Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock or just don’t connect to the Interwebs (which…how would you be reading this if you didn’t?), many websites are going dark today protesting the House’s SOPA and the Senate’s PIPA bills aimed at fighting online piracy.  Jason mentioned it earlier today in his morning reads.  Rather than rehash how the two bills could harm free speech on the Internet, I’ll point you to the post I wrote back in December about SOPA, PIPA, and Intellectual Property.

Congressmen Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA-3), Austin Scott (R-GA-8), Tom Graves (R-GA-9),  and Paul Broun (R-GA-10) have spoken in opposition to the House’s SOPA bill.  Both Senators Saxby Chambliss (DC ph: 202-224-3521 District ph: 770-763-9090) and Johnny Isakson (DC ph: 202-224-3643 District ph: 770-661-0999) are co-sponsors of the Senate’s PIPA bill.

Please continue to urge our congressmen and senators to not grant the federal government censorship powers for the Internet.  And visit The Oatmeal for a (very humorous, but not safe for work or around the kids–you’ve been warned) take on how SOPA and PIPA would affect content online.


  1. Bridget says:

    I tweeted my displeasure of the bills to Gingrey and Isakson. Chambliss hasn’t tweeted since 2008, so he got an old school phone call to his DC office.

    TARP and the economy might not get the attention of the reality-tv masses, but tack up a few 1984 posters on some FB walls describing how these guys are coming after your internet, and I’d venture to say it’d get a few extra people to the polls.

  2. NoTeabagging says:

    This is a bill that has entered a black hole of truth v. reality. I think the intention of the bill is good, but some language is misinterpreted as too harsh. The spin on this is incredible. No wonder we never any get any viable legislation from Congress. They can’t write a succinct bill or clear language.

    The idea that one person could file a copyright complaint and shut down access to huge portions of the internet is absurd. It would be equal to having a city shut down all the gun stores after a fatal, one bullet shooting.

    Nathan covered some, but not all aspects of copyright and intellectual property theft, in his December column. I hope to toss in my two cents sometime, until then…

    I leave you with these links to ponder:
    Cartoonist of ‘The Far Side’ asks fans to stop posting his cartoons.

    Unfair Myths about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA – H.R. 3261) from IATSE union

    • NoTeabagging says:

      Just have to reply to this issue in Nathan’s Dec. post, “EBooks will probably suffer the same way with people sharing books purchased on the Kindle Store (of course, how is that any different than me allowing my friend to borrow the dead tree version of a book?). ”

      Lending a single (hard/dead tree) copy of book is not copyright infringement. Making 5 hard/dead tree copies and distributing them is copyright infringement because that is 5 more copies out there that the writer/publishers loses income. Same if you scan the book and create a pdf or ebook and post it in a file sharing site. You are now creating a potentially infinite number of copies that will never create income for the copyright owner because the people that download these will most likely never buy a hard copy or ebook copy. It really doesn’t matter if you distributed these illegal copies for free or sold them them for your own profit. You have violated the property owners right to receive fair value for their own, unique work.

      The same holds true for music, movies, TV shows, visual art and other creative forms that people rely on for their income.

    • John Konop says:

      …I think the intention of the bill is good, but some language is misinterpreted as too harsh….

      I agree, stealing another person’s work is wrong. The real issue is how do we do this without overreaching……………..

    • CobbGOPer says:

      “They can’t write a succinct bill or clear language.”

      It’s cute that you expect clarity from lawyers.

  3. ricstewart says:

    In recent weeks, we’ve been reminded of what happens when people don’t have access to information from a broad range of sources. North Korea’s state-run media and state-published textbooks taught that Kim Jong Il doesn’t produce feces or urine, and that when he was born a double-rainbow formed, a new star appeared in the sky, the seasons miraculously changed and icebergs started talking.

  4. NoTeabagging says:

    Here is a timely example of how current sites are being shut down without new laws. The Megaupload site does share copyrighted material, it does have income from ‘subscribers’ accessing the service, it does have income from advertisers. Megaupload allegedly reopened on a new site.

    Harry can rejoice about the retaliation here:

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