT WIKIPEDIA IS BEING BLACKED OUT FOR 24 HOURS??!! I NEED WIKI TO DO MY HOMEWORK RIGHT NOW. EFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAAAAARRRRGGGHHHHHHH

Bwahahahahaha
posted by cmonkey at 10:57 PM on January 17, 2012


Wikipedia is going dark tomorrow...there goes my research paper, history homework, a time waster all at once, thanks Obamacare

The stupid, it burns.
posted by teraflop at 10:57 PM on January 17, 2012 [21 favorites]


My favorites are the ones where they seem to believe that if they can't score a piece of that single source of knowledge on this single tuesday night, they will not only fail a class, but DIE.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:57 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thank you for doing this in a sane yet compelling way. Compare this to Wikipedia which went way overboard.

I say this as a long-time editor there. Wikipedia's decision was done without broad consensus, because Jimmy Wales and the foundation never broadly alerted editors to its existence.

Idealogues were arguing that a blackout of medical information couldn't be bad, because Wikipedia isn't an original source, and SOPA is worse ...


Thank you for not taking Metafilter down.
posted by zippy at 10:58 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The real tragedy: Nick Drake is Today's featured article. :(
posted by mediareport at 10:58 PM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Since it appears that Engine Advocacy is down for the count, I updated the link to contact congress in the interstitial to this one at americancensorship.org.
posted by pb (staff) at 11:00 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


How long until we get an AskMe question that reads "OMG WTF IS WIKIPEDIA DOWN??? Also, sub question, I need some help with my homework due tomorrow..."
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:01 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even though I just filled out a ballot for a special election to fill a vacancy in OR-1 I still tried to call them and found out "Your representative is The Honorable Vacancy."

Sometimes I am just not smart enough for freedom.
posted by munchingzombie at 11:02 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


@herpderpedia retweeting some of the angriest student rants

Thanks. Now I look like that 'MY HEAD IS FULL OF FUUUUU' gif from 4chan.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:06 PM on January 17, 2012


lol, 4chan is blacked out. Just the txt of course.
posted by neversummer at 11:07 PM on January 17, 2012 [4 favorites]



Is the "Send Your Letter" button not working for anyone else?


Yeah, I got a weird script error dialog and the browser (FF) crashed. Took a long time to load the error message, to get the browser to close, and for XP to close down.

The message: Pick up the phone.

On preview, thanks pb.
posted by wallabear at 11:08 PM on January 17, 2012


"...and

@fakewikipedia : Bringing you FACTS while the real Wikipedia is blacked out. [citation needed]
"

That one's pretty good.



"Francis Bacon (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) is best known for being the inventor of bacon"

Ten thousand essays are going to include this sentence tomorrow.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:08 PM on January 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Idealogues were arguing that a blackout of medical information couldn't be bad, because Wikipedia isn't an original source, and SOPA is worse ...

I'm honestly trying to think of a realistic scenario in which someone could be hurt (or even seriously inconvenienced) because Wikipedia was down for 24 hours, and I just can't. I'm sorry, but Google and Britannica.com still exist, WebMD still exists, and any number of other articles on "medical information" are still available all over the internet.

Doctors and hospitals also still exist... or so I hear. I can't check because Wikipedia is down.
posted by vorfeed at 11:09 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is well and gracefully done and I appreciate it. Emails have duly been sent off to my representative; given past experience with emails, letters and phone calls, in about two months I should be getting a vague, more or less polite letter that addresses exactly nothing as he will have long since voted happily for SOPA with all joy. Still, I tried.
posted by mygothlaundry at 11:11 PM on January 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


lol, 4chan is blacked out. Just the txt of course.

Actually, they're not blacking out any of the "candyasses".
posted by philip-random at 11:13 PM on January 17, 2012


I'm honestly trying to think of a realistic scenario in which someone could be hurt (or even seriously inconvenienced) because Wikipedia was down for 24 hours, and I just can't. I'm sorry, but Google and Britannica.com still exist, WebMD still exists, and any number of other articles on "medical information" are still available all over the internet.

When you're sic you often have less energy to do things. And you may not be a champion researcher to start with. So you go with the source you know, and for many, that will be Wikipedia.

Add on that you may be trying to hold down more than one job, and have marginal or no health insurance ... well, your energy budget for looking things up is even smaller

Put another way, to argue that Wikipedia disappearing for a day won't cause harm is the same as saying Wikipedia provides no benefit in that day by existing.
posted by zippy at 11:22 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


When you're sic

also, I want this on my tombstone

posted by zippy at 11:23 PM on January 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I know this is a kind of the obvious crack, but I'm going to say it anyway: Wikipedia going dark for a day will have the same deleterious effect on human knowledge as an Olive Garden embargo would would have on Italian cuisine.
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:29 PM on January 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


Speaking of blackouts, China won't allow access to the US State Department page. This is what the future looks like if SOPA/PIPA is implemented.
posted by arcticseal at 11:32 PM on January 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


axe grindey time: my post was deleted. apparently this metatalk thread is a better place for it? here's a link to the greasemonkey script which will bypass the wikipedia blackout.
posted by thewalrus at 11:37 PM on January 17, 2012


Read the whole thread and just now habitually tried looking something up on Wikipedia. *headdesk*
posted by littlesq at 11:39 PM on January 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


That pastebin link has been viewed 41 times which sort of gave us the raised eyebrow. We are assuming that you didn't upload it yourself, but a single link to an unknown-sourced script is really not going to make a decent FPP. Folks can just disable javascript or view the mobile site.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:39 PM on January 17, 2012


Meant to add that I completely support the blackout/interstitial. Well done Matt and the team!
posted by arcticseal at 11:42 PM on January 17, 2012


Nicely implemented, folks. Thanks!
posted by deborah at 11:48 PM on January 17, 2012


in about two months I should be getting a vague, more or less polite letter that addresses exactly nothing as he will have long since voted happily for SOPA with all joy

There's also the always entertainingly clueless fund-raising and stumping letters you get after you get added to their database of "supporters" with absolutely no awareness of why you wrote to them in the first place.

You stupid, stupid sub-human glad-handing meatsack with your stupid, stupid shiny plastic hair and pants full of fuck! I originally wrote to you because you fucked up badly enough to get my apathetic slacker ass to write you a firm, polite if not outright angry letter to ask you what the fuck was wrong with you.
posted by loquacious at 11:48 PM on January 17, 2012 [25 favorites]


Signed the petition for us folks who are living outside the states.
I'm grateful and proud to see Metafilter help spread the word on SOPA!
posted by Bron-Y-Aur at 11:50 PM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


You stupid, stupid sub-human glad-handing meatsack with your stupid, stupid shiny plastic hair and pants full of fuck!

Negative. I am a meat popsicle.
posted by thewalrus at 11:53 PM on January 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Hey Internet, former senator (and current CEO of the MPAA) Chris Dodd is really mad at you. Like Skeletor pissed at He-Man mad:

"...It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.

A so-called "blackout" is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals...
"

Only corporations and their paid Representatives can abuse their power in a responsible manner. It's irresponsible and a disservice when you do it.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:58 PM on January 17, 2012 [30 favorites]


Chris Dodd accuses people of becoming corporate pawns? My hypocrite-o-meter is now pegged at 11.
posted by thewalrus at 12:04 AM on January 18, 2012 [15 favorites]


lol, 4chan is blacked out. Just the txt of course.

No worries. Still plenty of boobies over there.
posted by Skygazer at 12:05 AM on January 18, 2012


There is nothing wrong with fuckful pants!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:05 AM on January 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


Chris Dodd can go fuck himself until he turns into a non-orientable surface.
posted by loquacious at 12:06 AM on January 18, 2012 [27 favorites]


And Chris Dodd was so proud of his father, who was a prosecutor at Nuremberg. Now he's the successor to Jack Valenti, who compared the VCR to the Boston Strangler.

It's a nice catch-22 they have going at the MPAA. Their content model is fucked, so they kick out at the internet, and anything that people do to directly challenge the economic basis of their lobbying power -- i.e. not buying their products -- gets accounted for as part of their total "losses from piracy", a number as spurious as the ones cited for street value in drug raids.

Hey, Doddy: the Charles Dickens Museum called. They want all the money American book pirates stole from him in the 19th century, and if you don't fucking pay up, you don't get to watch the BBC adaptation on Masterpiece Classic.
posted by holgate at 12:11 AM on January 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Am I the only one who keeps hearing John Oliver from the Bugle/Daily Show saying "Oh PIPA!" in my head?
posted by arcticseal at 12:12 AM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Negative. I am a meat popsicle.

I thought you were the eggman.
posted by Talez at 12:13 AM on January 18, 2012


lol, 4chan is blacked out. Just the txt of course.

Actually, they're not blacking out any of the "candyasses".


What is a candy ... you know what? Never mind. I have a feeling I'm better off not knowing.
posted by brina at 12:19 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just realized the downside of the Wikipedia blackout.

Over the next few hours, all those idiots on Twitter who think Wikipedia has been "shut down by the government" will figure out how to disable Javascript and bypass the blackout. Then they'll spend the rest of the day congratulating each other on having defeated SOPA.

ಠ_ಠ
posted by teraflop at 12:21 AM on January 18, 2012 [13 favorites]


Am I the only one who keeps hearing John Oliver from the Bugle/Daily Show saying "Oh PIPA!" in my head?

Yes, though better to think of Pippa Middleton and her arse than Piper Palin and her mother.
posted by holgate at 12:21 AM on January 18, 2012


Chris Dodd can go fuck himself until he turns into a non-orientable surface.

I'm stealing this.
posted by arcticseal at 12:34 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.

I have been unsuccessfully trying to discover what facts have been skewed, intentionally or unintentionally. Apparently this information doesn't come with Dodd's press release. I'd think that if it's so clear that facts are being *intentionally* distorted, it wouldn't be too big of a challenge to address some specific misconceptions, rather than just implying that there's a problem that he can't seem to actually explain.

Curious indeed.
posted by weston at 12:36 AM on January 18, 2012


Trending on Twitter:

factswithoutwikipedia

Imagine A World Without Free Knowledge
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:52 AM on January 18, 2012


Over at TheOatmeal.com.
posted by Skygazer at 1:07 AM on January 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


Metatalk works fine on my ancient Android G1 phone (version 1.6!)
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:25 AM on January 18, 2012


I'm stealing this.

Hey!

See, this is why I fully support SOPA and PIPA. People keep bitin' my rhymes.
posted by loquacious at 1:30 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Another tale from the founder of Veoh about how the DMCA was used to SLAPP them out of existence.

The world would be a better place if some of those @FakeWikipedia facts weren't so fake...
Fact: Michael Bay initially planned to direct ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ in accordance with the Dogme 95 manifesto.
posted by titus-g at 1:33 AM on January 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


Thanks very much for doing this, Matt.
posted by ukdanae at 1:33 AM on January 18, 2012


"Sopa" translates literally to "piece of garbage" in Swedish.
posted by springload at 1:35 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


ZenHabits.net has an elegant, minimal argument.
posted by ZeusHumms at 1:37 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thank you not only for doing the sign, but posting your stories about the DCMA. I know there are a lot of them out there, but so much of the discussion is in hypotheticals (obviously, since SOPA/PIPA isn't enacted) that it's sometimes hard to understand the real way that these laws work. The combination of detection via computational methods and guilty-until-proven-innocent enforcement would be broken no matter the context. In a pipe dream universe, perhaps after stopping these laws from passing, we could make every senator and congressperson take and pass that Stanford open course on machine learning.
posted by Schismatic at 1:54 AM on January 18, 2012


so I'm a foreigner living in the USA: I always assume that means I have no business 'contacting my congressperson' etc, as I don't actually vote. Should I just go with the 'not in the USA' option?
posted by jacalata at 1:57 AM on January 18, 2012


Good implementation Matt and thanks for sharing the story.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:22 AM on January 18, 2012


Interestingly, the author of SOPA, Lamar Smith, is himself guilty of copyright infringement.
posted by essexjan at 2:38 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now I'm double against it!

But twitter is for it, I'm so confused!
posted by Ad hominem at 2:42 AM on January 18, 2012


My bad, they aren't pro-sopa, they are anti-protest.

Carry on tweeting.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:43 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a serious question - my impression was that online petitions don't actually have much effect and are not taken seriously. Am I wrong?
(I signed this one, fwiw.)
posted by Omnomnom at 2:52 AM on January 18, 2012


Yet, here I am, contemplating which sopa to get. Sopa de ajo or sopa de calliente? It's cold, I think I'll go with the spiciness.

Stupid law, interfering with the greatness of Spanish soup. Living overseas, I'll be writing the state dept, and the congressman where my mail goes in Illinois. Thanks for doing this Matt, and thanks for letting us know about what happened this summer. And, while we're at it, thanks for fighting for the site.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:54 AM on January 18, 2012


Thank you. I'd say this was done just right.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:11 AM on January 18, 2012


I don't understand the people on twitter who are asking why Wikipedia was "shut down". It says so right THERE on the page that comes up when you try to access an article. I'd assume these people were incapable of reading, but then they were trying to get to Wiki where there are, you know, written things... that are meant to be... read... So yes, these tweets, they confuzzle me.

(My favorite tweet: "I think Wikipedia planned this shit." No, really? Sounds like a conspiracy! Wikimedia Foundation: Oh noes! They're on to us!)
posted by Wonton Cruelty at 3:23 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, the selfish and clueless fuckwits that would complain about Wikipedia being down after failing to read the text presented are probably also the same exact people that will never donate money to Wikipedia - and are also probably the same morons that just copy/paste Wikipedia entries for school homework or essays without ever even reading more than the title of the article - so fuck 'em.

If anything this just helped me understand why teachers and professors would want to ban Wikipedia citations, if only because it made students work more for their coursework.
posted by loquacious at 3:31 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like the interstitial. Thanks.
posted by OmieWise at 3:43 AM on January 18, 2012


If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.
-- Thomas Jefferson
posted by Acey at 3:49 AM on January 18, 2012 [29 favorites]


I support this message.
posted by valkane at 3:52 AM on January 18, 2012


Is there anything a North American Canadian older brother can do to help with the cause?
posted by Fizz at 3:56 AM on January 18, 2012


Just noticed PB post on what to do if outside of the US. Apologies.
posted by Fizz at 3:57 AM on January 18, 2012


Am I the only one who keeps hearing John Oliver from the Bugle/Daily Show saying "Oh PIPA!" in my head?

I actually said that out loud in jest and my dear wife, who is mostly unaware of such memes, asked me if I was reading about Pippi Longstocking, a cartoon character about whom I am blissfully unaware of, prompting me to look it up on Wikipedia, which in turn.... actually got a lot of work done until that point, is what I'm sayin'.
posted by the cydonian at 3:59 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thank you, Matt. Nicely done.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:04 AM on January 18, 2012


Yup, cheers Matt. Well said, and well done.
posted by Ahab at 4:14 AM on January 18, 2012


The song that mathowie defended against Sony's spurious DMCA claim is beautiful. Thank you for your efforts against it--and for speaking out against this legislation that would make claims like it more damaging and prevalent.
posted by beryllium at 4:28 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perfect. Thank you for making it so easy.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:29 AM on January 18, 2012


My son just suggested that we consider moving to England if SOPA/PIPA are enacted, so he would still have access to his favorite sites. I had to explain to him the problems with his proposition. Thanks, Matt, for taking action, and to all who've posted so much helpful info. The DMCA stories have been particularly helpful.
posted by theplotchickens at 4:45 AM on January 18, 2012


Thanks for doing this. It's a bad law, and I worry about the effects of even a watered down version. I clicked on the "contact your congressperson" link, and hopefully enough other people do so for there to be an impact.
posted by Forktine at 4:52 AM on January 18, 2012


This blackout looks best in Internet Explorer 6 at 1024 x 768.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:55 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


looks best in gulag
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:57 AM on January 18, 2012


Thank you for making your stance known without punishing the people using Metafilter -- many, if not most, of whom already oppose this proposed law.

And remember: if you are a US citizen opposed to this, you must call your seated rep and senators, you must tell them that you oppose this bill, and that you will *not* vote for them, ever again, if they vote for it.

And, if they do, you must carry out that threat. You don't have the money to fight this, but they don't yet count money in elections. If you and those in your area make enough calls, your congressional reps will get scared.

Do not sign an internet petition. Do not write a heated blog post. Do not black out your site. Do none of these things -- nor anything else -- unless you have made those phone calls. Those things mean nothing to Congress.

Votes do.
posted by eriko at 5:08 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks Matt! And Jessamyn & pb. I feel good about how this is all working out today.
posted by cashman at 5:10 AM on January 18, 2012


Oh, and if you are not a US citizen? Please don't go calling the House and Senate. Really, that's the sort of thing that gets this discredited. I'm sure you have equally bad legislation in the works, go find it and fight that, but this battle is one we have to fight alone.
posted by eriko at 5:11 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


but this battle is one we have to fight alone.

Heh.
posted by knapah at 5:13 AM on January 18, 2012


I'd been following the "how is MeFi going to protest SOPA" thread(s) and think that this is a really good solution.
posted by gauche at 5:14 AM on January 18, 2012


I didn't want to waste money on lawyer time by filing a counterclaim and prolonging the fight so ...

I am saddened that you thought a lawyer is required for a DMCA counter notice in a clear case like yours. DMCA counterclaims are effective and easy. In some cases, baseless takedown notices have been punished with money damages.
posted by exogenous at 5:14 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've signed several petitions this morning. Thanks for a great write-up, Matt.

DOWN WITH SOPA and PIPA!
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 5:18 AM on January 18, 2012


Unfortunately, one of the 2 bills will pass and become the law of the land. If there is one thing we should have learned by now it is that our opinions don't matter when big business is in the mood.
posted by RedShrek at 5:19 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I AM HERE FOR MY FREE SOPAPILLA

wait what
posted by indubitable at 5:22 AM on January 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


Strongly support this action, wrote my congresscritters again just because . . . there are people I've given money to (not necessarily my own reps) in the past supporting this shit (looking at YOU Patrick Leahy), so that works wonders: not another dime if you vote for this shit is music they have to hear.

Yay Metafilter. Internet users unite! You have nothing to lose but your chains!
posted by spitbull at 5:23 AM on January 18, 2012


Thank you Matt, both for doing this and for educating me on what this is all about.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:27 AM on January 18, 2012


I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore.
posted by tommasz at 5:30 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hey, I wrote the letters! I'm already on stumping email lists for my Rep and Senators. Yes, they lobby for moar taters in school lunches. Cuz Maine is a tater state, dontchyaknow?

Good job!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:36 AM on January 18, 2012


Hey....I can access wikipedia just fine on my phone....
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:39 AM on January 18, 2012

It’s behavior like Chris Dodd’s that makes it rational not only to be cynical about our political culture, but outright jaded. What makes Dodd’s shilling for this censorship law so galling is that, during the 2008 presidential campaign, he postured as the candidate who would devote himself first and foremost to defending core Constitutional freedoms and civil liberties. ...

Furthermore, one of the bill’s chief Senate sponsors is a liberal Democrat from Vermont, Pat Leahy, who during the Bush years flamboyantly depicted himself as a stalwart defender of Constitutional liberties — and whose “top 3 campaign contribution sources [are] lawyers, entertainment industry, lobbyists.” Those industries are, of course, also major donors to Leahy’s House GOP counterpart. ...

In the face of pervasive, sleazy conduct like this, it’s not only tempting to be jaded about partisan activism: it’s rational. Watching Chris Dodd and Pat Leahy join equally compromised Republicans in crusading for an Internet censorship bill — not even out of sincerely held authoritarian impulses but just base, corrupted subservience to industry — reveals most of what one needs to know about how the political class functions and who owns and controls it.*
posted by Trurl at 5:39 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I checked on Pro Publica, and my more-reactionary senator has been gung-ho about PIPA, but starting last week he has been voicing second thoughts due, he says, from concerns from constituents about "unintended consequences." Call your Congresscritters, USians. We're making a difference.

(The intern at Senator Reactionary's office was very nice when I called. And you don't have to have an eloquent defense of your position. I just said "I'm calling to ask Senator Reactionary to stop supporting PIPA." And the nice intern took my address and said he's from the same town as me and knows my street, and then I hung up. It took three minutes.)
posted by craichead at 5:44 AM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


They didn't turn off the mobile site, from what I've read on Twitter, St. Alia.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:54 AM on January 18, 2012


someone is going to write/send/phone a thing to the Idaho delegation and are gathering opinions on it before they do

they just sent it to me: this

they wanted to know what i thought of it but i would like to get other opinions before i give them my verdict. personally i think the whole single-issue bit is narrow but they are hot on this, so.
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:55 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I didn't want to waste money on lawyer time by filing a counterclaim

Slightly off-topic: are there no Oregon-based attorney MeFites to do MeFi pro-bono work?

Just think of the thrill when posting and commenting if your user name was followed by the yellow box-text: "general counsel".
posted by the quidnunc kid at 6:06 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


While you're on the phone with your congressman, you might also want to complain about the NDAA.
posted by empath at 6:09 AM on January 18, 2012


Trying to e-mail my congressfolk from Wikipedia's links and the senate.gov website is throwing Jrun errors, which hopefully means that people are bombarding them with e-mail. Got 2 out of 3 fired off, though.
posted by jquinby at 6:23 AM on January 18, 2012


I asked mine, Jim Moran, if he could legalize online poker while hes at it, but since his son was arrested for running an illegal poker game he got worried I was taking the piss and hung up on me.

this post contains only a single true fact, can u guess what it is?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:27 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


website is throwing Jrun errors

*twitch*
posted by cmonkey at 6:27 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I managed to talk one of my clients into doing something.
posted by Mick at 6:30 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Click away doesn't work.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 6:31 AM on January 18, 2012


if you are not a US citizen? Please don't go calling the House and Senate.

The worst part of this is having to sit on our hands while US congresscritters merrily break a fundamental thing we all depend on. This is doubly true as a Canadian (or central American), as DNS allocations are done by Americans for us. SOPA/PIPA would affect us directly, but we have no voice in the process.

As Canadians, we help in the following ways:
Openmedia.ca: Their anti-SOPA petition to the PM is here. If you only want to do one thing, do this. OpenMedia were instrumental in changing the government's mind on usage-based billing Internet billing last year.

Michael Geist suggests contacting your MP and, for the more committed, contacting the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who are currently looking for public comment on APEC IP negotiations. You can get details here.
posted by bonehead at 6:34 AM on January 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


I have juse rung both of my senators, using craichead's nice little script. For good measure I made congressional calls also. That was easy!
posted by DarlingBri at 6:35 AM on January 18, 2012


Thanks Matt. You provided that last little bit of encouragement I needed to get off my butt and write to congress about this (OK, I did it sitting down, it was just too easy. I hope everyone does it today)
posted by caddis at 6:40 AM on January 18, 2012


The worst part of this is having to sit on our hands while US congresscritters merrily break a fundamental thing we all depend on.

As a resident of the District of Columbia, I can definitely identify with this feeling.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:45 AM on January 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


I emailed my representatives and told them that censorship was for Nazis and Communists, because history class tells me there's nothing America hates more.

So I hope the American flags in their offices spontaneously combust when they vote for this shit.
posted by edguardo at 6:53 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I live in NYC, and my senators are PIPA co-sponsors.

I pretty much want to throw bricks through windows at this point.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 7:06 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't easily find a list of which of my senators/reps are for this piece of trash.
posted by desjardins at 7:06 AM on January 18, 2012


Good one, Matt. Thanks.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:06 AM on January 18, 2012


Ironically, I just tried to read the NYT article on the blackout, but got a message telling me I'd used up all my free articles for the months. So the page blacked out.
posted by anastasiav at 7:07 AM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Just think of the thrill when posting and commenting if your user name was followed by the yellow box-text: "general counsel".

I would like to request "ensign". Or maybe "hospitality director". Ooh, ooh, "sawbones".
posted by middleclasstool at 7:10 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am not freaking out about the kids freaking out about Wikipedia being down. I am freaking out about the kids who a) apparently know of literally no other way or venue to do Internet research; b) cannot be arsed to push the button that explains why it is blacked out.

Seconding this; I listen to NPR's "The Takeaway" in the morning, and they were soliciting calls from the public with their answers to the question "what will YOU be using to look up information since Wikipedia will be down all day today?" I was very, very tempted to call and give the answer "I'm going to be using THE ENTIRE REST OF THE INTERNET."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:17 AM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


I can't easily find a list of which of my senators/reps are for this piece of trash.

desjardins: Enter your address, or for RI, just your state, at SOPA Track. You will get a list of your specific representatives with contact details.

Everyone: Do not just write. CALL YOUR SENATORS. You call counts more than your email!
posted by DarlingBri at 7:17 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I live in NYC, and my senators are PIPA co-sponsors.

I'm probably going to vote for a republican because I hate Charles Schumer that much. Charles Schumer is literally the worst representative ever and has actually suspended meeting with his constituents about SOPA because he doesn't like what they have to say.
posted by fuq at 7:18 AM on January 18, 2012


I was stuck in a Brazil/Catch-22 situation a little over a year ago due to a five year old song in MetaFilter Music that shared a filename with a leaked (November 2010) unreleased Michael Jackson song. Sony music group employed a dumb simple bot called "Web Sheriff" that crawled the web looking for filename matches and when found, alerted IP range owners of infringing works being offered by their customers. I got slapped with a 30 day ultimatum to immediately take down the uploaded song on MeFi Music or find my hosting account closed and banned, and all of MetaFilter erased in the process.

What do you think would have happened if you had simply renamed the file and claimed to have complied with the takedown request?
posted by flabdablet at 7:19 AM on January 18, 2012


desjardins: I found this website helpful.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:19 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nicely done Matt!
posted by bukvich at 7:22 AM on January 18, 2012


Thanks so much for doing this, Matt. I think the popup strikes the perfect balance of being informative and not hurting the site.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:24 AM on January 18, 2012


If you're having trouble contacting your Senator/Representative's via the forms on their website, give their office a call. We just got the heads-up that "extreme" traffic volumes are starting to effect performance, which presumably could mean timeouts for some users.
posted by schmod at 7:25 AM on January 18, 2012


Another thought: if as many online writers as possible were to refer to this particular piece of shit as "the Great Firewall of America" instead of YABA*, that might generate a bit more support from the non-technical public. Sure, it's not quite the same thing but the necessary countermeasures would pretty much identical.

*yet another bloody acronym
posted by flabdablet at 7:28 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I live in NYC, and my senators are PIPA co-sponsors.

Looks like there's a protest at Chuck Schumer's today:
"That's what the almost-21,000-strong group NY Tech Meetup fears could happen if so-called SOPA and PIPA legislation gets passed. The group is holding an emergency protest outside of the offices of Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who co-sponsored the Senate bill, at 780 Third Ave. from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday in a bid to defeat the legislation."
Also his Twitter is getting mighty defensive about this:

"It’s absurd to suggest Sen Schumer, who led charge against assault on net neutrality, supports internet censorship-he unequivocally does not"
posted by griphus at 7:28 AM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


if you are not a US citizen? Please don't go calling the House and Senate.

Actually, a couple of people I know and trust are saying that if you are not a US Citizen, it would be perfectly appropriate for you to make your feelings known to the US State Department, and to make your concerns known to whatever flavor of local representative you have, who can then encourage your government to possibly bring it up with the US.

I don't know how effective that may be, but it would be far more effective than calling legislators that you cannot vote for.

And, in that vein, US Citizens calling all of our legislators are also just being annoying. Call your legislators, and arguably, the chair of the committees that are marking them up. I'm torn on calling legislative leaders here. Trying to call all of them, when most won't care about your vote, just ties up the lines from those who do vote for them.

Finally: Set a reminder in your calendar to do this next week as well, after the protest has faded.
posted by eriko at 7:29 AM on January 18, 2012


I live in NYC, and my senators are PIPA co-sponsors.

Then very much make your opinion known -- and how it will directly affect your willingness to support their reelection campaign.

A lovely way for a bill to die hard is for sponsors to start removing their names.
posted by eriko at 7:30 AM on January 18, 2012


Cheers, Mathowie, and. . .

I felt this issue was important enough to warrant drawing as many eyeballs as possible to it, without negatively affecting the utility of what we have here

thanks for discussing how the site'd be affected rather than how it'd be "impacted". See, kids, it can be done, even on the Internet.

a lot of libraries and librarians [are] participating including the Syracuse iSchool. . .

Alma mater! Good on Liz Liddy and the gang.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:33 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


...and how it will directly affect your willingness to support their reelection campaign.

Man I'd feel a lot more confident about what that could do if we weren't living in a city where the mayor quite literally bought himself a third term in office.
posted by griphus at 7:33 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Looks like there's a protest at Chuck Schumer's today:

Oh, well, I'm going to go down to Schumer's office today. Thanks for the word up griphus.

Maybe if we all pool our money we can buy some of Chuck Schumer's attention.
posted by fuq at 7:37 AM on January 18, 2012


FWIW, all the blackouts are definitely getting the information out. Many of my more politically uninformed and apathetic Facebook friends (you know, those people you knew from elementary school and would have forgotten all about if they hadn't found you? The ones who mostly post about basketball and the weather?) are complaining about SOPA and PIPA, and not just the blackouts.
posted by dilettante at 7:38 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


eriko: "And remember: if you are a US citizen opposed to this, you must call your seated rep and senators, you must tell them that you oppose this bill, and that you will *not* vote for them, ever again, if they vote for it."

That's where I get stuck. I never voted for my soi-disant representatives in Congress in the first place. I can't foresee any circumstance in which I would vote for any of them, or their hand-picked replacements as I recently had the displeasure of doing.

I kvetch to them enough that they know who I am. They also know I don't matter because the letter next to my name in the database is the wrong one. They know they can count on 80% of the voters in my precinct and county voting for their party. They know they can count on that level of support regardless of what laws they pass. Their only reelection danger is primary challengers making even more extreme promises than they do.

The most infuriating thing, of course, is that none of the people involved, not the big media conglomerates, not the Senators or Congressmen, and especially not the journalists or the public at large, appear to understand how the Internet even works or have apparently ever heard of John Gilmore.

Enacting either of these laws isn't going to do anything but permanently topple America as a top-tier Internet power and put the whole thing completely out of our hands forever. The ITU is itching to step in. The Europeans are hard at work to "internationalize" Internet governance by giving governments a veto over ICANN. This is not the time to waver in support of freedom on the Internet.

Not to mention the genie is out of the bottle at this point. People are going to find ways to get around any controls put in place. Ad-hoc wireless networks will spring up in densely populated areas. Hell, radio hams could have a completely separate international network up and running in a week or two if they put their minds to it. It scares the hell out of me that most of the people involved in crafting this legislation and making this decision just have no idea at all how any of it works. I wonder if some of them can even use a computer.

Sorry, I guess I'm just grumpy today. It was all going to be so bright and shiny and beautiful when we envisioned it twenty years ago. Sure we were naive, but I didn't really expect it to turn out this bad.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:41 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's probably important to note that most of the major news companies are owned by media conglomerates and have a vested interest in this bill on the other side of the issue.
posted by empath at 7:42 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


SOPA and PIPA are standard laws, right? They both have to be passed, reconciled in committee, sent to Obama for his "Barack Obama" to really become law, yes?
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:45 AM on January 18, 2012


Retweeting Wikipedia black out reactions like crazy, herpderpedia
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:46 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


littlesq: Read the whole thread and just now habitually tried looking something up on Wikipedia. *headdesk*

Yeah, when I was emailing my congresspeople, I wanted to refer to copyright law, so I went into Google and entered "copyright clause constitution" and clicked on the first link...which was Wikipedia. And the second Google link, and the fourth and fifth, were all Wikipedia, too. The 2nd one was a JSTOR that I have no access to read, and the 6th was some copypasta spam site. Which brings up the problem that, if Wikipedia, pay-sites, and spam sites are Google's best recommendations for information, then what else is there on the internet to be saving from SOPA/PIPA?
posted by AzraelBrown at 7:49 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just in case people don't know how to do this:

If you have chrome, go to 'under the hood', javascript, manage exceptions. Set 'en.wikipedia.org' to 'block'.

You now have wikipedia back.

You're welcome.
posted by empath at 7:49 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wikipedia is working for me, on my iPhone. Is the blackout over?
posted by jayder at 7:49 AM on January 18, 2012


Retweeting Wikipedia black out reactions like crazy, herpderpedia

OMG that's beautiful.
posted by empath at 7:50 AM on January 18, 2012


Mafalda says SOPA NO!
posted by Tom-B at 7:51 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


jayder, the mobile site is not being blocked.
posted by Frayed Knot at 7:51 AM on January 18, 2012


Well said, Numbah One.
posted by Danf at 7:52 AM on January 18, 2012


ZeusHumms: "Retweeting Wikipedia black out reactions like crazy, herpderpedia"

Jesus wept.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:52 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


twitter is the most petit-bourgeois thing
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:52 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Matt misstated the details of his DMCA case. He makes it seem like the DMCA notice put MeFi in imminent peril of disconnection from the net. It was not. The 30 day deadline clock stopped ticking when he filed the DMCA counterclaim. That is how the DMCA works, it is intended to give individuals a defense without resorting to lawyers. An email will suffice.

I know this to be a fact because I have filed a successful DMCA claim myself. The DMCA works to protect the little guy too. It allowed me to recover my blog from a malicious ISP. Without the DMCA, I would have needed to spend tens of thousands on dollars of lawyer's fees, but all I had to do was send an email and make a few phone calls.

I got in a dispute with my blog's ISP, run by that asshole Dave Winer. I criticized Winer's incompetence when his entire Radio Userland server with thousands of blogs (including mine) went offline for a week because he had failed to install a RedHat Linux security patch from 18 months prior. Winer locked me out of my blog, a breach of contract. I started a new one. But I could not get Winer to delete the old blog. In direct email discussions, it became obvious this was Winer's usual petty vindictiveness. My old blog had huge Google Pagerank, the old dead blog would always outrank my new one. Winer was deliberately, maliciously diverting traffic from my new blog. My new blog wasn't even on the first page of Google results, even other sites' links to my old stories outranked my new site, and always would until I could get the old blog removed.

Then I recalled, I had deliberately put a copyright notice on my blog, replacing the CC license statement that Radio Userland software used as a default. Winer unilaterally breached my contract with Radio Userland, and besides, I had spent months trying to get him to take it down, so now the 1 year contract was over. Now Winer was reproducing my copyrighted material without permission. Lacking any other options, I filed a DMCA Notice on Winer and Radio Userland, Inc. Winer founded the "Chilling Effects" website, archiving DMCA notices he objected to. So I just searched around the site he established to defend against DMCA notices, grabbed some DMCA boilerplate text from a successful notice filed by Dow Chemical, and substituted my own information. Oh the irony.

Of course Winer ignored the notice. I emailed the complaint up the chain to his rack space hosting provider, which also ignored it. I walked it further up the chain, which was difficult since it was Cable & Wireless, in the UK. But C&W finally admitted I had them in a corner. Winer had failed to respond as required, the backbone segment also failed to respond, depriving them of the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA. C&W would be financially liable for Winer's malicious actions if they didn't take action themselves. The 30 day deadline was up. C&W reluctantly agreed that they would be required to take down the entire rackspace provider, if they couldn't get them to pull the plug on Winer's server, containing my blog.

So the pressure was on, from C&W down to the rackspace company, to get Winer to delete the server directory with my blog. He still refused to acknowledge the existence of the DMCA action, which put him at odds with everyone on up to a multinational telecom corp. C&W's lawyer was fed up with Winer's intransigence. He issued the order to the rackspace company, pull the ethernet plug out of Winer's server, or they would pull the plug on the OC3s they provided. The lawyer gave me the phone number of the tech who would be responsible for pulling Winer's plug. I phoned him up. I asked him if he clearly understood what he had to do, and how Winer would be responsible for his own downfall, all the blogs he was hosting would go offline because he wouldn't delete mine. The tech said he had Winer's emergency phone number, let him make a call and explain the situation. I got a call back in about 10 minutes, Winer deleted my blog. I emailed C&W's lawyer and said I was satisfied. Over then next month, my new blog's pagerank rapidly climbed to the same rank as my old blog.

So I will insist that the DMCA can be used for good purposes, for defending the little guy's interests against intransigent companies that refuse to acknowledge those rights. That's what it was intended to do. Sure it can be abused by big corporations, so the defenses available to the little guy are built into the law too. Matt even used them himself, he noted how he filed a successful DMCA counterclaim. It may have been inconvenient for Matt to have to write a few emails, but that is the price we all pay, so that people like me have the right to defend our intellectual property without having to spend tens of thousands of dollars on IP Rights attorneys and and spending years suing in Federal District Courts.

So consider this, Matt: what if you were on the other side of this battle? What if someone scraped MeFi and duplicated the site in its entirety, putting it online to make money off advertisers? Your site bears a copyright notice. Would it be better for you to write an email to file a DMCA notice, and get the ersatz MeFi taken down? Or would you rather spend your life savings on a Federal Court battle?
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:52 AM on January 18, 2012 [11 favorites]


Wikipedia is working for me, on my iPhone. Is the blackout over?

No, when Wikipedia set up their blackout, they left a few backdoors for those who really needed them. One of them was the mobile site, http://en.m.wikipedia.org. Turning off Javascript is another.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:53 AM on January 18, 2012


Honestly & realistically: will contacting your reps without a fat campaign check in hand achieve anything but maybe a polite form letter?
posted by dr_dank at 8:04 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Charlie, I have to say, when you tell that story to people to convince them of how great the DMCA is, you might want to edit it a little bit so that you sound a bit more actually-in-the-right. It's not exactly as persuasive as you seem to think it is. And that's me using the most polite way I can find to describe how you come off, if you get my drift.
posted by gracedissolved at 8:07 AM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Wnen you contact your reps, you might want to hit 'em with this (all emphasis added):

From the EFF link above:
[S]ocial media sites like Facebook or YouTube -— basically any site with user generated content —- would have to police their own sites, forcing huge liability costs onto countless Internet companies.

This is exactly why venture capitalists have said en masse they won’t invest in online startups if PIPA and SOPA pass.

The "'have said en masse" link leads to a turgidly written 28-page PDF at Booz & Co.; however, here are relevant excerpts from the Executive Summary:
It is estimated that the Internet has represented 3.4 percent of global gross domestic product (GDP) and 21 percent of GDP growth in mature countries over the past five years.

[F]urther investment will be needed to support the creation of new technologies in social media, mobility, cloud computing, and the streaming of video and audio content.

The companies at the heart of these innovations depend heavily on investment from angel investors and venture capitalists [who] invest an estimated US$20 billion and $23 billion, respectively, into early-stage companies in the U.S. annually. . .

[W]e surveyed 189 U.S. accredited angel investors and interviewed 24 prominent venture capitalists.

[O]ur principal findings:
  • Increasing liability for content providers would have a greater negative impact on early-stage investment than would a weak economy and an increased competitive environment combined.
  • Holding DCIs liable for the content uploaded by users would. . . reduce the pool of interested angel investors by 81 percent.
  • Regulations making users more easily prosecuted for copyright violations would . . . reduce the pool of interested angel investors by 48 percent.
  • A large majority of angels and venture capitalists support increased clarity in copyright law, especially if it would decrease the level of ambiguity surrounding the probability of facing a lawsuit in cases of copyright infringement, as well as the size of damages in the event of liability.
  • Fully 80 percent report being uncomfortable investing in business models in which the regulatory framework is ambiguous.
posted by Herodios at 8:08 AM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Retweeting Wikipedia black out reactions like crazy, herpderpedia

Looking at this, I'm wondering why people are using Wikipedia if they clearly can't read.
posted by empath at 8:09 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


charlie don't surf: but I didn't file a counter claim. I persued a retraction instead.

And in the case of people reproducing the site, I've used a cease and desist successfully before.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:10 AM on January 18, 2012 [12 favorites]


Looking at this, I'm wondering why people are using Wikipedia if they clearly can't read.


Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V
posted by dismas at 8:10 AM on January 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


mathowie: "Fixed now, we had a cross-domain script problem for about ten minutes so it was a black box on everything but www.metafilter.com. Should be working now, and looks like this."

Which is also blacked out. It's blacked out websites all the way down.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:11 AM on January 18, 2012


No new posts in almost 12 hours.
Is it because Reddit is down?
(I joke because I love.)
posted by charred husk at 8:11 AM on January 18, 2012


SOPA/PIPA/ACTA etc, (and for that matter, the entire fight over IP rights) are nothing less than the Enclosure Acts of our time. What's worse, they represent the Enclosure Acts of ideas.

¡No pasarán!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:11 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


ZeusHumms: "Wikipedia is working for me, on my iPhone. Is the blackout over?

No, when Wikipedia set up their blackout, they left a few backdoors for those who really needed them. One of them was the mobile site, http://en.m.wikipedia.org. Turning off Javascript is another.
"

AdBlock on Firefox also disables it, or at least it did last time I checked. They may have removed that rule.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:13 AM on January 18, 2012


twitter is the most petit-bourgeois thing

That's a good guess, but I've run the numbers, and it turns out that waking up at 5:30 AM to go jogging is actually the most petit-bourgeois thing.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 8:17 AM on January 18, 2012 [14 favorites]


No, it's an argument about yoga.
posted by The Whelk at 8:18 AM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


It was all going to be so bright and shiny and beautiful when we envisioned it twenty years ago. Sure we were naive, but I didn't really expect it to turn out this bad.

George Orwell + Philip K Dick + William Burroughs = Today.

Honestly & realistically: will contacting your reps without a fat campaign check in hand achieve anything but maybe a polite form letter?

If you loudly but politely confront them at a public event with lots of people present and live cameras from mainstream media sources and meet with with them soon after with large groups of people and then follow up with another meeting with another large group of people they might notice you.

Calling their office is also slightly productive if enough people do it that it noticeably disrupts office life enough that the Community Liaison or Director of Communications remarks about it to their boss while they are hanging out with their business friends after work.
posted by fuq at 8:18 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll add that I called Senator Bob Casey and his staffer was really defensive. I called to say I was opposing PIPA.

"Why?"

"Because it could cause some websites that I use every day to be shut down."

"Which websites?"

I actually listed Metafilter first.

Then we had a nice little discussion where I explained to him that people who manage websites, like me, shouldn't face the possibility of our websites beiing shut down just because of a piece of content on the site that we may or may not have full control over.

I kinda feel like the staffer was being a real asshole about it. In my opinion, if I'm calling to voice my opposition to a bill, that should be the end of the story. Unless he's got his head up his own butthole, he should fully know the arguments for and against a bill and it's not my job to educate him.

When I listed Google as one of the websites that would be affected, he said, "Oh, Google won't be affected at all. They just have to remove search results that break the law."

Yeah. Exactly.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:19 AM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


The other night, I got a nasty cut on my hand from the 'MEN' sign on the restroom door.
posted by jonmc at 8:20 AM on January 18, 2012


Of my bar.
posted by jonmc at 8:21 AM on January 18, 2012


fuq: "George Orwell + Philip K Dick + William Burroughs = Today. "

I'd amend that to Orwell + Dick + Burroughs = Brunner = Today, but I take your meaning.
posted by ob1quixote at 8:22 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, if I was able to talk with this guy for 5 minutes then not enough people are calling Bob Casey's office.

If you are a PA resident, please call him. You can do this by going here and filling out the form. You'll be called automatically. I have to say, the technology they've set up for this campaign is pretty awesome.

I also have to add that it's genuinely surreal that Bob Casey, a democrat, supports this bill, while Pat Toomey, a Republican, appears to oppose it. I didn't get crap from Toomey's staff member, she just cheerfully took down my name and number.

I always thought that Democrats tended to be against corporate control of speech; I guess I was wrong.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:22 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The other night, I got a nasty cut on my hand from the 'MEN' sign on the restroom door.

That sucks dude. How did that happen?
posted by fuq at 8:24 AM on January 18, 2012


Here is the list of Bill/s Co/sponsors. Things are a bit fluid so I suspect some of these folks might have pulled support already, but don't assume. And yeah there are more than a few surprises on the list (for me), Including Al Franken.

SOPA
Sponsor: Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas)
Co-sponsors: Rep. Howard Berman (D-California)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee)
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-California)
Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio)
Rep. John Conyers (D-Michigan)
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Florida)
Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-California)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia)
Rep. Timothy Griffin (R-Arkansas)
Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-Florida)
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-California)
Rep. Lee Terry (R-Nebraska)

S.968 – Protect IP Act of 2011

Sponsor: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont)
Co-sponsors: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee)
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire)
Sen. Michael F. Bennet (D-Colorado)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut)
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri)
Sen. John Boozman (R- Arkansas)
Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Maryland)
Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-Pennsylvania)
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi)
Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Delaware)
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee)
Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Illinois)
Sen. Michael B. Enzi (R-Wyoming)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California)
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota)
Sen. Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-New York)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina)
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
Sen. Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina)
Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin)
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (D-Connecticut)
Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona)
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida)
Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-New York)
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire)
Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico)
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)
posted by edgeways at 8:26 AM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


I also have to add that it's genuinely surreal that Bob Casey, a democrat, supports this bill, while Pat Toomey, a Republican, appears to oppose it.

One of my anti-SOPA tweets got RTed by a guy whose profile says "we MUST ban Sharia Law & we MUST defeat Obama in 2012". #strangebedfellows
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:27 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think it's easy to forget that this is a moment when populist sentiment (US!) and a sector of corporate interest (Google!) intersect very cleanly, allowing the anti-PIPA/SOPA movement to leverage both forms of power that are otherwise mostly at loggerheads in the contemporary US.

It's interesting that these congressmonkeys seem not to understand that they are antagonizing the most dynamic corporate sector in the economy, probably the third wealthiest sector (after defense and oil/gas), and one that has grown experienced in political conflicts and dealing with government harassment (and with defending the interests of their customers and audiences, by default, not so much if you think of us as commodities they deliver to advertisers). And they are doing so in defense of buggywhip manufacturers -- the movie and music businesses as organized on the old model of intellectual property management are in definite and epistemic decline. I can't believe the MPAA has a more powerful lobbying presence than Google and Facebook ... really? (I also wonder where Microsoft and Apple are in this fight...)

Which really makes you think it's a trojan horse that's really about increasing the security state bullshit.
posted by spitbull at 8:27 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Thanks Matt.
I was happy to see the notice so happy I showed MsGroweler and the little spawns
posted by mrgroweler at 8:31 AM on January 18, 2012


One of my anti-SOPA tweets got RTed by a guy whose profile says "we MUST ban Sharia Law & we MUST defeat Obama in 2012"

I am friends with a hardline objectivist on Facebook who has some outspoken and awful views about things. He also referred to Chris Dodd as a "slime-faced leper looter" last night.
posted by griphus at 8:32 AM on January 18, 2012


Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota)

I'm sad now.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:32 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ah yes, the right/left intersection here is interesting and has possibilities too . . .
posted by spitbull at 8:33 AM on January 18, 2012


Just called my congressman to thank him for opposing SOPA (Jim Moran, VA-08). The staffer seemed pleasantly surprised.
posted by troika at 8:34 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


And Marco Rubio just dropped co-sponsorship, to heaps of praise over at RedState....

Senator Franken, Senator Schumer, Senator Leahy, please pay attention to where the ambitious money is being placed.
posted by spitbull at 8:35 AM on January 18, 2012


fuq: That sucks dude. How did that happen?

I'm guessing there was some alcohol involved and he slipped on some liquid SOPA on the restroom floor.
posted by gman at 8:37 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


@whelk and trees

yoga and jogging are both physical activities, there is work in the physics sense involved
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:37 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


my impression was that online petitions don't actually have much effect and are not taken seriously. Am I wrong?

Without commenting on various anti-SOPA petitions specifically, I'll say that the vast majority of online petitions are ineffectual because they have one or more of the following flaws: If the petition has avoided all of these flaws, it could conceivably be effective. Otherwise, fuhgeddaboudit.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:38 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Al Franken supports SOPA? I thought he wasn't supposed to be, y'know, evil.

Have you forgotten what Al Franken did before he was a Senator?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:40 AM on January 18, 2012


I am friends with a hardline objectivist on Facebook who has some outspoken and awful views about things. He also referred to Chris Dodd as a "slime-faced leper looter" last night.

Without getting into the nastiness of name calling and my general feelings regarding Objectivisism in general, i will drop this little snippet regarding Dodd here:

In a Tuesday statement, Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)—and a former Connecticut senator—said Web sites participating in the blackout are "resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns, rather than coming to the table to find solutions to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging."

Hands up, who feels like a MeFi Pawn? Well played #1... well played.
posted by edgeways at 8:42 AM on January 18, 2012


Compare this to Wikipedia which went way overboard.

I say this as a long-time editor there.


I am a long-time Wikipedia editor and Wikimedia Foundation donor, and I fully support the Wikipedia blackout.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:42 AM on January 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


{/}
posted by edgeways at 8:42 AM on January 18, 2012


I criticized Winer's incompetence when his entire Radio Userland server with thousands of blogs (including mine) went offline for a week because he had failed to install a RedHat Linux security patch from 18 months prior.

Ha ha, that was a great tale. Nothing in your story surprised me one bit.

Wow. What a nightmare.
posted by jayder at 8:42 AM on January 18, 2012


Chris Dodd's statement is awesome. What an asshole.
posted by jayder at 8:44 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


You can find Sen. Marco Rubio's retraction of support for PIPA on his Facebook wall, and this 'between the lines' comment underneath it:

D. McKinley In plain English, "I never thought you sheep would notice but since you seem pissed enough to lynch me and destroy my electable future I have suddenly decided that this is a very very bad idea.

Please don't vote me out of office."

posted by I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984 at 8:47 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Al Franken supports SOPA? I thought he wasn't supposed to be, y'know, evil.

I suspect that is part of our political malaise. Everything and everyone is either evil or a saint and very little grey space is allowed, given that nobody is a saint everyone ends up evil. Franken? Great on many many issues, not so good on SOPA. On balance he seems like a good guy and I am happy to have him as a Senator. On this issue? Not so much.
posted by edgeways at 8:47 AM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Have you forgotten what Al Franken did before he was a Senator?

This?

I am a long-time Wikipedia editor and Wikimedia Foundation donor, and I fully support the Wikipedia blackout.


I'm on the advisory board of the Wikimedia Foundation and I fully support the blackout.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:49 AM on January 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


From the Guardian:
Tense scenes here outside the central branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, after goateed hipsters and schoolchildren clashed early this morning over access to the library's limited number of copies of the concise edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica.

....

NYPD officers are attempting to restore calm by randomly arresting uninvolved onlookers.
posted by nangar at 8:49 AM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


My senator is Ron Wyden. My name is on his list to read during his filibuster.

I have no representative because my dirtbag representative resigned in disgrace last year, and our state governor decided the process has to take months.
posted by no relation at 8:50 AM on January 18, 2012


I'm going to vote against Sen. Marco Rubio for entirely different reasons, but I guess I won't call him tomorrow.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:52 AM on January 18, 2012


Is nangar's Guardian link crashing Chrome for anyone else?
posted by griphus at 8:54 AM on January 18, 2012


@griphus: The link resolved just fine for me.
posted by I Havent Killed Anybody Since 1984 at 8:55 AM on January 18, 2012


I am once again delighted that my representative is on the right side of things, and I refuse to take responsibility for the rest of the jackasses Texas has elected. (That's the only way to maintain sanity, living here.)

My Facebook feed is predictably buzzing - I have a LOT of friends who work in various online content creation positions, and even my game friends... well, Scott said it well.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:58 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I called Ben Cardin's office (D-MD), who is listed as a PIPA co-sponsor, and was told that he withdrew his sponsorship last Friday. Staffer said that Cardin was an early sponsor "hoping the bill would be improved" but was now "too broad" and he would now be opposing. So, that's good there.
posted by zennie at 9:05 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ahem, I emailed two of my representatives (and signed many petitions) but David Vitter's page is shut down.

Guess I'll have to start phoning...
posted by vegartanipla at 9:06 AM on January 18, 2012


Uh oh, according to Gizmodo this is an ABUSE OF POWER!!!
I am once again delighted that my representative is on the right side of things, and I refuse to take responsibility for the rest of the jackasses Texas has elected. (That's the only way to maintain sanity, living here.)
Ron Paul's against SOPA! Of course, he would have been against the early funding that helped creating the internet as well....
posted by delmoi at 9:09 AM on January 18, 2012


Yeah, seems like Senator pages are flooded. I was still able to get the info from google by searching NAME and PHONE and looking at the preview.
posted by zennie at 9:09 AM on January 18, 2012


Uh oh, according to Gizmodo this is an ABUSE OF POWER!!!

Gizmodo says the MPAA is saying that which should surprise no one. Gizmodo has a very amusing home page today and a sticky link to posts about SOPA. That statement, by Chris Dodd--Chairman of the MPAA and US Senator until a year and two weeks ago--was released yesterday.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:13 AM on January 18, 2012


I like this blackout page
posted by edgeways at 9:18 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just called my Senators, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that Scott Brown came out against PIPA yesterday. Still voting for Elizabeth Warren, however. It's hilarious how anxious it made me to voice my opinions to whatever poor SOB they're making answer the phones today, but I managed to get through it without having a panic attack.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:19 AM on January 18, 2012


This is a siderail, but the song that got mathowie into trouble is by Hannah Clemens, a.k.a. No, Really, a.k.a MeFi's Own saellys, and you can download her quite good album Rust for free, legally, here.
posted by Kattullus at 9:20 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also called Rep. Chris VanHollen (D-MD) because I didn't see any evidence he was against SOPA. Staffer says he is "against the bill in its current form." Such a weasel.
posted by zennie at 9:20 AM on January 18, 2012


I for one am pleased to see Google, and many other companies, participating in democracy today by exercising their Constitutionally-protected rights to political speech.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:22 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just called my Senators, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that Scott Brown came out against PIPA yesterday.

It's kind of too bad that A) there aren't more republicans like Scott Brown and B) He got elected in such a liberal state, where we can get a better Senator. Doesn't seem to offer much hope for getting more moderate GOP Senators if he's going to lose after one term.
posted by empath at 9:22 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


One of the most troubling things about mathowie's anecdote was learning that Michael Jackson had a song called "Do You Know Where Your Children Are".
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:24 AM on January 18, 2012 [24 favorites]


I made my voice heard. (Just hope Chuckie was listening.) #schumer
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:26 AM on January 18, 2012


If you're still looking for more action to take, you can contact the House Judiciary Committee, which is where SOPA is currently. SOPA will have to get out of the Judiciary Committee to even get to a floor vote in the House, and ending it in Judiciary is the first goal here. To that end, here are a couple of actions you can take (I put much of this in the last thread, too):

1. Is your Member of Congress on the Judiciary Committee? If so, call their office and ask to speak to their staff person for Judiciary. Give that person, or their voice mail, your message about SOPA. You may want to cross-check with the ProPublica database to see what their position is first so you can either thank them or urge them to change their position, depending.

2. If not, call the Chair and the Ranking Member (highest ranking Democrat) and say that you're calling about a bill in the Judiciary Committee, and give them your message.

It's standard advocacy practice, at least in my world, to put pressure on the relevant committee leadership, and it can actually be more effective than contacting your member, if they're not on the committee.

3. Then put in calls to Senate and Congressional leadership with your message as well.
posted by gingerbeer at 9:27 AM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]

Doesn't seem to offer much hope for getting more moderate GOP Senators if he's going to lose after one term.
It's hard to imagine that a "Moderate GOP Senator", one who's used his position as a swing vote to win concessions for major banks would be more valuable then having Elizabeth Warren in the senate.
posted by delmoi at 9:28 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


mathowie: but I didn't file a counter claim. I persued a retraction instead.

And in the case of people reproducing the site, I've used a cease and desist successfully before.


Your response seeking a retraction of the DMCA claim is considered a counterclaim.

And yes, I tried issuing a C&D, it didn't work. What would you do in that case? Find a lawyer? If he was any good, he'd tell you to file a DMCA claim.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:31 AM on January 18, 2012


charlie don't surf: That was really interesting to read. Thanks for posting it. I haven't heard much from anyone trying to use the DMCA personally.

I couldn't help but get the impression that your experience seems to highlight the fact that DMCA was not created for regular people. It feels like you met with reluctance and roadblocks in your pursuit, where a giant corporation gets immediate credibility with their form letters created by shitty software.
posted by ODiV at 9:31 AM on January 18, 2012


It wouldn't be. But it would be better to have a GOP Senator like him than Jim DeMint. Scott Brown in, say North Carolina would be a lot better than Scott Brown in MA.
posted by empath at 9:31 AM on January 18, 2012


Unfortunately, Senator Scott Brown from North Carolina is about as likely as... something pretty fucking unlikely.

I'd rather the whole GOP be made up of folks like Scott Brown -- or heck, even 10-20% Despite being a lifelong (pretty much almost) Democratic voter, I'd love nothing more than to have Republicans worth voting for. A two party system might not be ideal, but it be a hell of a lot better if the two parties weren't usually a contest between "Sometimes Good" and "Almost Always Bad."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:36 AM on January 18, 2012


It's hard to imagine that a "Moderate GOP Senator", one who's used his position as a swing vote to win concessions for major banks would be more valuable then having Elizabeth Warren in the senate.

It's not, and I don't think that is the takeaway from what emapth was saying. rather (I think) it is that if Brown, who is a moderate Republican by today's standards, can not win reelection that implies that only radical Republicans stand a chance of being elected, and as icky as Brown is... I'd still rather have him in the Senate than say Cornyn, or Corker, or DeMint or Enzi or... but we can't trade him for one of those and Warren is likely better than the lot of them combined anyways.
posted by edgeways at 9:38 AM on January 18, 2012


I for one am pleased to see Google, and many other companies, participating in democracy today by exercising their Constitutionally-protected rights to political speech.

Amusingly one of the reasons there are so few libraries participating is that for organizations with 501c3 status, coming out against legislation can be considered forbidden political activity, especially if there is someone with an axe to grind against your organization.

I am telling myself that this is why the ALA has done basically nothing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:39 AM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Amusingly one of the reasons there are so few libraries participating is that for organizations with 501c3 status, coming out against legislation can be considered forbidden political activity, especially if there is someone with an axe to grind against your organization.

Is the same idea true about religious organizations, out of curiosity?
posted by inigo2 at 9:44 AM on January 18, 2012


I have found out that Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Mike Michaud (D-ME) are against SOPA.

Susan Collins issued a press release about her feelings on PIPA.

Susan Snowe's senate website is down. Nothing in the news about her, so not sure.

My son was complaining about it on FB so I sent him your handy link, Jessamyn. Thanks!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:45 AM on January 18, 2012


OLYMPIA Snowe, der.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 9:45 AM on January 18, 2012


It's completely and totally okay for 501c3 organizations to lobby on legislation. There are some limits on how much of their budget they can spend on it, but it is absolutely not forbidden.

-- a 501c3 employee
posted by gingerbeer at 9:48 AM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


teraflop: "Wikipedia is going dark tomorrow...there goes my research paper, history homework, a time waster all at once, thanks Obamacare

The stupid, it burns
"

Judging by the rest of his tweets, that's a joke. Or at least I hope so, because that is fucking GOLD.
posted by brundlefly at 9:48 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have to say this put a smile on my face: @MinecraftTeachr Joel Levin
Wasn't planning to discuss PIPA/SOPA w/ my 2nd graders. But thanks to @MojangTeam changing the Minecraft login window, we had a great talk!

posted by Sailormom at 9:48 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I called Snowe's office this morning, and (although it was early) I had the uneasy feeling the Maine staffer wasn't familiar with the legislation. He seemed to indicate that she's in favor of it, although he wasn't firm in that conviction. Here's her contact info:
Portland Office: (207) 874-0883
DC Office: (800) 432-1599
posted by anastasiav at 9:49 AM on January 18, 2012


They teach Minecraft in second grade? I was born in the wrong century.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:50 AM on January 18, 2012 [9 favorites]

But it would be better to have a GOP Senator like him than Jim DeMint. Scott Brown in, say North Carolina would be a lot better than Scott Brown in MA.
Right, but that has to do with the character of the voters in those states. Republican primary voters in MA want to vote for moderates because they might win. Republican primary voters in NC don't, because they don't need to worry about it.
it is that if Brown, who is a moderate Republican by today's standards, can not win reelection that implies that only radical Republicans stand a chance of being elected d still rather have him in the Senate than say Cornyn, or Corker, or DeMint or Enzi or...
Right but again, that's what happens when the voters in those states vote. Scott Brown's election was the result of a particularly awful democratic candidate, someone even I would have had trouble voting for. Martha Coakley was just awful. Had I been in MA there's a chance I would have voted for Brown. But obviously I'd be jumping at the chance to vote for Warren.

What we need in this country, IMO is to move away from the two party system and adopt a multi-party system using some different voting mechanism.

And look. For people who say we want republicans and democrats to work together: SOPA is the kind of thing we get when they do!!! SOPA is a massively bi-partisan effort! And this is what everyone on the internet is panicking about. NDAA is another example.

So that's the huge problem I see with the idea of wanting more cooperation between republicans and democrats. When they cooperate, it gives them carte-Blanche to completely ignore any democratic accountability because if you're not happy about it, you are, as a voter, completely powerless to hold anyone to account because the "other" party is just as much to blame.

When an issue is "partisan" at least you can vote for the other party if it's a huge problem. The healthcare bill, for example: If people don't like it, they can vote for republicans. Or the Iraq war: if people don't like it they can vote for the democrats (although it was 'originally' bipartisan) - that's at least a scintilla of democratic accountability, but not nearly enough.

So, it's no surprise that "D.C. insiders" are always going on about how we need more bi-partisanship. Guys like Joe Liberman are actually the posterchild for bipartisanship. And the DC insiders absolutely love him! It's because when you have less democratic accountability then you are more able to push the D.C. insider agenda Which right now means SOPA and in general means whatever lobbyists are pushing at the moment.

People are always going on about wishing for better republicans -- the solution should be to streamline the government (get rid of the filibuster at least) so that one party doesn't have the opportunity to damage the country just for shits 'n' giggles. Since the democrats never filibuster anything important anyway, it's no big loss for the 'liberal' side.
posted by delmoi at 9:51 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's completely and totally okay for 501c3 organizations to lobby on legislation.

Yeah, sorry, ALA has taken a very conservative strict constructionist view of the 501c3 and has made a decision to basically not engage in lobbying so as not to have the protracted fights with people that they believe will result from lobbying/advocacy activities. I think this is the easy way out and disagree with their decision on this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:51 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Found on Facebook: "‎Under SOPA, you could get 5 years for uploading a Michael Jackson song. One year more than the doctor who killed him."
posted by anastasiav at 9:59 AM on January 18, 2012 [25 favorites]


They teach Minecraft in second grade? I was born in the wrong century.

In grade school and middle school, I took "Lego Physics" twice.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:00 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just called my Representative and Congressmen (Illinois), though I wasn't able to get a human on the phone in Senator Mark Kirk's office. I also wrote them all emails (not the form email so it's harder to just ignore). The two staffers I spoke with in the offices of Representative Quigley and Senator Durbin said that they were getting totally swamped by calls. In other words:

KEEP IT UP.

Thanks, Matt, for raising awareness on this issue. I'm also grateful for Wikipedia's blackout and their help in easily obtaining the contact information of my representatives. Which, you know, is the whole point of Wikipedia and the internet: to make information easily accessible.
posted by Osrinith at 10:02 AM on January 18, 2012


Guardian liveblog on SOPA protests
posted by delmoi at 10:04 AM on January 18, 2012


charlie don't surf: That was really interesting to read. Thanks for posting it. I haven't heard much from anyone trying to use the DMCA personally.

I couldn't help but get the impression that your experience seems to highlight the fact that DMCA was not created for regular people. It feels like you met with reluctance and roadblocks in your pursuit, where a giant corporation gets immediate credibility with their form letters created by shitty software.


The roadblocks to my claim were expected. That's what the DMCA is for. It expects IP infringers to ignore attempts to enforce an individual's assertion of their rights, and if this happens, you can press for enforcement higher up the food chain. If the infringer will not comply, you can take action that requires the upstream network provider to take them down. I received no response of any kind, not even a form letter, until I got to a level or two above the infringers. Then suddenly a corporate lawyer realizes they are liable, and he's not getting paid $350/hour to defend with some petty crook who is making them liable, and the law isn't on their side. So the lawyer dealt with me personally (not via form letter) and succinctly, and immediately issued the action to take down the site. I was within my rights to ask for immediate takedown, the infringer would only be allowed back online once he proved he was no longer infringing me. But I extended him the courtesy of one last chance to comply. So he did. Some people will not comply until you basically have a gun to their head. Some won't even comply then.

The DMCA is not really designed for corporations. They already have lawyers. The DMCA gives individuals a simple way to protect their IP rights without recourse to lawyers.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:05 AM on January 18, 2012


I hated the idea of the DMCA when it was originally proposed, but in general it's struck a pretty good balance at protecting site owners and content owners both. There are a lot of obnoxious aspects to it, but I think a lot of that is due to our insane copyright laws. As an enforcement mechanism, it would be fantastic if the scope of copyright protections were more reasonable.
posted by empath at 10:08 AM on January 18, 2012


The DMCA gives individuals a simple way to protect their IP rights without recourse to lawyers.

Sure but when bots can send letters that real humans have to respond to, it's overreaching, in my opinion. Not saying it's not a useful tool, just that it gets abused by people and corporations and something with even more potential for abuse is even less palatable to think about.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:08 AM on January 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


The truth is it's taken this day of blackouts to get me to pay attention and learn the details of SOPA, as opposed to just being vaguely aware of it as some stupid proposal to do with copyright infringement.

Wikipedia's gone up in my estimation for taking their stand.

As for Metafilter... I wouldn't expect anything other than thoughtful and principled action from Matt & co. Thanks guys.
posted by philipy at 10:12 AM on January 18, 2012


It wouldn't be. But it would be better to have a GOP Senator like him than Jim DeMint. Scott Brown in, say North Carolina would be a lot better than Scott Brown in MA.

Unfortunately, Senator Scott Brown from North Carolina is about as likely as... something pretty fucking unlikely.


You do know that NC has Kay Hagan, a moderately liberal (a good site more than Brown at least) Democratic Senator? Maybe you meant South Carolina?

If you insist on getting your hate on against the south, at least Google something first to make sure you know what you're talking about.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:13 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, sorry, ALA has taken a very conservative strict constructionist view of the 501c3 and has made a decision to basically not engage in lobbying so as not to have the protracted fights with people that they believe will result from lobbying/advocacy activities. I think this is the easy way out and disagree with their decision on this.

ALA isn't a 501c6? I thought most professional associations were. Not that it changes things; I work for a c6 and we have massive lobbying efforts all the time. Just a little confused.
posted by misskaz at 10:13 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wow. I wish I'd voted for the lizard people.

Your support is appreciated.
posted by Lizard People at 10:18 AM on January 18, 2012 [38 favorites]


Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota)

I'm sad now.


He's a performer. Pirating takes royalties and therefore food from his mouth. Of course he supports SOPA/PIPA out of sheer self-interest.

Which is the real pity because of instead of the MPAA having to pay for Franken he's doing this work pro bono.
posted by Talez at 10:23 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Called your congressperson? Blacked out your website? Want to do more? Here's a list of companies that support SOPA... maybe it's time to start boycotting them.
posted by crunchland at 10:23 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sure but when bots can send letters that real humans have to respond to, it's overreaching, in my opinion.

Of course, jessamyn. But bot letters are the easiest to slap down. And look at cases of overreach like Righthaven LLC. Their lawyers were sanctioned by a Judge, heavy fines imposed, and eventually their business properties were seized by US Marshals.

Someday, jessamyn, we should chat about the ALA. You might want to look at the actions of the Association of American Publishers during the term of Patricia Schroeder (my all time favorite congress member). As I understand it, Pat Schroeder is the reason why the ALA laid low, she spearheaded the AAP on issues related to libraries and copyright, at a time the ALA didn't really have any clear position (or at least, wasn't promoting one).
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:26 AM on January 18, 2012


I called Snowe's office this morning, and (although it was early) I had the uneasy feeling the Maine staffer wasn't familiar with the legislation. He seemed to indicate that she's in favor of it, although he wasn't firm in that conviction. Here's her contact info:
Portland Office: (207) 874-0883
DC Office: (800) 432-1599


I called Portland and the response was, "okay, great, I will take note of that. Thank you, bye-bye."

I wonder if they have a little check-mark list, or if it's like the old staffer blog (what ever happened to that anyway?) where they say privately, "stupid constituents, I have work to do, stop calling!"
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 10:27 AM on January 18, 2012


If you insist on getting your hate on against the south, at least Google something first to make sure you know what you're talking about.

That rant kind of loses its strength today when you realize that the first few links on most searches will probably go to Wikipedia....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:27 AM on January 18, 2012


Here's a list of companies that support SOPA... maybe it's time to start boycotting them.

Um....as a theater person who notes (with some distress, mind) that Actors' Equity is one such organization, can I ask that those who want to boycott NOT do so?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:30 AM on January 18, 2012


EH WTF OMG WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO WIKIPEDIA?!!!? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
posted by homunculus at 10:31 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


My fiancé just received a call (he's in IT) from someone at his company to 'fix the nasty virus that is putting a black bar across Google.'

*facepalm*
posted by Windigo at 10:33 AM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


You might want to look at the actions of the Association of American Publishers during the term of Patricia Schroeder

Trust me, I have. She was very visibly coming out and saying that libraries were enemies to publishers because they were sharing books. ALA has gotten more on the ball in terms of copyright since then. They're gunshy about advocacy for other reasons. And yeah misskaz, they're a 501(c)(3). That said, they just changed their main website to be in support of the blackout, so it's a start.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:33 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, hydropsyche, that was an ignorant assumption, based on my cousin (from NC) and aunt (from SC) discussions with me last night over Facebook about the aforementioned Kay Hagen being a PIPA co-sponsor. And since my liberal Democratic senator is same, it was a very stupid assumption to make.

As for me "getting my hate on" against a region where a good part of my beloved family lives (North Carolina when I was growing up, South Carolina (for the most part now)) and where most of them complain about their local politicians consistently, that's an incorrect assumption as well. That said. there's plenty of anti-South stupidity on Metafilter, sp I'll come into this century and keep my still-having-Jesse-Helms-nightmares stupidity in check in the future so I don't contribute to it in the future.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 10:34 AM on January 18, 2012


can I ask that those who want to boycott NOT do so? --- Sorry. In for a penny, in for a pound.
posted by crunchland at 10:35 AM on January 18, 2012


NOTHING IS POSSIBLE AT ZOMBO.COM
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:36 AM on January 18, 2012 [31 favorites]


Windigo: "My fiancé just received a call (he's in IT) from someone at his company to 'fix the nasty virus that is putting a black bar across Google.'"

Considering I had to tell someone where the Start menu was yesterday, I'm really surprised that I haven't hear anything about this yet.
posted by charred husk at 10:36 AM on January 18, 2012


Informing people about SOPA and asking that they call their representatives is all well and good, but it doesn't go nearly far enough.

What the SOPA protesters should say is that even if SOPA goes down in flames, it's not over. It's never over. Further, the public can not rely on mainstream media to warn them of this sort of legislation. This is doubly true when the legislation is supported by the same organizations that own the media.

Sure, call your representative and senators today. Protest SOPA and PIPA. But beyond that, keep paying attention to what your elected officials are doing. Spend a little more time paying attention to your government, even if it means spending a little less time on entertainment activities.


What I Wish Wikipedia and Others Were Saying About SOPA/PIPA
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:37 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]

the man of twists and turns: "I'm going to vote against Sen. Marco Rubio for entirely different reasons, but I guess I won't call him tomorrow."
No, please, do still call him. It's still worth it—after all, now is when people get to start calling him a flip-flopper and commie pirate-sympathizer.
jessamyn: Amusingly one of the reasons there are so few libraries participating is that for organizations with 501c3 status, coming out against legislation can be considered forbidden political activity, especially if there is someone with an axe to grind against your organization.

I am telling myself that this is why the ALA has done basically nothing.
"
I took a spin around some university sites--places like Carnegie Mellon and Michigan, which are known as major tech schools and sites of development of the internet and the Internet2 initiative--and was pretty disappointed, especially in so-called "Information Schools" like the University of Pittsburgh's, where I hope to start the MLS program soonish. So I was quite pleased to see this page from the Syracuse iSchool ...
posted by FlyingMonkey at 10:38 AM on January 18, 2012


I am getting sort of tired of all the SOPA/PIPA obstruction stuff. There's nothing I can do about it. Can I just read the website I wanted to visit now?

I know, you want me to write my congressperson. This is my congressperson. Do you still want me to write her about this?
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:38 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


honest knave: traditional broadcasters have yet to give SOPA much play on the evening programs, where most Americans still get their news. I'm going to wager that these shutdowns compel the broadcasters into covering the issue.

I can't speak to what broadcasters might be showing today, but CNN.com is providing some (apparently) well-balanced coverage here. Most of the article is against SOPA/PIPA, with a quick summary of the reason to support SOPA/PIPA ("online piracy leads to U.S. job losses because it deprives content creators of income"), but then goes into rebuttals and comments from site owners and reps who are all against SOPA/PIPA. Good job, CNN.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:39 AM on January 18, 2012


Do you still want me to write her about this?

Yes. In support and to express thanks, because that's fucking awesome!
posted by loquacious at 10:40 AM on January 18, 2012 [18 favorites]


Do you still want me to write her about this?

Of course! Otherwise how will she know that she's being supported in what she does. Apathy can swing an elected official's vote just the same way that activism can.
posted by griphus at 10:40 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


IMHO, it is just as important to thank your representatives as it is to lobby them. So, yes, please thank Eshoo for taking her stand on this.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:43 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know, you want me to write my congressperson. This is my congressperson. Do you still want me to write her about this?

Yes? Your democratic voice can be negative OR positive.
posted by Think_Long at 10:44 AM on January 18, 2012


Also, I think I just figured out to unfuck the planet.

Step 1) Gather up all the politicians and businesses that support SOPA/PIPA, and/or NDAA, and/or The Patriot Act.

Step 2) Add to that group the morbidly depressing morons on Twitter complaining about blackouts.

Step 3) Put them all on a spaceship called the B Ark.

Step 4) Fire it directly into the sun.
posted by loquacious at 10:45 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Californians: I sent Barbara Boxer a note through her contact form, but feinstein.senate.gov is giving intermittent ColdFusion errors so I copied the phone contact info to my profile. Nothing but busy signals for the NorCal office, but I'll keep trying.

My representative is the awesome Zoe Lofgren. She's anti-SOPA, on the Judiciary Committee and well-spoken on the threats. I sent her a note of encouragement back when the hearings were in progress. tylerkaraszewski: it can't hurt to let people on a national stage know that their constituents back home are aware of their actions & views and support them.

I also donated to the EFF, but my employer's matching refused to match saying: Though we recognize the importance of this organization, we regret that the ███████ Matching Gifts Program applies only to organizations that meet the following definition: eligible organizations, which may include, but are not limited to, colleges and universities, private elementary and secondary schools, youth organizations, arts and culture organizations, museums, libraries, hospitals, health and human services agencies, and environmental organizations. Note that not all 501(c)(3) organizations qualify for the ███████ Matching Gifts Program. The organizations must be located in the U.S. and be tax-exempt with a 501(c)(3) status in their own name.

As indicated in our guidelines, the ███████ Matching Gift Program does not match gifts to organizations whose primary purpose is religious. Based on the information provided, this organization appears to be outside program guidelines. As a result, we are unable to honor your request for a matching gift.

posted by morganw at 10:45 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fire it directly into the sun. --- Don't you think they already expect that? Why do you think the fuckers defunded NASA?
posted by crunchland at 10:47 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


A few of the depressing Twitter morons are like 15 year olds. Just sayin. Not everybody is up on what they should be up on. And most of us were morons (looking back) at 15. When I was 15, I honest to goodness thought racism was all but over. No need to be hostile to people who got shocked into knowledge of Sopa - just educate them and you have a new advocate. No need to be an ass. That Twitter account is sort of obnoxious.
posted by cashman at 10:48 AM on January 18, 2012


A few of the depressing Twitter morons are like 15 year olds. Just sayin. Not everybody is up on what they should be up on. And most of us were morons (looking back) at 15.

The mockery stems from the fact that they're all OHNOES WTF IS HAPPEN when what is happening is written clearly and concisely on the blackout page. If they can take the time to whinily twat about their rage, they can read an explanatory paragraph.
posted by elizardbits at 10:54 AM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


> It's completely and totally okay for 501c3 organizations to lobby on legislation.

Yeah, sorry, ALA has taken a very conservative strict constructionist view of the 501c3 and has made a decision to basically not engage in lobbying so as not to have the protracted fights with people that they believe will result from lobbying/advocacy activities. I think this is the easy way out and disagree with their decision on this.


Ok, but that's a very different thing from saying that lobbying is "forbidden political activity," which is how I understood your first statement, jess. They may have chosen an interpretation of the law that's different from the IRS and most tax lawyers, but that doesn't make it true for all other non-profits. Because my job is legislative advocacy for a 501c3, I take it a little personally! I try to challenge that particular piece of misinformation, as I think it unnecessarily discourages non-profits from participating in the legislative process.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:55 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I called both my senators and my congressman. The only conversation I had besides name/location/opposition was with my congressman's office. I asked if the office had been busy with anti-SOPA calls, and she said it had. I commented that I hoped they were all in opposition, and she said they had. Yay!

It took me less then 10 minutes to find in-state numbers for all 3 and make the phone calls. Make the calls. I'm off to post on Facebook, where my news feed has been fairly quiet on SOPA/PIPA.
posted by booksherpa at 10:56 AM on January 18, 2012


So, clicking through on the link on the post to see how my state's senators and congress members stand on this, I found easy links to congress-members websites to message them. I took Matt's fine text and edited it. You are welcome to cut and paste. It won't look like a packaged deal, because I am sending it only to the ones in my state.. but of course you can modify it some to make it better.

[quote]Based on all that I have read, I am disappointed that you seem to support the SOPA and PIPA bills now pending. SOPA and PIPA are bad laws that are surely written with sites like The Pirate Bay in mind, but if enacted into law, they would certainly go beyond the original intent to shut down foreign sources of piracy, much in the same way the DMCA is used as a blunt instrument for stifling tons of sites, videos, and documents in ways never intended. The provisions to delist sites from search engines and hand over control of root DNS to judges making decisions on behalf of the US government is the kind of thing that could be abused and silence pretty much any blog, including some very popular favorites. The SOPA/PIPA bills grant extraordinary powers to shut down sites, but it's a frightening step to take and I'd rather existing anti-piracy measures would be employed instead of sweeping new problematic lawmaking.[/quote]
posted by swlabr at 10:57 AM on January 18, 2012


BTW, reddit probably needs to read softly on politics, because they're a bad day away from some paid-for congressman calling them out on all the shock and underage girls subreddits they host...
posted by empath at 10:58 AM on January 18, 2012


I am freakin' shocked at the wide array of sites that decided to go completely offline. Even a local forum here has gone bye-bye.

empath wrote: I hated the idea of the DMCA when it was originally proposed, but in general it's struck a pretty good balance at protecting site owners and content owners both.

That part of the DMCA is not the problem, IMO. It's implemented in a crappy way by a lot of hosts, but I understand their caution and it's not required by law that they leave content offline for weeks. They can put it back up as soon as a counter-notice is received, IIRC. It's the anti-circumvention provisions that are truly draconian and lead to ridiculous (ly awesome) things like the DeCSS source being printed on t-shirts.
posted by wierdo at 10:59 AM on January 18, 2012


ob1quixote : It was all going to be so bright and shiny and beautiful when we envisioned it twenty years ago. Sure we were naive, but I didn't really expect it to turn out this bad.

Only the names (of the laws) change:
A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

by John Perry Barlow

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.

We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.

You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.

You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don't exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract . This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.

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.

We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.

Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge . Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.

In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.

You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.

In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.

Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.

These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

Davos, Switzerland

February 8, 1996
And, OK, it is slightly tweer than a kitten in mittens singing "I Will Survive", but...
posted by titus-g at 10:59 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]

No senators were found for your zip code.
Oh, the irony.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:03 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's the anti-circumvention provisions that are truly draconian and lead to ridiculous (ly awesome) things like the DeCSS source being printed on t-shirts

Good point. It's been pretty much ignored, though, hasn't it? When was the last time someone was prosecuted for it? (I honestly haven't been following that aspect of it)
posted by empath at 11:03 AM on January 18, 2012


Blog post by Scott Edwards of Amnesty International on SOPA and PIPA.
posted by nangar at 11:04 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


yeah making fun of kids like that is pretty gross/creepy
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:05 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


empath, that it is mostly ignored doesn't change the fact that it makes a lot of people arguably criminal. I wouldn't have such a problem if it only applied to commercial endeavor, which is pretty much how I feel most of the law relating to copyright should apply.
posted by wierdo at 11:06 AM on January 18, 2012


OK, I'm in favour of the Wikipedia blackout, but let's not come down too hard on the kids freaking out about it.

You've gotta remember that these are just simple students. These are gentlemen of the B's. The common clay of modern American academia. You know, morons.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 11:07 AM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Will the anti-SOPA effort be as successful as Occupy in changing the way that people think about online piracy and legislation to clamp down on it? Probably not. On the other hand, it doesn't have to be. This is a narrow protest against two bills. And to solve this particular problem, Congress merely has to do what it does best: nothing." - Alexis Madrigal

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/01/the-sopa-blackout-created-a-big-problem/251578/
posted by RedShrek at 11:08 AM on January 18, 2012


For those of you needing to do some homework today, keep in mind that the Scots Wikipedia page is still open for business.
posted by jbickers at 11:09 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just had a long and frustrating talk with Leahy's staffer in Vermont. They repeated the "foreign sites" line to which I responded that the overly-broad language makes no such assurances. They said "I know websites like Google are telling people to call us..." and I said no, I'd read the legislation and I had some concerns and I've been on record as writing Leahy several times in the past. I talked about the DNS provisions and how I feels that it breaks the internet and I feel that the people who wrote the legislation both don't understand and don't care how the internet works. That there is current legislation that should be handling things that are illegal in the US and big corporations shouldn't dictate US policy. I talked about how I work for an "internet company" [trying to keep it simple here] and that policing our website for potential links to infringing content was impractical for us, impossible for other sites, and I was sorry but I felt like this had to go back to the drawing board and I was disappointed in Leahy for supporting it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:12 AM on January 18, 2012 [36 favorites]


Nyet to SOPA! Свобода слова под угрозой
posted by thewalrus at 11:12 AM on January 18, 2012


Desjardins: I can't easily find a list of which of my senators/reps are for this piece of trash.

Probably already a link to this somewhere in the thread, but this is outstanding: Propublica's SOPA widget page, lets you see exactly who's voting for this garbage, and delimit results by Party, Chamber, State, Age, Monies received among other things.

Plus, it's fun to watch these jokers faces fly around and get resorted when you choose different criteria.

http://projects.propublica.org/sopa/


I have to say, NY's Shumer and Gillebrand suck on this so hard, I can scarcely believe it.

This is one of those bills they don't understand fully so their real ugly colors come out it would seem.

And Al Franken supporting this?? WHAT THE FUCK, FRANKEN?

posted by Skygazer at 11:13 AM on January 18, 2012


Do you still want me to write her about this?

Yes. In support and to express thanks, because that's fucking awesome!


Ok, I did that.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 11:13 AM on January 18, 2012 [10 favorites]


I received no response of any kind, not even a form letter, until I got to a level or two above the infringers.

I suppose it's not the DMCA's fault that a service provider (and their provider) will ignore your notice, but would take a similar notice from, say, Sony Music seriously. It just seems to me like dealing with these notices (on either side of them) is a huge hassle for individuals or small companies, but business as usual for large corporations. I suppose that's probably true for any number of legal issues, though.
posted by ODiV at 11:13 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am freakin' shocked at the wide array of sites that decided to go completely offline. Even a local forum here has gone bye-bye.

Even my fave little forum about budgies/parakeets is down for the protest, cutesie JPEG budgie mashup banners and all.
posted by zennie at 11:18 AM on January 18, 2012


Hey, my favourite canary site just died! What's going on?
posted by ODiV at 11:20 AM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


No adorable budgies?

THIS.

MEANS.

WAR.
posted by The Whelk at 11:20 AM on January 18, 2012


Called all three NM congresscritters. I got "please hold" from both Sen. Bingaman and Sen. Udall -- gee, sounds like they're busy today, I wonder why! -- after which they just listened to what I had to say (I kept it short: "I'm calling to urge X to oppose SOPA/PIPA") and then asked for my zip code. Rep. Lujan's office asked for more, including full contact info so they can reply.

Not real happy to see that all three are co-sponsors of SOPA or PIPA... makes me wonder how much good these calls will do.
posted by vorfeed at 11:21 AM on January 18, 2012


My Representative has blacked out her own website today to protest SOPA. Yay!
posted by ambrosia at 11:23 AM on January 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


For those of you needing to do some homework today, keep in mind that the Scots Wikipedia page is still open for business.

This is fascinating. I didn't think it was real at first. It's easier to comprehend if you read it aloud.
Democracie (or democracy) is a poleetical form o government in which governin pouer is derived frae the fowk, either bi direct referendum (direct democracie) or bi means o electit representatives o the fowk (representative democracie). [..]

In the Unitit States, separation o pouers is aften cited as a supportin attribute, but in ither kintras, such as the Unitit Kinrick, the dominant philosophie is parliamentarie sovereigntie (though in practice judicial independence is generallie maintained). In ither cases, "democracie" is uised tae mean direct democracie. Though the term "democracie" is typicallie uised in the context o a poleetical state, the principles are applicable tae private organizations an ither groups an aa.
posted by desjardins at 11:26 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maps of SOPA & PIPA Supporting Senators
posted by brundlefly at 11:26 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suppose it's not the DMCA's fault that a service provider (and their provider) will ignore your notice, but would take a similar notice from, say, Sony Music seriously. It just seems to me like dealing with these notices (on either side of them) is a huge hassle for individuals or small companies, but business as usual for large corporations. I suppose that's probably true for any number of legal issues, though.

Well, that's the issue. This was early in the DMCA era. Most sites didn't have DMCA contact email addresses. I only managed to get mine filed because I knew the personal email address of the CEO. His rack host didn't have a DMCA desk either, although they were required to. But C&W did have a DMCA desk manned by an Attorney. So I am quite sure that if a complaint had been made about a Sony infringement vs. my IP infringement to the lowest rung of the ladder (where you have to start) they both would equally have been ignored. Winer was an early hater on the DMCA and he felt if he ignored it, it would not apply to him. I taught him otherwise.

If you don't have a publicly accessible email contact with a mechanism to handle DMCA complaints, you lose the "safe harbor" provisions and you become liable for the infringement. Most places are smarter now and have a DMCA desk, which can at least issue counterclaims or forward to lawyers if appropriate. I think the main issue here is that real IP holders will pursue righteous claims vigorously, the bogus claims pretty much fall to pieces immediately upon the counterclaim.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:34 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Maps of SOPA & PIPA Supporting Senators

It's kind of funny how the South Bay and SF are SOPA opposers. I wonder why that is?
posted by Talez at 11:37 AM on January 18, 2012


Flickr is letting users "black out" their own or anyone else's photos. I took the opportunity to black out all of the images of the US Constitution on the US National Archive's photostream.

Have fun.
posted by double block and bleed at 11:38 AM on January 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


So now what are we supposed to do for fun?
posted by homunculus at 11:39 AM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's easier to comprehend if you read it aloud.

Unfortunately all your coworkers will think you have finally and irrevocably snapped.
posted by elizardbits at 11:39 AM on January 18, 2012


Thanks Matt. As a non American I appreciate the link to express my concern about the Evil Empire.
It showed up fine on my Samsung Android. Hence the typlng errors (hopefully corrected).
posted by adamvasco at 11:40 AM on January 18, 2012


Yet another reason to hate Rupert.
posted by crunchland at 11:50 AM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Which is the real pity because of instead of the MPAA having to pay for Franken he's doing this work pro bono.

The industry has given him nearly a million dollars this election cycle. Time Warner is his #1 contributor.
posted by arboles at 12:02 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


vorfeed: Those aren't "angry wikipedia users", they're kids who can't possibly do their homework without cut-and-pasting from Wikipedia oh noes!!!1 Maybe they'll learn a valuable lesson about turning in assignments based on a website anyone can edit...

Maybe they could even learn 4 lessons:

1: be careful relying on the internet, as webpages can disappear without warning
2: be careful relying on a single source for your information, as it may not be detailed or extensive enough
3: be careful relying on "crowd" sourced information, as it may not be reliable or accurate
4: do your damned homework earlier, then you won't freak out when you learn any of the above lessons the hard way.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:05 PM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yet another reason to hate Rupert.

Well, I don't like his phrasing, but I do hope he's right.
posted by zennie at 12:05 PM on January 18, 2012


John Cornyn's office just hung up on me, which I'm willing to attribute to high call volume/ poor infrastructure/ etc. I'll keep trying, though.

And I found this on his facebook page:

“Texans have soundly rejected the ‘pass now, learn later’ approach that we saw with Obamacare, and the potential impact of this legislation is too far-reaching to ram it through Congress in such an abrupt way.

“Stealing content is theft, plain and simple, but concerns about the internet and free speech necessitate a more thoughtful, deliberative process.”

Which includes a weird little jab at 'Obamacare' but may indicate that his support is wavering.
posted by Shohn at 12:05 PM on January 18, 2012


For those of you needing to do some homework today, keep in mind that the Scots Wikipedia page is still open for business.

This is fascinating. I didn't think it was real at first. It's easier to comprehend if you read it aloud.


Crumbs, now there's chrono-shock. My first web dev job was designing the SLRC site**, including trying to create some sort of Scots Language reference using (a DOS version of) DB2 (best viewed in Netscape Navigator Gold).

It's also a good example of why information (and its aggregator Wikipedia) are awesome.

Information is a common good: the greatest inheritance we all have is the sum total of human learning to date. There may be no such thing as a free lunch, be we all inherited a fucking huge breakfast. That is our debt, those are our dues.


** not that one, looks like they actually have funding these days.
posted by titus-g at 12:08 PM on January 18, 2012


crunchland: Yet another reason to hate Rupert.

@rupertmurdoch: Seems blogosphere has succeeded in terrorizing many senators and congressmen who previously committed. Politicians all the same.

Indeed. They all change their minds when the public demands it! Democracy at its worst!
-or-
Agreed. They should be more obedient to their corporate masters!
posted by filthy light thief at 12:08 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


The industry has given him nearly a million dollars this election cycle.

Am I the only one who occasionally feels embarrassed not so much that all our congresspeople are owned by special interests, but at just how inexpensive they are? I mean, if you're going to sell out your electorate, the least you could do is demand completely exorbitant sums of money. But no, you can own a senator for like a million bucks every six years. Embarrassing.
posted by mstokes650 at 12:12 PM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Heh, one of my favorite gaming forums are directing all traffic to this message:
I'm tired of having to stringently enforce antipiracy policies in an effort to respect the rights of content creators. I'm tired of our community being a beacon of somewhat decency in a sea of whiny brats who just want everything for free.

So you know what, Maidens of the Kaleidoscope will hereby endorse the current efforts in Congress to eliminate all those nasty loopholes criminals exploit like "fair use" and "safe harbor" and that sort of nonsense. Clearly every single piece of work, every single note, line, still, video or object created by the wonderful people representing the RIAA and MPAA and Max Hardcore Productions deserve every penny from their work now until the next millenium so their children and their children's children and children's children's children can live safe and happily. And only freedom hating communists want to take food off Dr. Dre's table right?

Plus, everyone knows anime and visual culture fans are just all dirty pirates anyways, stealing viewership from hardworking American actors and shows and media. I mean we all clearly know if such evil sites like nicovideo.jp (communists) and danbooru.donmai.us (how cute they put .us in their name to try to hide their communist ways) didn't exist, they instead would be purchasing the latest Eminem/Fabio duet single and watching Real Housewives of Milwaukee and reading Captain George W America and the League of Capitalists.

So if you're a freedom loving American, you already know the answer, you need to tell your Senator and your Representative right now to pass this bill ASAP to protect America from foreign influence corrupting our pure American ways, and to protect American jobs from being taken by electronica nerds in their basements making chiptunes with old PC98s. If you're a communist, well, God help you because you'll be in jail with the rest of the Billy Idol impersonators.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:13 PM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's so cool to see that all my legislators from New Jersey are commenting on PIPA/SOPA on their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts. It's pretty gratifying to see a response, though I'm feeling cynical about the "changes" Menendez and Lautenberg are referring to.

some examples from Twitter:

SenatorMenendez Sen. Robert Menendez
#NJ: I hear your concerns re: #PIPA loud & clear & share in these concerns. I'm working to ensure critical changes are made to the bill.

FrankLautenberg Frank R. Lautenberg
The original version of #PIPA raises serious concerns & substantial changes must be made to preserve a free & open Internet.

RushHolt Rush Holt
#SOPA would make the internet less secure, less competitive, and -- worst of all -- less free. It will not have my vote.

But now that I've browsed through the Twitter feeds of legislators in other states, I have to say I'm pretty disappointed by the lack of a response. I mean, Menendez is a cosponsor of PIPA, and he still acknowledged the backlash.
posted by myelin sheath at 12:15 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I suppose it's encouraging that thus far today, one of my Senators' phone lines has always been a busy signal.
posted by tyllwin at 12:18 PM on January 18, 2012


Copyright infringers include SOPA/PIPA supporters Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Rep. Dennis Ross (R-FL), and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). [via the Guardian liveblog linked earlier]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:23 PM on January 18, 2012


The industry has given him nearly a million dollars this election cycle. Time Warner is his #1 contributor.

While I don't deny your assertion is possible those numbers don't add up. No other entertainment company (unless you count GE) has even hit the top 20 on his list?
posted by Talez at 12:25 PM on January 18, 2012

I know, you want me to write my congressperson. This is my congressperson. Do you still want me to write her about this?
Yes, write in to thank her, and consider donating to her! We should reward good behavior when it happens! (looks like you did that. Awesome)

--

Also, I agree that making fun of people who are surprised about wikipedia is a bad thing (although some of the tweets are like 'fuck wikipedia' and so on.) The fact that people are shocked about this is definitely a good thing. They clearly had no idea about SOPA and now they do.

--

One thing these anti-SOPA protests aren't doing is taking the opportunity to raise money. I don't know how effective the EFF is, but there should be a place where people can donate to organizations fighting to keep the internet free.
posted by delmoi at 12:27 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Called my MA reps & sens. I told them that I am a businesswoman that mainly works on the web, that I work with a dozen different companies that have blogs, and these bad laws would have a chilling effect on free expression. I tried to defuse the idea that the laws would "protect jobs" by letting them know that in my world, it would actually hurt jobs and hinder innovation.

Couldn't get a position from Kerry. My district rep Jim McGovern is against both bills. I asked the person I spoke with to please have him give a good talking to his colleague Kerry.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:28 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Shirky: "...but it turns out to be illegal to print a child's drawing of Mickey Mouse™ onto a plate of sugar..."
posted by titus-g at 12:37 PM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Couldn't get a position from Kerry

Hell, I couldn't get a position from Chuck Schumer's office. He's a co-sponsor but that his staffers still say "that doesn't mean he's committed as to how he'll vote."
posted by tyllwin at 12:37 PM on January 18, 2012


It’s Not Over: SOPA’s Chief Sponsor Isn’t Backing Down
“It’s easy to engage in fear-mongering and it’s easy to raise straw men and red herrings, but if they read the bill they will be reassured,” Smith told the WSJ.

Take that, you red herring flingers and strawmen fear mongerers!
posted by madamjujujive at 12:38 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


. . . it’s easy to raise straw men and red herrings

They can take our rights away, but I'll be damned if they use internet-rhetoric to do it!
posted by Think_Long at 12:40 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I have been tweeting, and FBing, and emailing. And, I just got off the phone with all possibly inolved parties for Illinois, enouraging their lack of support for corporate governmental buy out and lack of due process. (Not a bid of slavering rabidity in my calls, just firm resolve.)

Nice job with the interstitial. Informative and classy. And I can do my homework on MetaFilter too!
posted by Samizdata at 1:03 PM on January 18, 2012


Dianne Feinstein's number has been busy busy busy. I left a message for Boxer. And Pelosi is already against, but I called her anyway to thank her, because she's rad.
posted by rtha at 1:08 PM on January 18, 2012


Faxed letters to Senators Feinstein and Boxer ("I'm a constituent and extremely disappointed you not only support it, you're a co-sponsor") and Representative Lee ("I'm a constituent and disappointed you haven't stated a position — you should oppose this"). Will try to phone later once I'm out of meetings.
posted by Lexica at 1:10 PM on January 18, 2012


He's a co-sponsor but that his staffers still say "that doesn't mean he's committed as to how he'll vote."

"Senator Schumer made his bed, but has not yet decided if he will lie in it."
posted by griphus at 1:11 PM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


("...lay in it"?)
posted by griphus at 1:12 PM on January 18, 2012


“It’s easy to engage in fear-mongering and it’s easy to raise straw men and red herrings,

How dare he impugn the good men and women of our noble herring industry!

I phoned my 2 senators and 1 rep (Boston). Scott Brown's phone guy happily told me that Brown opposed PIPA. John Kerry? C'mon!
posted by benito.strauss at 1:14 PM on January 18, 2012


Q: How can you tell a politician is lying in bed?

A: He is in bed.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 1:14 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


the cryptome webpage today:




<>
NO



NO



posted by thewalrus at 1:17 PM on January 18, 2012


okay that did not render correctly. how do I quote html code from page source when posting to mefi?
posted by thewalrus at 1:17 PM on January 18, 2012


cryptome today:

[HTML]
[HEAD]
[!-- Created with AOLpress/2.0 --]
[TITLE]NO[/TITLE]
[/HEAD]
[BODY]
[P ALIGN=Center]
[FONT COLOR="#ff0000"][BIG][BIG][BIG][BIG][BIG][BIG][B]NO[/B][/BIG][/BIG][/BIG][/BIG][/BIG][/BIG][/FONT]
[/BODY][/HTML]
posted by thewalrus at 1:18 PM on January 18, 2012


("...lay in it"?)

Better typing than me, either way.
posted by tyllwin at 1:20 PM on January 18, 2012


go fuck yourself rupe
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:23 PM on January 18, 2012


Pete Stark has come out against SOPA/PIPA, Zoe Lofgren has been one of its biggest opponents. I emailed Sen. Feinstein and Sen. Boxer last week. I got a standard "Thanks for taking the time to share your views" response from Boxer and a more detailed response from Feinstein indicating that she still supports the bill but is aware of the opposition and is working with tech sector to improve it. Now to go place the call and share their numbers today!
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:23 PM on January 18, 2012


Potomac Avenue: "Twitter account @katienotopoulos is doing some fantasic retweeting of angry wikipedia users right now just sos you know."

Can you imagine the tweets from angry Facebook users?
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:24 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


("...lay in it"?)

You got it right the first time: lie in it.

posted by rtha at 1:25 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got an email back from Leahy, probably in response to the email I sent him last week. Of note: when I called his Montpelier office which is the one closest to me, their "circuits were busy" and they directed me to his Burlington office instead.
Dear Ms. West:

Thank you for contacting me about the PROTECT IP Act. I appreciate hearing from you.

In drafting this legislation, I have been committed an open process and have heard from all third parties that would be asked to take action under the bill. It is because of this process that a majority of third parties support these actions. However, an open process has also allowed me to hear a number of concerns from engineers, human rights groups, and Vermonters. Because of these concerns, I am prepared to hold back and study the Domain Name provision of the bill as the Senate moves forward to consider it on January 24, even as I remain confident that Internet Service Providers would not support this measure if it created the problems that some have suggested.

It is important to note that mainstream websites such as Reddit, YouTube, Wikipedia, and others are in no way targeted by this bill. Most importantly, this is because they are based in the United States and the PROTECT IP Act targets primarily foreign websites. This is also due to the fact that in order to meet the definition contained in the PROTECT IP Act, websites must have no significant use other than infringement. There is no doubt that each of these sites do have significant uses other than infringement, even as some of them contain infringing content, and would therefore never satisfy that requirement.

Thank you again for contacting me. Please keep in touch.

Sincerely,

PATRICK LEAHY
United States Senator
I am curious about that last paragraph because that was not, at all, my impression.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:25 PM on January 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


jessamyn: "It is important to note that mainstream websites such as Reddit, YouTube, Wikipedia, and others are in no way targeted by this bill."

Oh. So it's okay to target small independent websites?
posted by workerant at 1:28 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


In drafting this legislation, I have been committed an open process and have heard from all third parties that would be asked to take action under the bill. It is because of this process that a majority of third parties support these actions.

[CITATION NEEDED]
posted by loquacious at 1:29 PM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Kerry's voicemail was full both times I called today. Oy, how convenient.

I heard the Senate Web site was down earlier today from all the opposition, but is back up now, so maybe I'll try that when I get home from work.

Left a message for Brown and I called Tierney a few days back.

NY Times is reporting that several congresspeople have withdrawn support. It's working!
posted by Currer Belfry at 1:29 PM on January 18, 2012


Here on the east side of Portlandistan, our congressman is totally fucking awesome. Earl Blumenauer FTW.
posted by dersins at 1:29 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I devoted a significant portion of my letter to my Senators discussing the harm to US corporations and focused it on attacking that same BS line that Leahy is taking in his stance that US sites "are in no way targeted by this bill." I felt like pointing out potential infringement of constituional rights of corporations would be a more effective argument with my R Senators.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:30 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am curious about that last paragraph because that was not, at all, my impression.

It sure uses a lot of weasel words.
"are in no way targeted" -- but could still be caught by the crossfire

"targets primarily foreign websites" -- but could be used against American websites (and also, why should shutting down a foreign website be more acceptable)

"websites must have no significant use other than infringement" -- so a site that only is about posting videos? Or only about posting links to other sites? Not sure what other uses Youtube and Reddit and Metafilter have.

Screw this guy.
posted by inigo2 at 1:30 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be perfectly clear, the sites that the bill is meant to be targeted at are sites like filestube.com (oh how i love it so), megaupload, and the Pirate Bay, and probably private trackers and a lot of blogs and messageboards that primarily link to files hosted on those sites.

It's not intended to be used to shut down sites like metafilter or reddit, although it's probably going to be fairly burdensome on those sites to comply with the act the way it is now.

Even if the bill were narrowly targeted and effective against just those file sharing sites and there were no unintended side effects, I'd still be against it, though.
posted by empath at 1:39 PM on January 18, 2012

To be perfectly clear, the sites that the bill is meant to be targeted at are sites like filestube.com (oh how i love it so), megaupload, and the Pirate Bay, and probably private trackers and a lot of blogs and messageboards that primarily link to files hosted on those sites.
The difference is between who the bill "targets" and who it "effects"
posted by delmoi at 1:40 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


(Also, the bill absolutely targets domestic sites - If you start a filestube competitor in the U.S, or use a 'us' based TLD like .com/net/org or us, your domain can get seized. But apparently, that can already happen)

What's interesting is that "foreign" and "domestic" here simply mean whether you use a com/net/org or .us domain, or whether you have a ccTLD.
posted by delmoi at 1:43 PM on January 18, 2012


I am pleased to report that I now have to modify my letter to thank Sen. Inhofe for his opposition instead of taking him to task for his support of it.
I am aghast.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:44 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


The nice staffer at Sen. Boxer's office said she'll relay my message and they're getting lots of calls today. Still a busy signal at Sen. Feinstein's office.
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:44 PM on January 18, 2012


Just got that as well Jessamyn. I called the DC office and by the time I gave the staffer my name she had pulled up the rest of my contact information, so they obviously know I've been nagging them on this issue.

My main problem is that even if not "targeted" by this bill, it sets up a new way where deep pocket corporations can force legal costs onto small players. Even if a site is ultimately determined to "have no significant use other than infringement" the operators of that site may have been forced through years of legal proceedings to establish this fact. And, it is not at all clear to me that the entire question couldn't immediately be revisited as the content and make-up of sites constantly shifts.

For better or worse the DMCA addresses specific content and provides ways for small players to respond and protect themselves without big legal fees. SOPA/PIPA try to regulate based on aggregate behavior across a site. Given that the definition of a "site" is pretty fluid, about the best they can hope for is termination of specific addresses. So, as has been noted, the pirates already have work-around structures available. The other impacts are all the things that "aren't targeted" and they are what I am concerned about.
posted by meinvt at 1:47 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


To be perfectly clear, the sites that the bill is meant to be targeted at are sites like filestube.com (oh how i love it so), megaupload, and the Pirate Bay,

First they came for the websites that hosted sketchy homemade porn, and I didn't speak up because...wait, I would totally speak up.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:55 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I just confirmed with Senator Coburn's DC office that he intends to join Inhofe in opposition.
I am starting to wonder if I've been transported to an alternate universe.
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:58 PM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


I got a letter from Chellie Pingree:
As you may know, several popular websites, including Wikipedia, have gone black today to protest SOPA, a bill with sweeping language that could lead to censorship on the Internet. Hundreds of constituents have contacted me by phone, email, Facebook and Twitter over the past few days to voice their opposition to the legislation.
I wanted to let you know that I am strongly opposed to SOPA and will vote against this legislation if it comes before the House. The companion bill could come before the Senate as early as next week.

SOPA sounds like it has a noble purpose—stopping online piracy—but its sweeping language could have a chilling effect on free speech online. It gives big corporations far too much power in censoring what can be shared online, and the penalties it sets go way overboard. You could face up to five years in prison just for posting a video of your child singing a pop song. That’s not what the Internet is all about. You can find out more about the legislation here.

To share your feedback on this legislation, please contact me or comment on Facebook.

Best wishes,
(signature)
GO, CHELLIE!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 2:00 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


American Association of Law Libraries position paper on SOPA (pdf), in which the AALL urges Representatives to vote "no."
posted by bakerina at 2:00 PM on January 18, 2012


Unrelated to anything in this thread at all, but reddit's still down so I can't post this to r/bicycling, but I just popped my biking-in-snow cherry.
posted by loquacious at 2:03 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


My rep, John Dingell,(D, MI) posted his opposition to SOPA on Facebook earlier today:

"SOPA has generated much discussion recently, especially with today’s protests by companies such as Wikipedia, Mozilla, and Reddit. Like the Obama Administration, I believe that SOPA, as written, is too broad and would have unintended consequences for the future of the internet. However, the problem of internet piracy is an important issue which demands our attention. I believe Congress can strike a reasonable balance between preserving open access to the Internet and providing the necessary protections for intellectual property rights, and I will work with my colleagues in Congress to make sure this happens."

Still don't know where Stabenow and Levin stand.
posted by leslies at 2:04 PM on January 18, 2012


Most importantly, this is because they are based in the United States and the PROTECT IP Act targets primarily foreign websites.

Blatantly untrue. While Sec. 3 of PIPA applies to websites with "nondomestic domain names" (defined as "a domain name for which the domain name registry that issued the domain name and operates the relevant top level domain, and the domain name registrar for the domain name, are not located in the United States"), Sec. 4 applies to websites with domestic domain names. The details of what can be done to the website vary depending on whether it's nondomestic or domestic, but it is absolutely untrue that US-based websites could not be targeted under PIPA.

This is also due to the fact that in order to meet the definition contained in the PROTECT IP Act, websites must have no significant use other than infringement.

While this is an accurate description of what PIPA says, it takes only one court to determine that a given website has "no significant use other than infringement." Expect plenty of forum-shopping.

[text of PIPA]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:05 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just heard back from my Rep (Maloney, NY 14) and she is against both SOPA and PIPA but not on the link above.
posted by gaspode at 2:13 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dr. Zira . . . good news. Although I concur; it is rather hard to believe.
posted by kaiseki at 2:19 PM on January 18, 2012


Well, it's heartening to see some of the various scumbags members of Congress come around on SOPA/PIPA ... even if in most cases it's with about the same level of sincerity that my cat displays when he's caught sitting on the kitchen counter. It's a great act, but we both know the next time I'm not looking he's going to be right back up there.

And that's my concern. Not to diminish the efforts of today's blackouts, or everyone who has called or written to oppose SOPA/PIPA, but there's a huge risk -- I'd say its a near-certainty -- that the companies underwriting SOPA/PIPA are just going to keep trying, over and over and over, until something slips through and becomes law. That's essentially what they did with the DMCA, and it passed on a voice vote so that nobody would be able to point fingers, exactly, afterwards.

So at the same time that we're writing and calling and generally opposing SOPA/PIPA, we also need to be thinking about how we can (1) fix the systemic corruption that allows bills like this, which are so obviously against the public interest and are bankrolled by industry, to make it so far along in the process, and (2) harden the Internet against censorship and tampering by malicious governments, and make it a less tempting target.

Regarding point 2, early versions of SOPA had a domain-hijacking provision that was only possible because of a known flaw in the underlying architecture of DNS. Fixing this flaw (via the implementation of DNSSEC) would make this particular provision of SOPA much more difficult to enforce. That's just an example -- but there are other technological measures which would make other bad ideas more costly to implement. (Using HTTPS universally would make deep packet inspection far more expensive, just as another example.) Attempts to censor or otherwise interfere with the Internet are not going to stop with SOPA/PIPA, and this hostile regulatory environment needs to be taken as an assumption by engineers and developers.

Years ago, there was an alternative DNS root run by the Open Root Server Network [that's for when Wikipedia comes back up]. It was kept in sync with the ICANN root, but had a "switch" that in theory could be flipped at any time that would disconnect it from the ICANN route and put it into independent operation. (It was distinct from other "alt root" efforts in that they didn't attempt to make money by selling off or opening up a whole bunch of squirrelly TLDs.) Sadly, ORSN ceased operation in 2008 -- it seems like the time is very much ripe to bring something like that back. Even if DNSSEC is implemented, DNS is a dangerously centralized single point of failure and a tempting target for regulatory attack. Having a second, alternative root that could be de-synched from the ICANN servers should they become compromised would do much to prevent stupidity.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:22 PM on January 18, 2012 [9 favorites]


I rather like the Steve Jackson Games. blackout message, especially the last paragraph.

And, come to think of it, they know a thing or too about being docked around by federal authorities who can't be bothered to do research.
posted by Artw at 2:31 PM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


In this lead up to the SOPA/PIPA blackout, I have encountered a few surprises.

When Cantor shelved SOPA/PIPA in, I was surprised that the Obama administrations reservations regarding the legislation would influence his decision. Thoughtfulness from a US politician. Unbelievable!

I put my own SOPA/PIPA blackout plans on hold and looked forward to what news would come forth today.

When using Google last night, I saw the blocked logo and the link. I clicked and stared for a few seconds as the "0" under the +1 button. I +'ed it and got a notice that I had publicly +1'ed it but then I got a red exclamation mark indicating that I was refusing third-party cookies. By the time I got the issue settled, I was +1 number 74.

This morning I visit one of my favorite sites (This isn't happiness) and loved the presentation so much I belatedly (10 am Pacific) joined the protest.

That's when I went to Slashdot and learned that SOPA had been rescheduled for markup schedule in February and realized Cantor’s move had NOTHING to do with being reasonable and that Wikipedia’s “stay the course” was the best strategy of them all.

There is much to like about the way in which many organizations are participating in the blackout. I especially appreciate Some sites remain business-as-usual and these sites really have disappointed me. The only acknowledgement these sites deserve is the acknowledgement that they are here unnamed.
posted by mistersquid at 2:31 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


How did I forget to mention Wikipedia?!
posted by mistersquid at 2:32 PM on January 18, 2012


This is my tiny contribution, but it possibly further illustrates the utter stupidity of these proposed laws.

I live in Toronto, which is of course in Canada.

I'm not American. I don't have to be to view the content of this, or any other website.

The fact that a stupid law, created by the American government, can potentially stifle the viewership of this website by citizens of countries other than the US only shows how even *further* stupid these laws are.

Why is the RIAA and MPAA being given such a huge voice in the government? (Well: lobbyists obviously.) What is it going to take for the goverment to finally wake up and say "Ok you guys at the **AA have been getting away with your crap for over 20 years now. Enough is enough."

I honestly can't believe the content industry is populated by such a ridiculous bunch of cavemen. Honestly.

Thanks for this action and raising the voice about this clearly useless set of laws.

ad
posted by adamd1 at 2:34 PM on January 18, 2012

Well, it's heartening to see some of the various scumbags members of Congress come around on SOPA/PIPA ... even if in most cases it's with about the same level of sincerity that my cat displays when he's caught sitting on the kitchen counter. It's a great act, but we both know the next time I'm not looking he's going to be right back up there.

And that's my concern. Not to diminish the efforts of today's blackouts, or everyone who has called or written to oppose SOPA/PIPA, but there's a huge risk -- I'd say its a near-certainty -- that the companies underwriting SOPA/PIPA are just going to keep trying, over and over and over, until something slips through and becomes law. That's essentially what they did with the DMCA, and it passed on a voice vote so that nobody would be able to point fingers, exactly, afterwards.
Well, the thing is though that a lot of the opponents to SOPA are also corporations, Google, Facebook, Reddit. Wikipedia and Mozilla, as non profits are a type of 'corporation', just typically without the money. Unfortunately, that's what makes this fight winnable, there is big money on both sides of the issue.

Beyond that, it was the massive reach of these sites that allow them to raise grassroots support among people who don't follow politics, especially not at the micro-level you'd have to be paying attention to to even find out about bills like SOPA. They probably just thought this was some banal regulation aimed at pleasing some lobbyists with few downsides.

In fact, often when congresspeople want to 'raise money', they'll do so by taking up legislation that both sides care about, for example, credit card swipe fees - it pits the big banks against retailers, and both sides dump cash on congress. So a big fight between corporate interests isn't always avoided. Lawrence Lessig has a good lecture where he goes into this kind of thing.

But ultimately the reason that these politicians raise this money is so they can campaign for votes, so they do actually pay attention to the volume of letters that are sent in - So the fact that the 'good' corporations (Google, etc) are able to reach so many people means that it can have a big impact.

There are probably limits to this, though. SOPA is not an issue these guys really care about at all. Like I said, they thought this would be routine. If it's not going to be easy, there's a good chance they'll just drop it.
posted by delmoi at 2:36 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well.. if these things ever DO become law I think it behooves all citizens to be hyper vigilant about copyright infringement by elected officials and issue complaints and take down notices of such, as well against all and every moderately big company. Amazon should be vulnerable, for instance.. shut it all down and see how quick the things get repealed.
posted by edgeways at 2:39 PM on January 18, 2012

Why is the RIAA and MPAA being given such a huge voice in the government? (Well: lobbyists obviously.) What is it going to take for the goverment to finally wake up and say "Ok you guys at the **AA have been getting away with your crap for over 20 years now. Enough is enough."

I honestly can't believe the content industry is populated by such a ridiculous bunch of cavemen. Honestly.
I doubt the average artist out there is a big fan of SOPA/PIPA. It's the people who run the companies, who want more control over the internet.

They make a ton of money of HULU, but it's a free site. Imagine how much they could if they ran ads and charged people? Well, why don't they do that? Well, because then people would just go to the piratebay instead.

Without any type of piracy, they can control things to a much greater extent. Like how Disney has the "Disney vault" and only puts movies on sale for a limited time. Imagine if the whole content industry were able to operate that way. Unskippable ads on everything, etc, etc, etc.

Youtube would never have been created, of course. If there was anything out there like it, it would be controlled by the entertainment cartels.
posted by delmoi at 2:41 PM on January 18, 2012


delmoi: "they thought this would be routine. If it's not going to be easy, there's a good chance they'll just drop it."

That's the suggestion in this afternoon's NYTimes piece: Congressional negotiators are looking at radical revisions to the DNS provisions, but lawmakers may decide the resulting legislation is too neutered to pursue, aides from both parties say.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 2:42 PM on January 18, 2012


The awkward moment when you break the law you proposed.
posted by Sailormom at 2:47 PM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


NOTHING IS POSSIBLE AT ZOMBO.COM

An absolute tragedy. ;n;
posted by The Devil Tesla at 2:51 PM on January 18, 2012


Why is the RIAA and MPAA being given such a huge voice in the government?

Cash, Rules, Everything, Around, Me
Dollar, dollar bill y'all
posted by tyllwin at 2:51 PM on January 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm amused and pleased that Equestria Daily, the largest My Little Pony fan site, is blacking out their posts today.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 2:55 PM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


The awkward moment when you break the law you proposed

That's breaking already existing copyright law. (Much like the "5 years for uploading a Michael Jackson song," which is part of existing copyright law but would not be affected by SOPA/PIPA.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:56 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Youtube would never have been created, of course. If there was anything out there like it, it would be controlled by the entertainment cartels."

Yeah, this. Media companies make money by selling media, it doesn't help them when someone else is giving it away for free. In a perfect corporate world everything would have a price tag, including Maru videos and mashups like Han Solo PI. Everything would involve revenue streams, and a lot of those streams would flow into their bank accounts.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:11 PM on January 18, 2012


Han Solo PI

I—

I was not aware of this.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:20 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also on Metafilter.
posted by Kevin Street at 3:21 PM on January 18, 2012


The Day The LOLcats Died
posted by finite at 3:32 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


ABC Lead news story: Snow in Southwest
NBC Lead news story: Keystone pipeline (reasonable, I think)
CBS Lead news story: Nothing much new in shipwreck

Why could I not get a call in my Senator without trying for hours? Tell me, oh, media, tell me!
posted by tyllwin at 3:33 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


McSweeney's Internet Tendency: A DAY’S WORTH OF FACTS TO GET YOU THROUGH WIKIPEDIA’S 24-HOUR BLACKOUT.
posted by finite at 3:33 PM on January 18, 2012


@rupertmurdoch: Seems blogosphere has succeeded in terrorizing many senators and congressmen who previously committed. Politicians all the same.

The boy I keep in a cage and feed raw meat and whiskey has been released temporarily to write a 'tweet' for me. It is a rare and auspicious day.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:35 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Huge thanks to Matt for Metafilter's informative modal today, and to all Mefites for the actions you're taking to discourage congress from passing SOPA and PIPA. Let us hope all efforts are not in vain.
posted by owtytrof at 3:39 PM on January 18, 2012


Han Solo PI

I made the mistake of clicking on that with my almost-four-year-old in earshot. Now he is sitting on my lap asking to watch it over and over and over again.

It's the biggest hit since the Trolololo guy.
posted by ambrosia at 3:39 PM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh, ABC as the third story asks what was going on with Google, then says that they need to "find a whiz kid to explain it." Then they show someone search for torrents.
posted by tyllwin at 3:40 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I rather like the Steve Jackson Games. blackout message, especially the last paragraph.

And, come to think of it, they know a thing or too about being docked around by federal authorities who can't be bothered to do research."


Yeah, I was going to mention that if you didn't.

It was one of those weird coincidences... At the very end of the 80s, I'd been thinking a lot about the coming online world. I had two related things I was most preoccupied with: the delivery of digitized popular music via computer networks and the evolution of civil liberties law as it applied to computer networks. It was 1991 when an associate discussed the first issue with a Warner Canada executive (response: "whahuh???") And at about the same time, I read about the raid on SJ Games and about the formation of EFF.

I had what I thought was a viable business plan for the first thing: starting with an equivalent to a mail-order CD business hosted on one or more of the commercial networks, with production/licensing agreements with the record labels (thus the feelers to a label), moving to digital distribution when tech advances provide the bandwidth. But, well, I got involved in other things, namely going back to school.

So my focus switched to the other thing, and while I was back as an undergrad at SJC, I explored the idea of going on to law school and specializing in civil liberties in the context of this new technology. That didn't happen either, but I was very familiar with the Steve Jackson Games case and stuff and remained interested in all the issues.

So, in 1997, I was living in Austin, my ISP was Illuminati Online, and one day they advertised for a manager of their support department. I interviewed and got the job. At that time, I didn't know of the connection to Steve Jackson Games or that the SJ Games BBS that had been raided had become the Illuminati Online ISP. Only after I was hired did I learn this. That was really, really weird.

Both the Jackson brothers (Ken ran IO) are extremely independently minded and, frankly, belligerent guys. They're not fun people to work for (and I didn't for very long). But they're just about exactly the kind of people to fight the Secret Service and win. And a lot of good things came out of it, not the least some important precedents, both legal and social.

I'm a bit ambivalent about all this stuff with SOPA and PIPA because it's a little disheartening that what really gets people riled up is when you fuck with their internet, and not things like torture and assassination and vast media disinformation campaigns. But, on the other hand, these two laws are shit like the DMCA is shit and all are representative of numerous things that are wrong the US legislative process and voter awareness. Stopping these two laws is a good thing on its own terms.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:48 PM on January 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


Am horrified that Sherrod Brown (D) OH is a CO-SPONSOR of PIPA. Gah!

This is the problem with the multiple meanings of "liberal." I talked myself out of bothering to call the man's office. I'm stunned at my friends in CA who bothered to call their senators.

And yeah, my BB doesn't play with JS, she says 19 hours and 450 posts later.
posted by SMPA at 3:49 PM on January 18, 2012


Ars Technica is an excellent place to keep up on developments as they happen, by the way. For example, the latest: PIPA support collapses, with 13 new Senators opposed
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:06 PM on January 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Hell, I couldn't get a position from Chuck Schumer's office. He's a co-sponsor but that his staffers still say "that doesn't mean he's committed as to how he'll vote."
posted by tyllwin


Chucky needs to be convinced SOPA/PIPA might possibly, in some tiny little way no one can foresee, but speculatively and putatively in some future circumstance, be bad for Israel.

He'd shitcan it right away.
posted by spitbull at 4:21 PM on January 18, 2012 [3 favorites]

I'm a bit ambivalent about all this stuff with SOPA and PIPA because it's a little disheartening that what really gets people riled up is when you fuck with their internet, and not things like torture and assassination and vast media disinformation campaigns. But, on the other hand, these two laws are shit like the DMCA is shit and all are representative of numerous things that are wrong the US legislative process and voter awareness. Stopping these two laws is a good thing on its own terms.
Part of the problem is that people just don't want to believe all that horrible stuff, so they tune it out, and the media doesn't cover it.

The reason people heard about this was because the people and organizations affected are also the way people get their news: Metafilter, Reddit, Wikipedia, even Google. Plus tons and tons of other sites. So people hear about it. Otherwise they'd only hear about it if they'd paid really close attention to the news.
posted by delmoi at 5:12 PM on January 18, 2012


I'm a bit ambivalent about all this stuff with SOPA and PIPA because it's a little disheartening that what really gets people riled up is when you fuck with their internet, and not things like torture and assassination and vast media disinformation campaigns. But, on the other hand, these two laws are shit like the DMCA is shit and all are representative of numerous things that are wrong the US legislative process and voter awareness. Stopping these two laws is a good thing on its own terms.

In addition to what delmoi said, if there's anything that The Day Without Wikipedia is making people realize, it's that there's some truth to the contentions of various writers that Wikipedia, and the Internet generally, has become a prosthetic extension of peoples' brains. The flip side of not needing to know something as long as you can look it up on the internet is that you need to be able to trust that you can look it up on the internet. When you think of it that way, the stakes in this debate are higher and the uproar far more understandable.
posted by mstokes650 at 5:44 PM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Zuckerberg comes out against SOPA and a Politico article.
posted by delmoi at 6:05 PM on January 18, 2012


Interesting timing, Zuckerberg.
posted by Dr. Zira at 6:11 PM on January 18, 2012


1,000,000 calls to congress today, through the EFF alone. I'm wondering how many Tumblr et al. managed.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:24 PM on January 18, 2012


Also, what older congresspeople may not realize is just how common is it now for most of a person's socializing to happen online in one way or another. Regulating online expression and linkage is now much more like regulating real-world conversations and movement, it's not regulating some backstage thing that people aren't directly aware of.

Imagine if they tried to shut down any bar, cafe, or restaurant where a patron showed another patron a possibly-infringing clip from Youtube.

It would be crazy to expect a bar or restaurant owner to police their patrons' interactions that way, crazy to impose such dramatic sanctions. But when it's online, these lawmakers maybe just lack the experience to know how people are using the web like this?
posted by LobsterMitten at 6:24 PM on January 18, 2012 [6 favorites]


Ironmouth writes "I live in DC. I don't get to tell anyone about how I feel about this, because I am denied the right to vote for a voice in the legislative branch. There is no congressman for me to call."

'Twas me I'd phone all of them.

charlie don't surf writes "The DMCA is not really designed for corporations. They already have lawyers. The DMCA gives individuals a simple way to protect their IP rights without recourse to lawyers."

Yet it is mighty effective for corporations.

Kadin2048 writes "That's essentially what they did with the DMCA, and it passed on a voice vote so that nobody would be able to point fingers, exactly, afterwards."

I've heard about these voice votes before without understanding. How does a voice vote result in immunity from finger pointing? Aren't all legislative sessions open to the public and broadcast on TV?

cortex writes "I was not aware of this."

Extremely awesome.

Also on Metafilter."


GAh! Oh how I wish people would describe what their links are about.
posted by Mitheral at 6:31 PM on January 18, 2012


The Daily Coyote has a protest entry up... But I don't quite get her argument.
posted by meese at 6:37 PM on January 18, 2012


But I don't quite get her argument

I think part of it is that user-generated content sites like Reddit, which were instrumental to her breakout, are threatened.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:42 PM on January 18, 2012


charlie don't surf writes "The DMCA is not really designed for corporations. They already have lawyers. The DMCA gives individuals a simple way to protect their IP rights without recourse to lawyers."

Yet it is mighty effective for corporations.


But only if they are correctly asserting their IP rights. If a corporation is pursuing you for a bogus claim, you can fight it with a simple counterclaim that you can write yourself from boilerplate. Thus, it's still more effective for individuals.

In the past, if a corporation came down on you, even with a bogus claim, they'd file a lawsuit for infringement and you'd have no recourse but to hire a lawyer and fight it. Some of these were scorched-earth lawsuits, the corporation knew their claim was frivolous but they'd use the full weight of their legal team to crush an individual and exhaust his resources to fight back.

I'll give you an example of how this used to work for individuals, best case scenario. Say for example a photographer sees one of his photos being printed in a magazine without permission. The photog sends a notice of infringement to the magazine. He offers to settle the matter and release claims of infringement IF the magazine agrees to pay him the usual rate they would have paid for licensing the photo legitimately (and the photog here customarily quotes 4x the usual rate) and if the magazine contents to limited licensing terms that the photog would have required (e.g. one time use). So say the magazine gets the bill for $50k, the photo editor knows he would only have paid $10k, so he gripes to the company attorney, who says it's going to cost more than $50k to defend this infringement lawsuit, and we'll lose and probably have to pay punitive damages, which could be sky high, even millions. Pay the man the $50k NOW.

Now that's how it's supposed to go. But oftentimes the magazine just ignores the complaint. The photog has to spend years pushing the case through Federal Courts. It takes big money up front to do this. But the payoff can be huge, I've seen infringement cases for a single photo end up with a $2.5M judgement against the infringer.

Now this is the old printing & publishing world. The damage is already permanent once the magazine or book is published. You can't unprint the photo and take it off the shelves. But with the digital world and the DMCA, infringement can be dealt with rapidly, to instantly stop the infringement before it causes more damage to the IP owner.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:12 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


But only if they are correctly asserting their IP rights. If a corporation is pursuing you for a bogus claim, you can fight it with a simple counterclaim that you can write yourself from boilerplate. Thus, it's still more effective for individuals.

Not really.

The penalties for incorrectly asserting IP rights (copyfraud) are minimal, and require a much more expensive lawsuit to hold to task.

To even assert a counterclaim means you have to identify yourself, which is problematic for certain parties.

Regardless of your righteousness, your shit will still go down very quickly, and will (maybe) be put back up very leisurely.

And this is the *good part* of the DMCA.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:26 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking of the DMCA, Can't you sue people for filing bogus DMCA notifications?

I mean, take the issue that Matt mentioned in the FPP, couldn't he have sued Sony? Why don't more people do this when companies file bogus notifications?

There need to be stricter penalties for filing bogus claims, IMO.
posted by delmoi at 7:38 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the links to SJ Games. Brings back memories. Until now I'd entirely forgotten attending Godwin's speech at CMU. Hard to believe it is coming up on 18 years.

Predictably, as the stakes have been raised from "moral perversion" to "loss of profit" the efforts at censorship have gone up as well.
posted by meinvt at 7:43 PM on January 18, 2012


Speaking of the DMCA, Can't you sue people for filing bogus DMCA notifications?

I mean, take the issue that Matt mentioned in the FPP, couldn't he have sued Sony? Why don't more people do this when companies file bogus notifications?

There need to be stricter penalties for filing bogus claims, IMO.


I agree, it seems to me there could be a real problem with SLAPP suits with this legislation (nuisance lawsuits aiming to stop competitors, or protestors).
posted by chapps at 7:47 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


The penalties for incorrectly asserting IP rights (copyfraud) are minimal, and require a much more expensive lawsuit to hold to task.

You know copyrfraud is my specialty, I've published articles about it several times. In fact, I'm reviewing a new book on the subject right now, should get my review published soon. Yes, there are minimal penalties for copyfraud. But with a DMCA counterclaim, there are minimal damages, since you can fight it so easily and get it back up easily. It's hard to assert that you suffered substantial damages for an incorrect takedown when it's handled with due process, and maybe you're down for a few days while it gets sorted out. But yes, this is a weak spot in the copyright laws.

And yes, you can get countersued for frivolous claims. I already mentioned Righthaven LLC, who got sanctioned, penalized, company went bankrupt, properties seized, lawyers are now before the State Bar ethics board. BTW California has strong anti-SLAPP laws, you'd be lucky to live there and be able to use them, but they'd basically only apply if some corporation was trying to silence you for criticizing them.

To even assert a counterclaim means you have to identify yourself, which is problematic for certain parties.

That is not true. The defense against a bogus DMCA claim is always the same: the claimant is not the legitimate copyright holder, and thus has no standing to make the complaint. You don't have to prove YOU have the copyright, you just have to show THEY don't.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:23 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


But with a DMCA counterclaim, there are minimal damages, since you can fight it so easily and get it back up easily.

Assuming that time is not a factor, of course.

You don't have to prove YOU have the copyright, you just have to show THEY don't.

You have to prove a negative. Especially tough in a post '76 world, where *everything* is copyrighted. And that's not even getting into fair use, etc.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:02 PM on January 18, 2012


We just turned off the interstitial. Thanks everyone for your help with fighting these bills, thanks for the excellent updates here in the thread, and for understanding why we felt it was important to interrupt the normal site experience for a while.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:02 PM on January 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


Hollywood moguls tell Obama to go fuck himself.
posted by empath at 9:36 PM on January 18, 2012


I just skimmed the article but was there any "mogul" named other than Murdock?

Incidentally both Franken and Klobachar have now said changes need to be made to PIPA before they will support it.
I suspect this iteration is DOA for now.
posted by edgeways at 9:50 PM on January 18, 2012


WikiP is reporting more than eight million people looked up their congresscritter's contact information via their web thingy.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:53 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


My next-door Republican senator is withdrawing her support (for now) for SOPA.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:56 PM on January 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


It ain't over yet.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:09 PM on January 18, 2012


Remember: Call again in about a week, and reiterate/thank as required.

That really sticks.
posted by eriko at 10:10 PM on January 18, 2012


ALA isn't a 501c6? I thought most professional associations were. Not that it changes things; I work for a c6 and we have massive lobbying efforts all the time. Just a little confused.

Not if they want philanthropy dollars. Donations by individuals to 501(c)6s aren't tax-deductible and 501(c)6s aren't generally eligible for foundation grants.
posted by desuetude at 10:16 PM on January 18, 2012


I'm sure it isn't quite over, but part of that is Lamar's just head-up-his-ass stubbornness, rather than political reality. I wonder just will come out of the markup, it potentially could be pretty neutered.
posted by edgeways at 10:21 PM on January 18, 2012


The most uncomfortable part of today's events is it has become clear that the online right-wing got things done. It was mostly Republican senators that backpedaled from their positions due to people like (the usually scummy) Erick Ericson at RedState. In fact, they're declaring victory over Daily Kos tonight.

Why is the Democratic Party more willing to ignore its base?
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:08 PM on January 18, 2012


second link broke: declaring victory over Daily Kos tonight..
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:09 PM on January 18, 2012


Why is the Democratic Party more willing to ignore its base?

Uh, the SOPA supporters are their base. Hollywood and unions.

Angry white guys on the internet are the republican base.
posted by empath at 11:15 PM on January 18, 2012


I'd like to imagine that being on the right side of history is the Democratic base, but yes, I do see your point, empath.

After today's events, the Democrats can't make up the same bullshit that they did with the NDAA. If this is passed, this is entirely on the Democrats.
posted by amuseDetachment at 11:23 PM on January 18, 2012


Yeah, The republicans have never really cared that much about Copyright enforcement. The Bush administration didn't go out and actively seize domains the way Obama has been doing, and it was under Clinton that the DMCA passed. Hollywood is very much a 'liberal' special interest.

When Obama became president he nominated a bunch of RIAA lawyers to key DOJ positions.

This, on the other hand is just stupid:
I started talking about PROTECT IP last May, back when the Kos left was all in favor of Internet regulation.
He's talking about Net Neutrality, which is a really incomprehensible thing for anyone other then phone companies to be against. A lot of people, who knows why, seemed to think Net Neutrality meant enforcing political neutrality on websites, or something. It probably needs to be rebranded.
posted by delmoi at 12:29 AM on January 19, 2012


Something quite similar happened in France. It was dismaying to see the anti-piracy 3-strike "Hadopi" law being vocally supported by many left-wing or at least "progressive" politicians and artists, all lamenting how file sharing is a lethal threat to French culture and French civilisation. People known for supporting civil rights and other noble causes were suddenly advocating an Orwellian monitoring of the society in order to protect their cocaine and sex trade habits personal bottom line. Even the current socialist contender in the next presidential race can't make up his mind about whether he'll undo the law or not.
Let's hope that the rejection of SOPA/PIPA in the US will have a ripple effect in other places.
posted by elgilito at 2:21 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


PIPA and SOPA Co-Sponsors Abandon Bills
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:45 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why is the Democratic Party more willing to ignore its base?

They are not ignoring their base. Left wing voters are not their base.
posted by fuq at 4:15 AM on January 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


Fox News (website, not cable):

Score one for the America people and Internet freedom

SOPA -- What It Is and Why It’s Bad

Founder of Internet Fears 'Unprecedented' Web Censorship

(Kind of interesting, since it's a Murdoch-owned company.)


I think some Republicans saw an opportunity here. This issue pitted the interests of one group of companies against another. If the Democrats were going to stand staunchly behind one group, it made sense to some Republicans to support the other. And given popular opposition, they can pick up some votes as well.

(I don't usully pay much attention to Fox. Sally Kohn who wrote the "What It Is and Why It’s Bad" piece is evidently their resident liberal commentator, though the piece is pitched to conservatives.)
posted by nangar at 4:47 AM on January 19, 2012


In the past year I have heard only two non-sports stories discussed on my sports talk radio station. The Bin Laden hit and yesterday's wikipedia blackout/ SOPA protest. They did not say "SOPA", and they didn't tell anybody to call their congressmen, but they had the gist of the story correct. They said something about "stupid anti-piracy legislation".

I find it odd that the press who can get in a lot of trouble if they do not have their facts correct relies on wikipedia.
posted by bukvich at 5:51 AM on January 19, 2012


The WSJ takes note of the 'nerd lobby.'
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:26 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

The attendees included veteran Washington policymakers and cyberdefense experts. But one person – an engineer named Dan Kaminsky who specializes in an arcane set of rules governing how people connect to the Internet – stood out

That would be mefi's own Dan Kaminsky.
posted by empath at 7:54 AM on January 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I find it interesting that Kaminsky made a point which I haven't seen brought up elsewhere in anti-SOPA arguments:
These engineers, of whom Kaminsky is among the most vocal, succeeded in making the case that the bills would adversely affect the technology intended to secure the Web against hacking attacks that hijack websites and trick people into visiting pages loaded with malicious software....

One of the main problems engineers cited was that [the DNS blocking required by SOPA] is the same blocking mechanism hackers use to fool people into going to fake websites. The security system they had devised wouldn’t be able to distinguish between blocking done by hackers and that done by governments and therefore wouldn’t work. That could leave Web users open to hacking, they said.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:05 AM on January 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah, Kaminsky discovered a DNS cache poisoning technique that was the main reason for implementing DNSSEC.
posted by empath at 8:10 AM on January 19, 2012


That's a cool looking article, empath. Just the sort of nicely illustrated, low level detailed nerdery I love. Thanks.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:05 AM on January 19, 2012


This guy (who could use a free eyeglasses adjustment, but whatever) makes an interesting point.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:16 PM on January 19, 2012


Hollywood moguls tell Obama to go fuck himself.

So, essentially, what they're saying is, "Hey, Obama, if you pass this bill, we will give you a bunch of money; if you don't, we won't."

Isn't there a word for that?

Isn't it illegal?
posted by Sys Rq at 4:29 PM on January 19, 2012


What the SOPA blackout accomplished.
posted by unliteral at 5:47 PM on January 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Lesson: From now on, we must all only write songs with names that have been previously used.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:29 PM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lesson: From now on, we must all only write songs with names that have been previously used.

Sometimes I think it's hard not to.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:45 PM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hereby deputize cortex to go make a Markov song name generator that uses names of songs already written for its corpus.

GO GO GADGET CORTEX!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:09 PM on January 19, 2012


Hmm. Maybe tie it in with actual Echonest Remix analysis to reconstitute a new song from the component parts of the constituent contributory song titles...
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:51 PM on January 19, 2012


Hollywood moguls tell Obama to go fuck himself.

You know what? Fuck them. I'm willing to bet that contributions from Internet co. giants will make up for their whines of "I'm taking my money and I'm going home".
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 9:29 PM on January 19, 2012


What the SOPA blackout accomplished.

Let's do it again next week.
posted by philip-random at 9:39 PM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lesson: From now on, we must all only write songs with names that have been previously used.

Sometimes I think it's hard not to.


There's still only one Plague of Lighthouse Keepers as far as I know.
posted by philip-random at 9:41 PM on January 19, 2012

So, essentially, what they're saying is, "Hey, Obama, if you pass this bill, we will give you a bunch of money; if you don't, we won't."

Isn't there a word for that?

Isn't it illegal?
In American politics? Hahahaha.
posted by delmoi at 1:12 AM on January 20, 2012


It's only bribery/blackmail if you do it behind closed doors.

If you do it in the newspapers, it's politics.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 1:15 AM on January 20, 2012


If anyone is still reading down here: SOPA, PIPA to be redrafted.
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:05 AM on January 20, 2012


arcticseal: Am I the only one who keeps hearing John Oliver from the Bugle/Daily Show saying "Oh PIPA!" in my head?

Now you can hear it outside your head too (SOPA/PIPA is the first story... the Oh PIPA starts at about 6:30).
posted by Kattullus at 4:34 PM on January 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Sys Rq: "Hollywood moguls tell Obama to go fuck himself.

So, essentially, what they're saying is, "Hey, Obama, if you pass this bill, we will give you a bunch of money; if you don't, we won't."

Isn't there a word for that?

Isn't it illegal?
"
Salon: Dodd accused of “bribery” over SOPA remarks
In response to his comments, a petition has been created on the White House website asking the Obama administration to investigate Dodd for “bribery.” It has 17,000 22,000 signatures after two days.
posted by FlyingMonkey at 2:50 PM on January 23, 2012


You should know that lightboxes (e.g., this “interstitial”) are inaccessible, fail WCAG, and cannot be remediated to be accessible in any practicable way.
posted by joeclark at 6:45 PM on January 26, 2012


Oh, Joe.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:53 PM on January 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Stavros, knock it off. There are accessible methods of delivering a message.
posted by joeclark at 2:23 PM on February 15, 2012


Showing up weeks late in a thread to add some further gripe is itself pretty at odds with how basically everyone else on this site communicates, and it's something you do on a regular basis. I'm not sure stav responding about as tersely as possible to a single instance of it even rates mention by comparison if we're really going to have a "things people need to knock off" discussion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:56 PM on February 15, 2012 [3 favorites]


Knocking it off, sir. But hey, my intended tone was totally 'oh, you lovable curmudgeon, you'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:55 PM on February 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


On forums not as well organized or managed as this one, there is a regular phenomenon called thread necromancy. So I applaud you, joeclark, for mastering the dark arts.
posted by Errant at 12:05 AM on February 16, 2012


To be fair: Looking at joeclark's posting history, it's entirely possible this was his first time seeing the comment. Whether it's worth it to drag up something weeks-old up just because it's the first time you've seen it is another story, but I think it's only right to mention.
posted by SpiffyRob at 5:02 AM on February 16, 2012


Necromancy is an interesting concept and it is weird how different forum cultures treat it. Most places are variations of metafilter where commenting on old threads isn't much of a big deal but it doesn't get done much either. Other places freak the smeg out if you comment on threads that aren't on the front page. And finally some forums freak the smeg out if you start up a new thread on a topic that already has a thread even if the existing thread is several years old (IE: members are expected to read the entire archive (or at least search it extensively) before starting a new topic). Of three 40K forums I frequent there are one of each type and it can be hard to keep them straight.
posted by Mitheral at 8:01 AM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


The "omg you posted in an old thread" thing seems to be linked to certain forum software, which by default list threads within a forum sorted by last-posting-date. So if you add on to a thread that's two years old, suddenly it pops up on the front page.

I've never really understood exactly why this is a bad thing, since it seems to be by design of the software, but apparently a lot of folks don't like it ... and rather than just changing or reconfiguring the software to not do that, they instead just yell at people when it happens.

Kind of a weird example of a social 'solution' to a technology problem.

Also reason #10,546,259 for "Why I am glad Metafilter doesn't use vBulletin."*

* This would make a pretty awesome/terrible April Fools day change, though.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:39 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


it's entirely possible this was his first time seeing the comment.

It's entirely possible; I'd guess (without knowing anything specific about joeclark's reading habits here) that it's totally probable. He may frequently go for weeks at a time without loading the site, or at least without loading Recent Activity or manually returning to threads where he's commented to check for followups.

And in a vacuum that'd be a bit of an idiosyncrasy but nothing more to be said about it; someone comments late relatively often, so be it. In practice it's the fact that that late commenting is often late-breaking sniping, at other users or at the mods, or complaining in-thread about moderation or mod conspiracies after having had something deleted days or weeks earlier. In that context it goes from merely idiosyncratic to genuinely frustrating behavior. At this point we're mostly just in ignore-it-and-move-on territory because addressing it doesn't seem to help anything either, but there it is. It's goddam tiring to deal with.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:42 AM on February 16, 2012


there is a regular phenomenon called thread necromancy

I never heard this term before. It is awesome.

I see it in the green occasionally, where it seems to be used most often by OPs updating and spammers trying to be sneaky (good luck, assholes!). In the blue or the grey, I don't think it's quite as odd or nefarious for someone to stumble on an older thread and be all "Oh this is neat thanks!"

It does seem weird to come in after weeks have gone by and respond to what might be a fighty comment with a fighty comment, especially when the thing the thread was about is done and over with. I bet stav (and everyone else in the thread) had forgotten about it entirely - I sure had.
posted by rtha at 10:06 AM on February 16, 2012


At this point we're mostly just in ignore-it-and-move-on territory because addressing it doesn't seem to help anything either

Makes a lot of sense. I guess this is really the blessing/curse of the Recent Activity page. People are more likely to jump back into old threads that they otherwise would have missed, but at least any resulting shenanigans are easier for everyone to notice.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:25 AM on February 16, 2012


Is there a name for the game where you see who can get the last hit in on a dead horse before it gets hauled away?
posted by charred husk at 7:27 AM on February 17, 2012


Flogginagainiphilippilification.
posted by Kattullus at 10:21 AM on February 17, 2012


It was a thing in that MeTa thread last year. Meatbomb won.
posted by arcticseal at 3:58 PM on February 17, 2012


Yeah, there was a while back when these were a thing. It was fun.
posted by Kattullus at 5:53 PM on February 17, 2012


Cortex wanted that so bad.
posted by Artw at 6:12 PM on February 17, 2012


Mostly I just wanted Meatbomb to not have it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:26 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


« Older Are there examples of someone ...  |  Can I read the Baffler article... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments