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Ask Slashdot: What Can You Do About SOPA and PIPA?

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the grab-some-tea-and-head-to-boston dept.

Government 1002

Wednesday is here, and with it sites around the internet are going under temporary blackout to protest two pieces of legislation currently making their way through the U.S. Congress: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect-IP Act (PIPA). Wikipedia, reddit, the Free Software Foundation, Google, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, imgur, Mozilla, and many others have all made major changes to their sites or shut down altogether in protest. These sites, as well as technology experts (PDF) around the world and everyone here at Slashdot, think SOPA and PIPA pose unacceptable risks to freedom of speech and the uncensored nature of the internet. The purpose of the protests is to educate people — to let them know this legislation will damage websites you use and enjoy every day, despite being unrelated to the stated purpose of both bills. So, we ask you: what can you do to stop SOPA and PIPA? You may have heard the House has shelved SOPA, and that President Obama has pledged not to pass it as-is, but the MPAA and SOPA-sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) are trying to brush off the protests as a stunt, and Smith has announced markup for the bill will resume in February. Meanwhile, PIPA is still present in the Senate, and it remains a threat. Read on for more about why these bills are bad news, and how to contact your representative to let them know it.

Note: This will be the last story we post today until 6pm EST in protest of SOPA.Why is it bad?

The Stop Online Piracy Act is H.R.3261, and the Protect-IP Act is S.968.

The intent of both pieces of legislation is to combat online piracy, giving the Attorney General and the Department of Justice power to block domain name services and demand that links be stripped from sites not involved in piracy. The problem is that the legislation, as written, is vague and overly-broad. For one thing, it classifies internet sites as "foreign" or "domestic" based entirely on their domain name. A site hosted abroad like Wikileaks.org could be classified as "domestic" because the .org TLD is registered through a U.S. authority. By defining it as "domestic," Wikileaks would then fall under the jurisdiction of U.S. laws. Other provisions are worded even more poorly: in Section 103, SOPA lays out the definition for a "foreign infringing site" as one where "the owner or operator of such Internet site is committing or facilitating the commission of criminal violations punishable under [provisions relating to counterfeiting and copyright infringement]." The problematic word is facilitating, as it opens the door to condemning sites that simply link to other sites.

The most obvious implication of this is that search engines would suddenly be responsible for monitoring and policing everything they index. Google indexed its trillionth concurrent URL in 2008. Can you imagine how many people it would take to double check all of them for infringing content? But the job wouldn't end at simply looking at them — Google would have to continually monitor them. Google would also have to somehow keep track of the billions of new sites that spring up daily, many of which would be trying to avoid close scrutiny. Of course, it's an impossible task, so there would need to be automated solutions. Automation being imperfect, it would leave us with false positives. Or perhaps sites would need to be "approved" to be listed. Either way, we'd then be dealing with censorship on a massive scale, and the infringing sites themselves would continue to pop up.

But the problems don't end there; in fact, SOPA defines "Internet search engine" as a service that "searches, crawls, categorizes, or indexes information or Web sites available elsewhere on the Internet" and links to them. That's pretty much what we do here at Slashdot. It's also something the fine folks at Wikipedia and reddit do on a regular basis. The strength of all three sites is that they're heavily dependent on user-generated content. Every day at Slashdot, readers deposit hundreds and hundreds of links into our submissions bin. Thousands of comments are made daily. We have a system to surface the good content, but the chaff still exists. If we suddenly had a mandate to retroactively filter out all the links to potentially copyright-infringing sites in our database, we wouldn't have many options. We're talking about reviewing hundreds of thousands of submissions, and every comment on 117,000+ stories. And we're far from the biggest site around — imagine social networks needing to police their content, and all the privacy issues that would raise.

Small sites and new sites would be hurt, too. A website isn't a single, discrete entity that exists on its own. A new company starting up a site would have to worry about its webhost, registrar, content provider, ISP, etc. The legislation would also raise significant financial obstacles. New companies need investments, and that would be much less likely (PDF) if the company could be held liable for content uploaded by users. On top of that, if the site was unable to live up to the vague standards set by the government and the entertainment industry, they could be on the receiving end of a lawsuit, which would be expensive to fight even if they won (and such laws would never, ever be abused). It's hard to conceptualize the internet without noting its unrivaled growth, and SOPA/PIPA would surely stifle it.

This legislation hits near and dear to the hearts of many Slashdotters; if SOPA/PIPA pass, IT staff for companies small and large are going to have their hands full making sure they aren't opening themselves to legal action or government intervention. Mailing lists, used commonly and extensively among open source software projects, would be endangered. Code repositories would need be scoured for infringing content; the bill allows for the strangling of revenue sources if its anti-infringement rules aren't being met. VPN and proxy services become only questionably legal. The very nature of the open source community — as the EFF puts it, "decentralized, voluntary, international" — is not compatible with the burdens placed on internet sites by SOPA and PIPA.

What can we do?

So, what can we do about it? There are two big things: contact your representative, and spread the word. Slashdot readers, on the whole, are more technically-minded than the average internet user, so you're all in a position to share your wisdom with the less internet-savvy people in your life, and get them to contact their representative, too. Here's some useful information for doing so:

Propublica has a list of all SOPA/PIPA supporters and opponents.
Here is the Senate contact list and the House contact list.
You can also use the EFF's form-letter, the Stop American Censorship form-letter, or sign Google's petition.
If you don't live in the U.S., you can petition the State Department. (And yes, you have a dog in this fight.)
SOPAStrike has a list of companies participating in the protest, and this crowd-sourced Google Doc tracks companies that support the legislation. Tell those companies what you think.

Further reading: Wikipedia has left their SOPA and PIPA pages up. The EFF has a series of articles explaining in more depth what is wrong with the bills. Here are some protest letters written to Congress from human rights groups, law professors, and internet companies.

Go forth and educate.

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Spread the word (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 3 years ago | (#38737336)

Making sure that everyone knows what is happening and what is at stake is probably the most useful thing anyone can do.

Re:Spread the word (5, Insightful)

Tsingi (870990) | about 3 years ago | (#38737386)

Making sure that everyone knows what is happening and what is at stake is probably the most useful thing anyone can do.

Going offline is a good tactic to reach the general audience of Wikipedia. There probably aren't that many subscribers at /. that aren't aware of SOPA and what it means.

The thing to do now is make it known everywhere you hang out and try to get people to care. A tough row to hoe, but if we all do it, it will have an effect.

Re:Spread the word (-1, Troll)

TechGZ (2555776) | about 3 years ago | (#38737408)

What's ridiculous is that Google only put it in small text on their homepage, where most people don't ever go and it's hard to notice. So much for Google caring about the goodness of internet or people. For example, Namecheap [namecheap.com] put a whole page for it, and it's going to cost them business. Even while they aren't large as Google. Google didn't care at all.

Re:Spread the word (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737544)

New shill account?

You are becoming pretty transparent, maybe coming up with an original name would help.

If Google didn't care, they wouldn't put the link there. I suppose it could have been bigger, but it's not like there is much else on a Google page.

Re:Spread the word (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737558)

???? Google's entire logo today is about SOPA and takes you directly to a petition to sign. The logo is on the main page, and every single search page.

Maybe we should have actually gone to google first before complaining?

Now, I agree, had they shut their service down it would have had even more effect. But having a "whole page for it" would be worthless with google, because no one goes to google to "browse google" they go to search. And every search today has the blacked-out google logo right on the page.

Re:Spread the word (5, Insightful)

TechGZ (2555776) | about 3 years ago | (#38737690)

Not for me. Maybe it's only for US users, but I think everyone in the world should be aware of this.

Re:Spread the word (4, Interesting)

PT_1 (2425848) | about 3 years ago | (#38737964)

Yeah, same here; it's seems to be only showing the logo to US visitors.

Re:Spread the word (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737622)

The blacked-out Google logo wasn't enough?

Re:Spread the word (5, Interesting)

The Moof (859402) | about 3 years ago | (#38737628)

What's ridiculous is that Google only put it in small text on their homepage

That, and the giant black box over their name. Honestly, the Google link seems to be getting passed around people on Facebook like wildfire. And I'm loving it because the people I'm seeing spread it around are not my nerd friends, but the "average joes" who don't keep up on tech rights and such. Google's approach may not be as drastic as others, but it's definitely getting attention.

Re:Spread the word (1)

TechGZ (2555776) | about 3 years ago | (#38737770)

Just the usual Google logo for me, and no link. I'm not in the US though.

Re:Spread the word (2)

modernzombie (1496981) | about 3 years ago | (#38737912)

I see the link but not the logo. I'm in Canada.

Re:Spread the word (1)

Denogh (2024280) | about 3 years ago | (#38737914)

Hey, it got a doodle! And the doodle points to... "a whole page for it" [google.com] . But no, it's cool. Reality can wait for your silly Google-hate.

Re:Spread the word (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737700)

But not here on /.
My ears are already starting to bleed from all the anti-SOPA/PIPA blowhorns.

Make a campaign contribution (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#38737338)

Include a big campaign contribution with your letter if you want to make sure it's not just thrown in the trash or just added to the pile.

Re:Make a campaign contribution (4, Insightful)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 3 years ago | (#38737396)

Include a big campaign contribution with your letter if you want to make sure it's not just thrown in the trash or just added to the pile.

That works best for 'invisible' issues... I think the best chance of killing PIPA is making it very very visible, so that "the pile" looks big enough to threaten re-election.

Re:Make a campaign contribution (4, Insightful)

shentino (1139071) | about 3 years ago | (#38737870)

I bet most of the reps taking point on cramming this down our throats already have their campaign contributions safely tucked away in their bank accounts, along with cushy jobs waiting for them in the private sector.

Re:Make a campaign contribution (1)

berashith (222128) | about 3 years ago | (#38737596)

That wouldnt even help me with my senator. I live in one of the few zip codes in Georgia that has both black people and gay people in it. I am sure that just postmarking a letter gets it binned instantly.

Not Blacked Out? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737342)

Why is slashdot ignoring the blackout?
With so many links to questionable content, this illegal news source seems like a hive of crime.

Re:Not Blacked Out? (4, Informative)

JoeMerchant (803320) | about 3 years ago | (#38737412)

Why is slashdot ignoring the blackout?
With so many links to questionable content, this illegal news source seems like a hive of crime.

Get it right, it's not "a hive of crime," it's "a wretched hive of scum and villany."

Re:Not Blacked Out? (5, Funny)

Tsingi (870990) | about 3 years ago | (#38737638)

Why is slashdot ignoring the blackout? With so many links to questionable content, this illegal news source seems like a hive of crime.

Get it right, it's not "a hive of crime," it's "a wretched hive of scum and villany."

A filthy hole in the wall frequented by anarchists, atheists, hackers, and Microsoft haters who would like nothing more than to bring about the fall of democracy and ruin denobug's slashdot experience.

Re:Not Blacked Out? (5, Informative)

Thiez (1281866) | about 3 years ago | (#38737456)

The point of the blackout seems to be to raise awareness. Since it's quite likely most /. readers will be aware of SOPA and PIPA (if only because there have been so many articles about them already, there is very little awareness to gain by having a blackout.

Re:Not Blacked Out? (0)

0racle (667029) | about 3 years ago | (#38737546)

If Slashdot went black today with everyone else, where would I waste my time? I'd .... I'd .... I'd have to do work, and no one wants that.

Re:Not Blacked Out? (4, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | about 3 years ago | (#38737746)

    They've done the right thing by carrying this story.

    On my site, http://freeinternetpress.com/ [freeinternetpress.com] , we've redirected our home page and every article to our SOPA page http://freeinternetpress.com/sopa.php [freeinternetpress.com] .

    It's up to the owners of each site to make their own decisions on how to support it. It could be a simple warning. Google chose to censor their logo and link to an information page. We chose to replace the site with a warning, and are carrying stories and links related to SOPA. Some may consider us "not blacked out", but as we've censored almost 9 years worth of articles, we are "blacked out".

    Many sites need to support their users, and can't simply shut down. Unfortunately, if SOPA does become law, their users will find out the hard way that the blackout can become a reality.

Re:Not Blacked Out? (4, Informative)

geminidomino (614729) | about 3 years ago | (#38737754)

Hey, Questionable Content [questionablecontent.net] is pseudo-blacked out.

I know you're trolling, but for the sake of anyone else asking: who is Slashdot going to clue in? We've all been hearing about it for months, we know it's bad and (more or less) why, and we're not going to enlighten the trolls or the irrational authoritarian dickbags who think it's right because it's USGov doing it...

So really, why would slashdot need to black out.

I'm more curious how "The Escapist" is going to respond to the "Call to Arms" that the Extra Credits/LRR and Firefall guys put out at 3AM (EST)...

Not care (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737358)

Let the get rid of ICANN all they want.

When they have made the internet unusable for Joe Average I will finally be able to charge for warez again.

One other thing... (5, Insightful)

jholyhead (2505574) | about 3 years ago | (#38737360)

...work on ways to bypass SOPA and PIPA. Congress doesn't care that it will censor the internet, because they're the ones who will be doing the censoring. Censorship always makes perfect sense to the censors

Creating undetectable breaches of such unenforceable laws is the way out of this mess and those workarounds might just work in China too. So you'll be saving the internet and advancing human rights in China all at the same time.

Re:One other thing... (2, Insightful)

WankersRevenge (452399) | about 3 years ago | (#38737810)

That's like mailing Genghis Kahn some arrows in protest of his pillaging campaign.

Re:One other thing... (1)

jholyhead (2505574) | about 3 years ago | (#38737848)

You're going to have to explain that analogy - you've lost me.

Oblig XKCD (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737378)

http://xkcd.com/865/ [xkcd.com]

Stop SOPA and PIPA now!!!

Re:Oblig XKCD (-1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 years ago | (#38737648)

Here is a policy statement from XKCD [xkcd.com]

Can we print xkcd in our magazine/newspaper/other publication?

        If it's a not-for-profit publication, you need no permission -- just print them with attribution to xkcd.com. If it's a for-profit operation, I will probably give you permission if you email me to let me know. You can post xkcd in your blog (whether ad-supported or not) with no need to get my permission.

I am not sure if this is reliance on copyright itself or just assuming moral rights over the original work, but I don't think one can be pro-copyright and anti-SOPA, anti-PIPA and not be a hypocrite at the same time [slashdot.org] .

Re:Oblig XKCD (5, Insightful)

jholyhead (2505574) | about 3 years ago | (#38737798)

Of course you can be pro-Copyright and Anti-SOPA.

I totally believe that if you produce something you should be paid for your efforts, and that if someone steals that work and is caught doing it, that they should be punished in proportion to the crime. I don't think they should be allowed to cripple the internet trying to achieve that, though and I don't think you should be charged hundreds of thousands of dollars over a $2 piece of music.

Re:Oblig XKCD (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 years ago | (#38737944)

I totally believe that if you produce something you should be paid for your efforts

- and you should follow the link in my comment and then leave your comments there, where I explained why this is an untenable position.

Generating content is not different from any other business, and since other businesses that do not necessarily generate content do not get this preferential treatment by government (nor should they), neither should content generating businesses get this preferential treatment.

Saying that you must have government standing on your side for some reason and protecting your business model is ridiculous on its face, when no other businesses (except those who own the government, so big banks, big insurance, bigt pharma, big energy, big food, military and such) get the same treatment.

So a restaurant owner does not get bailed out, nor does car mechanic, nor should they. Nobody should be in a position to use government to subsidise their business model.

As to getting paid - you only get paid for your businesses by willing participants, and just as people may not go to your new restaurant, no matter how much of your life's savings or other people's savings you put into that business, same people may not buy your stuff from you.

As to others using your material freely (as in beer) and putting it on torrent or even selling it at lower price - set the right price. I have an example there, Louis C.K., who is not going after torrents and other sites sharing his show, but he priced it properly and the revenue is over 1 million USD and counting.

Nobody should be in a position to subsidise their businesses and risks that they take when they choose a business model with government money and power.

Why not slashdot? (4, Insightful)

xtracto (837672) | about 3 years ago | (#38737382)

There was a time when Slashdot was at the forefront of such kind of fights against "the man" (e.g., Sony Rootkit fiasco).

Re:Why not slashdot? (5, Insightful)

jholyhead (2505574) | about 3 years ago | (#38737398)

The only value these blackouts have is in bringing SOPA and PIPA to the attention of people who otherwise wouldn't know what SOPA and PIPA are. If you're reading Slashdot, you should already know what is going on.

Re:Why not slashdot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737430)

Couldn't they have blocked idle then?

I thought this too (1)

Mateo_LeFou (859634) | about 3 years ago | (#38737448)

But I think a dark /. would be a good solidarity statement anyway. Geeks who weren't planning to do anything special in protest today might put some extra effort in.

Re:I thought this too (0, Flamebait)

Ash-Fox (726320) | about 3 years ago | (#38737922)

But I think a dark /. would be a good solidarity statement anyway. Geeks who weren't planning to do anything special in protest today might put some extra effort in.

Indeed. I for one would put extra effort into dispelling the myths people keep coming up with. Like how the proposed DNS filtering system breaks DNSSEC, despite the fact DNS resolvers would use the response code REFUSED (see RFC 1035) for A/AAAA/CNAME related queries which would tell the DNSSEC client that the resolver refused to resolve it's request, not fake it. This doesn't break the DNSSEC zone chains and doesn't prevent DNSSEC validation regardless.

Or how people completely misrepresent the purpose of the DNS filter, which is to stop copyright infringing websites from posing as legitimate sites and charging customers for advertising time or trick them into paying for a product that isn't actually genuine.

It is not intended to be a magic stop all for all piracy like people who are trying to stop PIPA and SOPA are claiming. It's meant to make the line between genuine and non-genuine content much easier to see.

Not to mention these anti PIPA and SOPA advocates conveniently forget to note that a lot of the take down issues are more of a problem when it comes to the already existing DMCA because there is ZERO validation by a judge.

The only additionally area (talking about the scope in take downs) that the DMCA does not particularly cover where SOPA and PIPA are intended to deal with is a loop hole that sites like the pirate bay exploit. Where they are not handling copyright infringing content directly and by doing so, they are in a loop hole of US law where the domain cannot be closed despite the fact there is 100%, absolute clear intent in their assistance of doing copyright infringement.

Now, there are definitely issues with SOPA and PIPA, mainly the lack of evidence requirement before a judge should be a changed (although I expect that many judges will want to see some evidence regardless - They didn't get into their position by screwing people, despite what people think). Yes, there will be abuses, all laws will get abused at some point or another. But when you compare the abuses to current existing laws, there isn't actually that much more it could do.

And before someone makes the argument that they can make a website poof, if you actually read the legislation, that is a last measure when there has been no cooperation with the people involved in the matter. The decisions can be challenged in court just fine, there is nothing that says you cannot do that, just like with the DMCA.

It pisses me off so many people get their information from a 3rd party sources and don't even bother verifying the information. You're on the Internet, you can get access to the original legislation as well as many related documents - Why are people advocating something that is blatantly lying about many things, didn't anyone learn in school to verify facts at all?

People are lying worse than the politicians right now. I am appalled by so many people who represent themselves as someone knowledgeable in the tech industry.

FYI: I am against SOPA and PIPA as I feel that the legislation should require more evidence on the copyright holder before they can get a judge to issue a take down request, but a lot of the other crap people are talking about is just complete utter bullshit to me.

I don't want to associate with the anti SOPA and PIPA crowd.

What you can do (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737392)

Disabling Javascript on en.wikipedia.org is a good start.

Re:What you can do (2, Interesting)

crymeph0 (682581) | about 3 years ago | (#38737822)

Thanks, troll. I actually had the opposite problem - I was wondering if they chickened out on the blackout. I guess they figure anyone savvy enough to use NoScript is already aware of these bills.

bypassing SOPA blockades: piracy? (5, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | about 3 years ago | (#38737400)

This morning on NPR's Marketplace Morning Report, there was a footnote similar to a few other mass media articles I've seen. They pointed out that if necessary, you could use Google's "cached copy" of a site like Wikipedia, if you are otherwise blocked by the SOPA front page. It's like a digital scab on the picket line.

Then it struck me: isn't this advice a sort of inducement to piracy, and therefore a strong statement about SOPA's odious nature? If a site blocks its own publication of data, say, Sony/EMG/WarnerBros takes down its own webpage, isn't relying on a third party copy to get that content without their authorization just another form of "stealing" in their eyes? Wikipedia content is under some copyleft premise, but I don't think that changes the point: there are times that everyday reasonable activities can be construed as piracy in ways that a law or a technology can never adequately distinguish.

Re:bypassing SOPA blockades: piracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737674)

Why would you use the Google cache when you can just follow Wikimedia's own instructions [wikimedia.org] on how to get past the blockade?

Re:bypassing SOPA blockades: piracy? (1)

cornicefire (610241) | about 3 years ago | (#38737814)

Yup. Google is sending O'Reilly and No Starch searchers to the torrent sites. http://wayner.org/node/80 [wayner.org]

Re:bypassing SOPA blockades: piracy? (1)

xrtvxrt (2555796) | about 3 years ago | (#38737950)

Noscript also seems to bypass Wikipedia's blackout page

I'm not in America! (4, Informative)

duguk (589689) | about 3 years ago | (#38737410)

How about for the rest of us who aren't in America?
I'd really like to help, since if this passes it's only a matter of time before it's in the UK too.

What can we non-US citizens do to help?

Re:I'm not in America! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737608)

Liberate us. The US does have oil, after all.

Re:I'm not in America! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737634)

"If you don't live in the U.S., you can petition the State Department." http://americancensorship.org/#petition-state-department [americancensorship.org]

Re:I'm not in America! (5, Informative)

Sharkus (677553) | about 3 years ago | (#38737640)

This is from the wikipedia page on SOPA:

If you're not in the US:

If you live outside the United States, contact your State Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs or similar branch of government. Tell them you oppose SOPA and PIPA, and want the internet to remain open and free.
The decision for a global blackout was made in view of concerns about similar legislation in other nations.

Re:I'm not in America! (1)

coogan (850562) | about 3 years ago | (#38737974)

I see www.google.co.uk is also still standard as is www.google.co.za What a bunch of idiots - this WILL affect EVERYONE eventually. Makes me wonder if behind the facade, Google is more interested in commercial interests than actually taking a stand!

Why is slashdot not participating? (5, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about 3 years ago | (#38737442)

I would have expected the tech-savvy slashdot to do something similar to what google and reddit have done in protest. Why not?

Re:Why is slashdot not participating? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737532)

It would cut into their ad revenue.

Seriously, if you think Slashdot even gives a fuck you're seriously mistaken. Only reason it's even being covered here is because Reddit was the site where the blackout idea originated and the BoingBoing reject editors don't want to be left in the dust (you'll note, though, that almost every SOPA blackout post on Slashdot is very careful not to mention Reddit in any way).

Re:Why is slashdot not participating? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737618)

Nobody visits Slashdot so it wouldn't matter.

Re:Why is slashdot not participating? (3, Insightful)

airfoobar (1853132) | about 3 years ago | (#38737776)

All the people here already know.

Re:Why is slashdot not participating? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737852)

Protesting to the informed would serve no purpose whatsoever.
It's the general sheeple that need to be informed.

I get the concerns (4, Interesting)

thepainguy (1436453) | about 3 years ago | (#38737452)

God knows, I don't know how many times a sales guy, or some piece of legislation, proposed something that would have been awesome in theory but that was just totally unmanageable in practice. On more than a few occasions I have seen these features go into production over my protests, only to see them die a rapid death when management realized how much time it was taking to keep them up.

Having said that, I'm also an author and copyright owner and my book can be found on multiple pirate and other sites around the Internet. I would love the ability to press a button or fill out a form and have the link removed from every index.

To be honest, I don't know how many sales this is costing me, but not knowing isn't a particularly comfortable feeling. Maybe the big boys can just blow off a certain amount of piracy, but I'm still very small and every sale, or lost sale, makes a difference.

Re:I get the concerns (4, Interesting)

Kidbro (80868) | about 3 years ago | (#38737560)

To be honest, I don't know how many sales this is costing me, but not knowing isn't a particularly comfortable feeling.

Do you know how many sales it is giving you [youtube.com] ?

Re:I get the concerns (4, Interesting)

thepainguy (1436453) | about 3 years ago | (#38737760)

Valid point.

I guess I'd be more comfortable with/less bothered by this if I had a story that I could point to where a sale was driven by a download of pirated copy, but I don't have one yet (which of course doesn't mean it hasn't happened).

I also think this may work better for authors with multiple works; they hook people with pirated copies and then make their money by selling them their new stuff. Many people seem to do this on the Apple eBook store. Of course, that could make an argument for breaking books up into smaller pieces (e.g. turn a three-section book into three separate books) so that this approach can be used.

Re:I get the concerns (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | about 3 years ago | (#38737796)

The real question is, how many sales does piracy cost you compared to how many sales it gains you by spreading awareness of your existence?

I'm sure you're smart enough not to make the "pirated copy = lost sale" mistake, so think about it in this context; I typically "pirate" two classes of books, those which I already own as a physical copy and those which aren't available officially as a digital copy & that I need in that format for them to be practical (typically reference books). In neither case are there any lost sales involved - I won't re-buy books I already own on principle and there's no point in buying reference books that are never going to be used because they're too bulky to carry around with me - so even if you were able to magically take down all the links to pirated copies of them, it still wouldn't result in any additional sales. The same argument can be made for people who pirate because they genuinely can't afford to buy and people who pirate because they download *everything* they can get their hands on and then never look at it.

Ultimately, the only group who are causing losses are those who pirate because they don't want to pay for something, which I have no doubt is a fair number, but even then, while this is obviously a huge problem for the people whose works are being pirated, it still doesn't impact the economy in the way that the MPAA/RIAA always claim because oddly enough, the money they're not spending on movies, games, books and music gets spent on other things instead.

So, from what I can see of your book, it's Unavilable on Amazon and only available as a DRM'd PDF from your website in terms of digital formats; I don't trust Paypal as far as I can throw them, which means I can't buy a copy direct from you, so even if I wanted to I couldn't buy your book in a way that's convenient to me. That's when people get frustrated and think "sod it, I'll just download the damn thing" (For the record, that's not what I'm going to do).

Re:I get the concerns (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 years ago | (#38737872)

Having said that, I'm also an author and copyright owner and my book can be found on multiple pirate and other sites around the Internet. I would love the ability to press a button or fill out a form and have the link removed from every index.

Alas, for all the hype about SOPA/PIPA, it won't be that easy.

Any action under SOPA/PIPA requires a Court Order. Which you won't get by pressing a button and filling out a form.

Plus the Court Order has to be properly delivered to whoever it is. Not by you, mind, but getting an officer of the Court to go to East Bumfuckistan to deliver a court order and get a signed receipt for same is going to be interesting.

And, of course, the Court Order can be challenged (yes, there's a provision for that in both bills), which would pretty much hold it in abeyance until the Court considered the case.

After the wife came home last night bitching about the Bills in question, I went to the trouble of reading the actual texts of the SOPA and PIPA. They're remarkably alike, really, and neither is the bogeyman they''re being made out to be. Requirements for Court actions for pretty much everything means that they're less of a nuisance than the DMCA, when all is said and sifted.

Oh, and they have a clause about prior restraint of the First Amendment - so no, you won't have to worry that you might be linking to a site that does that nasty ol' piracy thing.

Actually, you won't have to worry about it in any case, unless your site is based outside the USA, and you're not a US resident. In either of those cases, current law allows legal relief, and SOPA/PIPA don't deal with you at all....

Just tried to sign the form on the Reddit page... (3, Interesting)

Tomsk70 (984457) | about 3 years ago | (#38737462)

...and got a response saying that the link did not complete because the site was down in protest over SOPA.

Isn't that shooting yourself in the foot a bit?

Re:Just tried to sign the form on the Reddit page. (-1, Offtopic)

Tomsk70 (984457) | about 3 years ago | (#38737774)

Aand the usual score awarded by Slashdot.

I got a score of one years ago for warning that there would be a browser war v2.0 with the rise of FF (and here we are, with three).

I got a score of one for pointing out that 'Internet Standards' wouldn't mean much while the above was true. And here we are, with a comment-editor on this very site that's slower than ever (under the more-compatible-than-all-the-others-IE9).

I got a score of one when I pointed out that Apple were repeating their lock-down methodology with their devices (so don't bitch about Win8/ ARM now)

I got a score of one for pointing out to Linux-desktop fanboys that if their penetration of the desktop was really that massive, then why weren't there more contract jobs on offer supporting just that.

I could give more examples, but you get the idea - want a fanboy response? Comment on slashdot. Want a real discussion? Go on Reddit :-)

Congressional Dead Enders (5, Interesting)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 3 years ago | (#38737476)

I listened to a clip of senate hearings on NPR this morning. After a stream of warnings by PIPA opponents, Patrick Leahy (D) said something to the effect of "If this bill is as bad as you say, it won't get five votes. If it protects content providers from piracy, it will pass easily."

Way to ignore the point. He is admitting the rest of the country can burn as long as content industries are happy. That is the definition of special interest control.

Re:Congressional Dead Enders (5, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 3 years ago | (#38737780)

"If this bill is as bad as you say, it won't get five votes."

He's assuming his colleagues will read it before voting on it. He should know better.

It hit me this morning (5, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | about 3 years ago | (#38737486)

That when the radio was talking about companies like Facebook, Google, and Wikipedia protesting legislation put to Congress by the Motion Picture Industry that there is nothing that I can do. US government isn't much about people anymore. I have no clue how SOPA got this far.

Re:It hit me this morning (4, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 3 years ago | (#38737900)

The only actual power you have is your vote. However your senator and U.S. representative (and president, or presidential wannabe) need your vote. Do not forget this: money in politics is only a means to secure your vote, and your vote is what decides elections. So what you can do is write to your elected representative and/or opposition candidate(s). Tell them that your support is contingent on their promotion of Internet freedom. If enough people say that, succinctly, they will listen. If you can get ten or fifty or a hundred friends who live in the same district to sign the letter, so much the better.

In a democratic country.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737498)

We can do nothing. The US is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Rich People Inc (tm). If not SOPA and PIPA then some other stupid bill later on or, more likely, a whole bunch of little amendments slipped in here and there that do the same thing. We are screwed. I would suggest you invest heavily in Bros. Jack & Jim, their buddy Weiser and great big baggie of Mexico's finest, crawl into a dark, dark hole and weep for what could have been. It is all over but the shouting.

Re:In a democratic country.... (3, Insightful)

SirGarlon (845873) | about 3 years ago | (#38737918)

Or you could, you know, grow a set of balls and engage with the political system to make the country better.

I know this is more or less a troll... (5, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 3 years ago | (#38737952)

but I agree with the sentiment. Right now I'm waiting for my kid to finish getting ready to school, so I've got time to post to /. . After that it's off to my day job for 9 hours. Right now a lobbyist for SOPA is doing the same thing, but he's going to spend 9 hours fighting for it. Oh, at the end of my 9 hour shift I'm going to study programming in hopes of getting a better job.

If I'm going to fight SOPA, PIPA or any of the other horrid things the 1% has in store for me, then I need more leisure time. That's what the rich were talking about in the 1800s when they said 'Idle hands are the devil's plaything'. That said, the 1% are working hard to make sure I don't get it. They're busing Unions, dividing Americans against one another based on race, creed & sexual orientation. They're scaring us with terrorists. They're fighting on multiple fronts, and I can't get the time to fight on one. This, folks, is why I'm a socialist in favor of 'Basic Income' (google it when wikipedia comes back up).

I guess one of the really big problems is, SOPA is just a symptom of a larger, more complex problem. Americans are big on simple answers to complex problems. That's why George Bush jr resonated so well with them. How are we suppose to fight when we don't even know there's a war going on?

Craigslist? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737502)

Is Craigslist the Ron Paul of anti-SOPA websites participating today?

Top 100 website. Top 50 even maybe.

Head in the sand (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737506)

By defining it as "domestic," Wikileaks would then fall under the jurisdiction of U.S. laws.

That's not a matter of definition. The domain wikileaks.org is, de facto, under the jurisdiction of the United States of America, now. The .org top level domain is assigned to and operated by an American company under the jurisdiction of American law. Country code top level domains exist so that every country can establish its own rules regarding their part of the domain namespace.

Abolish copyrights and patents. (4, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 years ago | (#38737516)

The only correct thing to do is to abolish all copyrights and patents and to prevent complete decay and decline of the political and economic systems.

more [slashdot.org]
comments [slashdot.org]
on this same [slashdot.org]
topic [slashdot.org]

I am posting the links to the comments here, because they apply to each and every situation and you can follow those threads if you are wondering as to how /. crowd responds to the idea, and it's not favourable here.

The reason why /. crowd doesn't like the idea of abolishing copyrights and patents is due to high degree of hypocrisy. How many people want to see government picking up the bills for other types of failing businesses, like stores, manufacturers, miners, medical clinics, transport companies, telecoms, banks, insurance, etc.etc.?

The point is that copyrights and patents are standing on the way of innovation and invention and economic progress rather than helping it in any way.

In one of the threads I mentioned the case of Louis C.K. - he didn't need the copyright laws to protect him from anything, he is not going after people downloading his show for free, but he is offering to download his show from his site for $5 a pop and he made over million bucks by now. In that thread [slashdot.org] people argued that copyright still applies to Louis C.K. work, but they missed the point - he specifically offered a non-DRMed version and he said that he understood that people would be sharing his show on torrents and download sites, and it didn't bother him, it was a business risk he was willing to take.

Just like a new restaurant owner takes a business risk of opening his business in some specific location, sinking his capital into it (or borrowed capital) and risking losing the investment and time it took to build up that investment capital. Same thing with somebody writing a book or a play or a song or a shooting a movie or a show or painting a picture, whatever, it takes time to build up capital to open a restaurant, it takes time to write a book, it takes time (money) to make a show.

It does not matter to the market how you do it - you shouldn't be protected from failure in the market by government, nobody should be protected that way, it distorts the market, and just like with protections of money (default on gold promise in 1971), protection of mortgages (insurance by FHA, F&F,) FDIC, any type of protection by government, it all turns sour and goes bad and hurts the economy.

The only correct way is to let the market function, those who can rely on trade secrets should do so, but this encourages competition if there is no government protection against failure.

If Louis C.K. sucked and his shows weren't popular, he would have lost his investment. SO WHAT? Instead he proved that his shows are worth paying $5 for even with many people downloading the shows for free he still made enough money to continue working that way. His business model is sound, the people who believe their business model must be protected by government regulations are wrong and the government shouldn't be serving any company. Government for the people, by the people, of the people, right?

So it's hight of hypocrisy to be PRO-copyright and PRO-patent while complaining about bank bailouts also with public money! After all, the copyright police (FBI and such), that's also public money. The prison system where people can go for violation of copyright also is public money.

Many don't see the problem with their hypocrisy, but they also do not want SOPA and PIPA.

Well you can't have copyrights and patents and NOT have SOPA and PIPA eventually.

Just like you can't have abolition of the Constitution for speech and property rights and other liberties and NOT have government take over all these rights and eventually destroy your way of life, like Patriot Act and NDAA do.

There are no half truths here, only one truth - you can't use government force to diminish liberties and freedoms of individuals, otherwise all liberties and freedoms will eventually be diminished.

can we go back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737518)

Can we go back to the good old days of using IP numbers instead of text string that goes thru a DNS server.
I think it might be harder for governments to censor that.

There are two big things: contact your representat (2)

mapkinase (958129) | about 3 years ago | (#38737548)

No. Instead of being reactive, we need to be active.

Reactive is to fight laws. Active is to change laws and constitution, so SOPAs won't be possible in the future.

Businesses should not be taken down, harmed, punished, etc other than by court decision.

One does not have a right to go to police and shut down the business without court order. It started long time ago when health inspectors were given a right to shut down businesses (remember Friends episode?) and people let it be in the same name of security and safety.

Re:There are two big things: contact your represen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737726)

I'm trying....Seems my Senator can't even keep his own website running....

Re:There are two big things: contact your represen (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 years ago | (#38737920)

One does not have a right to go to police and shut down the business without court order.

Interesting that you should say that, since SOPA/PIPA require Court Orders to do anything.

Get People to Panic (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737584)

What Can You Do About SOPA and PIPA?

Take SOPA/PIPA seriously. By that I mean if YOU, or a company is going to protest, then do more than have a small link at the bottom of your screen (like Google). Or do absolutely NOTHING, like Slashdot. Yes I know the majority of people who read Slashdot are aware of the issues, but to anybody who pays attention it looks as if (companies like) Slashdot don't care; because they don't even have a banner add voicing their opposition to aggressive Internet police states. I read Slashdot everyday and I haven't heard anything from Management about any opposition.

The power here lies not with businesses, but with the individual (i.e. People Power); if religious fanatics can get companies to stop advertising the reality TV show All American Muslim, then certainly the majority of normal people can get companies to stop supporting Internet censorship and an Internet police state.

People need to take this seriously. People usually panic after it is already too late. As a recent example; the crew of the Italian cruise liner that sank only told people to abandon ship after about an hour after it started sinking and after the ship already started to keel over. Of course I could point out Nazi Germany; most people didn't complain because most people weren't effected until the allies started bombing residential neighborhoods in Berlin. Sometimes it takes a kick in the ass to get people to realize that their government's policies are evil.

Ordinary people need to email their friends and families about this issue, and they need to include links to their representatives telling them to oppose these overwhelmingly evil measures. They need to use Facebook, instant messaging and anything else to communicate the urgency of the issue. Also as important people need to remind the public NOT TO BELIEVE WHAT GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY ARE SAYING. This is important. People are continually told that repressive measures are only for the good of the country. This is a lie and people need to be exposed to the fact that they are being lied to.

People need to be told that this is NOT a copyright issue, but an excuse where governments and large corporations can have unprecedented control over YOUR communications. They need to be told that this measure is used to enforce corporate power and greed, and that ordinary artists, like usual will not be the benefactors of "copyright" enforcement, but only the people who actually own and control the copyrights (which is usually a corporate entity) will benefit. These measures will further erode copyright by giving the companies with access to lawyers and politicians an unfair advantage over smaller companies and the consumer. They need to be told not to believe Rupert Murdock because he is not trustworthy. They need to be told not to believe Sony because they are not trustworthy. They need to be told not to believe the Big Lie that congress is being paid big money to support:

Reddit Founder Alexis Ohanian on CNBC: "Why is it that when Republicans and Democrats need to solve the budget and the deficit, there's deadlock, but when Hollywood lobbyists pay them $94 million dollars to write legislation, people from both sides of the aisle line up to co-sponsor it?"

http://www.reddit.com/r/politics/comments/ol56z/reddit_founder_alexis_ohanian_on_cnbc_why_is_it/ [reddit.com]

Re:Get People to Panic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737962)

ISP's need to stop resolving DNS for all MPAA member sites. How ironic would that be?

What can you do? Simple. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737588)

Vote for Ron Paul. Register Republican so you can vote for him in the primaries. You can unregister afterward if you want.

Ron Paul: Tells The Dangers Of SOPA And PIPA [allvoices.com]

Ron Paul on SOPA: They Want to Take Over the Internet! [youtube.com]

Why's The Media Shafting Ron Paul, And Ignoring NDAA & SOPA Dangers? [businessinsider.com]

Or just DuckDuckGo "Ron Paul SOPA" to get many, many more examples.

My Congressman and his Constituents (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737592)

Last week my congresscritter held a public information session, which I attended. He is hard-core Tea Party. During the q&a I told him that SOPA was a mistake and should be stopped. He seemed to appreciate the problems with SOPA and gave a very similar reply to the one from the White House.

I think is is important that more people visibly communicate with their representatives that they are opposed to such laws, and that the people are closely watching Congress.

The really sad part was the reaction of the majority of the audience, average age estimated in the 60's. They either had no clue at all, or felt it was a good thing that the government was controlling the internet.

An elderly gentleman accosted me afterwards and said that he had been "hacked" and that if I were ever hacked I would support the government clamping down in the internet. I tried to explain SOPA to him, but it was a lost cause.

Why not make a super-PAC? (4, Interesting)

dasunt (249686) | about 3 years ago | (#38737598)

I'm being serious. Make a super-PAC and use it in the next election season against people who introduce or push bills like SOPA and PIPA. Attack politicians where it hurts: Election year.

the copyright industry facilitates piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737632)

If the entertainment industry didn't make music, movies, games and so on, and put them under copyright, it would not be possible to infringe the copyright on them. Therefore since piracy is ONLY possible because of their actions, they are facilitating that piracy.

Bang 'em in jail!

WRITE your Congressman (5, Informative)

Port1080 (515567) | about 3 years ago | (#38737668)

It's easy to end an e-mail letter, but those aren't as effective as a personally written letter. In order of effectiveness, petitions are the lowest, followed by e-mail form letters, followed by personally written e-mails, followed by mailed form letters, followed by phone calls, followed by personally written mailed letters. Personally visiting your Congressman's office is also highly effective (this is probably less possible with your Senator, unless you live in a small population state, but Representatives often have offices that the public can easily visit and offer feedback). The most effective thing to do, if you don't have a lot of money (large cash donations are VERY effective), is to become a volunteer (assuming your Rep is someone that you can get behind on most issues and you'd like to see reelected) and get plugged in. It's not as difficult as you'd think. Once your Rep knows you by name, and potentially respects your opinion, you can slip some info in about tech issues from time to time. Of course, this does take a lot of effort and time commitment, which is why most people won't be doing it - but if you've got the time, and want to make a difference, it's definitely something you can do.

Eternal vigilance. (1)

niktemadur (793971) | about 3 years ago | (#38737680)

The MPAA and SOPA-sponsor Lamar Smith (R-TX) are trying to brush off the protests as a stunt, and Smith has announced markup for the bill will resume in February.

Cynical corporate sluts in positions of political power are tenacious, to say the least.

They don't care (2)

trolman (648780) | about 3 years ago | (#38737692)

I can tell you that Lamar Smith does not care what you think. Congress has been paid $96,000,000,000 dollars by the MSM and Hollywood to enact this censorship. Money talks, the other thing walks.


Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737724)

give BSD c=redit

Thank You Wikipedia! (1)

na1led (1030470) | about 3 years ago | (#38737736)

I'm glad to see someone is doing something about this! I only wish others like Google would join in.

Moratorium and Research, or War (4, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | about 3 years ago | (#38737742)

I am an advocate of copyright. I feel it is a very effective mechanism for channeling revenue to those who advance science and the useful arts.

We have overstepped the bounds of cost effective copyright grants and enforcement. We have exceeded the efficient level of enforcement, and I suspect we have exceeded the efficient level of revenue channeling. We have passed more copyright legislation in the past fifteen years than at any other time in our history. More than during the advent of the printing press, the radio, the cassette tape, or any other disruptive technology. We are not balancing the potential value of new technology against the perceived cost of adapting copyright to the new reality. Moreover, the legislation is not working. It is not significantly inhibiting copyright, but it is harming the progress of new business models and entrepreneurship. It is not rational to pass ever more extreme legislation when what has gone before is not working.

We are channeling a lot of revenue into copyright holders, and that money is coming back in lobbying. That cycle is self-catalyzing, and it has gone beyond what is cost effective. It is harming our ability to compete in the global marketplace, and is a cycle that is hostile to our national economic interests.

It is time to demand a moratorium on new copyright law, coupled with a serious research effort on the cost effectiveness of copyright enforcement. That research should have the explicit objective of answering the question: "How much can we reduce government interference in the market while still advancing the progress of science and the useful arts?"

Failure to do so should be seen as an act of aggression against our economy by those who are benefiting from this government fiat monopoly, and should be met with total opposition.

Win the War on Language (3, Insightful)

MxTxL (307166) | about 3 years ago | (#38737758)

The bills are massively unpopular on the internet but we are still losing the spin war on this. The blackouts are being covered on main stream media in droves (a good thing!), but every MSM reference that i have seen describes the bills as the 'anti-piracy' SOPA/PIPA bills. Lots of people, even many of us on this site, might support bills that are just anti-piracy... in the head of many, anti-piracy is a good thing.

We can lose hearts and minds if these bills are seen as anti-piracy. Get the word out that we don't object to these bills because they are anti-piracy, we object to these bills because they are anti-internet!

The internet breaks with these bills. Great firewall of America type broken. That is what we are against! Go spread the word.

Re:Win the War on Language (4, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | about 3 years ago | (#38737866)

The bills are massively unpopular on the internet but we are still losing the spin war on this. The blackouts are being covered on main stream media in droves (a good thing!), but every MSM reference that i have seen describes the bills as the 'anti-piracy' SOPA/PIPA bills.

We can't win in the mainstream media: they are the enemy. Not in some figurative or symbolic sense, but quite literally. Those behind the bills own the mainstream media.

We also probably can't do anything about SOPA/PIPA. They're going to pass them, by hook or by crook. We can protest all we want, black out web pages, complain to representatives, what have you. Doesn't matter. The other side has more power (being the mainstream media); that's all there is to it.

Re:Win the War on Language (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | about 3 years ago | (#38737968)

Yea, it's kinda like in the abortion debate where the sides changed the language from the negatives 'anti-abortion' and 'baby killers' to the affirmatives 'pro-life' and 'pro-choice'.

Too bad the pirate sites aren't going along (1)

cornicefire (610241) | about 3 years ago | (#38737782)

It looks like O'Reilly and No Starch-- two sites that went dark-- get to watch Google send the traffic to the torrent sites. http://wayner.org/node/80 [wayner.org]

Anyone else feel like this is the end? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737804)

Or at least the beginning of the end?

Even if SOPA/PIPA are stopped, the next few bills will do essentially the same thing without being so obvious about it; a freedom lost here, a restriction applied there. If you try to boil a crab alive, it will protest and attempt to escape. But if you turn the heat up on the crab gradually, it will boil without ever realizing its peril.

I don't have any faith in the ability of the little guy anymore; if the corporations want it, they will get it, and it's only a matter of time. We have seen this time and time again.

Please tell me I'm wrong, and this nightmare will not come to be. I don't want my Internet broken, but I don't have billions of dollars to give to politicians to make them listen to me. What can I do against the likes of multinational companies that have more rights and power than I can ever hope to have?

Nothing you can do (3, Interesting)

alexo (9335) | about 3 years ago | (#38737838)

The only thing you can do against the likes of these laws that harm the public in order to cater to short-term special interests is to ensure that your elective representatives answer to you and only you (plural), so you could easily kick them out of office AND INTO PRISON when they begin to contemplate such shenanigans.

To achieve that you have to first vote out all the D's and the R's and replace them with people that are willing to criminalize corruption to an extent that will make premeditated murder look like jaywalking in comparison, revoke corporate personhood, make corporate executives personally responsible for the actions of the respective corporations and in general restore sanity to all branches of government.

In other words: it will never happen.

Re:Nothing you can do (2)

ErikZ (55491) | about 3 years ago | (#38737896)

Nonsense. The best solution is to limit government power so they can't do this.

Otherwise you'll be kicking out Representatives every year.

Cost them an election (5, Insightful)

nbauman (624611) | about 3 years ago | (#38737874)

The best way to get the attention of congress is to have one of the IP stooges lose an election.

Identify one of the prominent supporters of SOPA/PIPA who is weak in his district and support his challenger in the next primary and general election.

When a congressman loses a seat for taking on a third-rail issue, the surviving congressmen remember that for decades.

That's what AIPAC does. You don't see any congressmen criticizing Israel, do you?

Strategically, it would be best to attack somebody who is a jerk on other issues too; in other words, an all-around jerk.

The only problem is that it's hard in this country to defeat a well-financed incumbent, no matter how much he sells out the interests of his constituents.

But it does happen. I give democracy about 50% odds.

Go And Vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737886)

hahahaha... you will all die of cancer because you are trolled so easily.. even by the government

Dissapointed with Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737940)

I would have liked to have seen Google take a bigger blackout step. C'mon, Changing their logo? That's the same thing they do every third day for so-and-so's birthday. Doesn't web censorship merit a larger display of opposition?

Implementing it in stages (1)

gmuslera (3436) | about 3 years ago | (#38737946)

As it basically means blocking all the search engines and anything with user interactions, implement it in 2 stages: first block for the families, known people, IP ranges, etc to anything related to the companies/corporations/politicians behind SOPA/PIPA (or that supports them) and later (anything between 10 years and 10 millenium later) to the rest of the internet. If you support it, well you can taste what it really mean before everyone else, and your family/employees/etc could give some helpful input giving some perspective to them

It could be done from the top or from the bottom, just removing from search engines results, and any kind social sites any reference to the politicians, political parties, companies, musical records and so on (hey, could eventually violate some copyright, better be safe than sorry) could make them have a hint on what would be the world with those laws they are pursuing.

A beautiful mind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#38737954)

I'm sure that most of the supporters in the Congress made their decision based on the fact that M. Bachmann is against SOPA.

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