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Save the Internet

by: Jose Hernandez

Wed Jan 18, 2012 at 10:17:47 AM PST

Soon, Congress will vote on legislation that will literally end the Internet as we know it.

The so-called "Stop Online Piracy Act" is a well-intentioned bill that goes too far to stop online piracy and gives our government the power to severely censor the Internet. That's why I am partnering with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and sites like Google, Reddit, and Wikipedia in opposing the legislation. It's also why, today, we have taken down and replaced our campaign website in protest.

Jose Hernandez :: Save the Internet
It isn't just our campaign that is protesting this legislation by taking down our website; there are thousands more ranging from liberal and conservative blogs, non-profit organizations and sites as big as Wikipedia.

This is an Internet-wide movement where millions are standing up and fighting to save the Internet from government censorship. The key to a strong democracy is a free and open Internet that allows people to be innovative without fear of censorship from the U.S. government or lawsuits from big corporations.

I implore you to take a few moments to visit our site today. Learn more about why this legislation is such a bad idea and sign our joint petition with the PCCC demanding Washington abandon online censorship:


Thanks for everything

- Jose

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Save the Internet | 6 comments
Tech error (0.00 / 0)
Whoops! There is a technical error in forwarding our website to the SOPA petition. No worries. You can help stop online censorship right here:

SOPA and the 99% (0.00 / 0)
I find this whole subject fascinating for Californians.   I don't know what to make of this.   I really thought Calitics would be supporting SOPA and not the opposite.  

Sen. Leahy who proposed the legislation, put this forward as a jobs bill. i.e. to save the jobs of all the entertainment companies (many in California) who are going bankrupt in because video pirates still and publish their movies and music for for free.

The SOPA legislation is opposed Google and Facebook, a couple of the richest California based companies.  SOPA would force them to use their fat profits (on which they pay extremely little in California Taxes) to create more jobs so that they would hire more people to better police their own websites for pirated content.

Once again, the 1% has found away to hang onto their fat profits.   But why doesn't the 99% oppose this?   Because they don't want to lose access to all of their free porn and music downloads.    Who cares about the giant potential job loss and tax loss in California.

[ Parent ]
Some Thoughts In Reply (5.00 / 1)
It would be interesting to see exactly how many jobs have been lost because of internet piracy, as opposed to how many jobs would be lost due to the draconian provisions in SOPA and PIPA.

That's the problem -- these bills are written in such a fashion that the punitive provisions will potentially do more harm than the piracy they're designed to fight.  You may note that were I to post a copyrighted video clip in a comment on this thread, under the SOPA provisions Calitics could be taken down, and it is a safe bet that any legal advice Calitics might receive would be to be proactive in their moderation efforts to prevent that from happening.  Essentially, that means any site that has comments would need to shut them down while they investigate methods to prevent inadvertent copyright violations.

You state:

Once again, the 1% has found away to hang onto their fat profits.

How is this not the case if SOPA and PIPA were to pass?  Are you attempting to claim that Disney, et. al are not part of that 1%, and that this isn't an attempt on their part to hang on their "fat profits?"

(I'll note that I suspect Google and Facebook have probably done more to elevate the economic status of their employees through generous stock options/grants than Disney and the entertainment industry, although I don't have the data to confirm that.)

Disney has been powerful enough over the years to lobby Congress to distort copyright law and extend copyright protection to a ridiculous extent.  Mickey Mouse, by all reasonable standards, should be in the public domain by now, but Disney's lobbying to extend copyright protection to 120 years!



Who cares about the giant potential job loss and tax loss in California.

I certainly do.  I recognize the chilling effects on technology start-ups that would work in media space that this legislation would cause.  Youtube, for example, likely would never have been created.

Reasonable copyright protection is desirable, but this legislation is not reasonable.

(As a disclaimer, I note that I am a copyright holder on several published books.  I also work in start-ups in Silicon Valley, and my current employer is partly funded by Google Ventures.  Google Ventures has no idea I am writing this and is not responsible in any way for what I am saying here.)

[ Parent ]
SOPA is overbroad, even without the DNS provisions (0.00 / 0)
Lamar Smith et. al. recently pulled the terrifying "break the internet" DNS provisions.  However, SOPA is still so overbroad and lacking in due process as to be completely objectionable.  As the owner of a site that allows user-created content, I would be responsible to censor my site.  I generally clean it up every so often, but I don't need the government telling me that.

The lack of due process, where a simple letter from a company can lead to the end of payment processing seems dangerous.  I'm not opposed to fighting piracy, but the bill needs to be narrowly tailored.  The OPEN act, written by Sen. Wyden and Rep Issa, is a much better model. It presents a much more reasonable compromise.

Also, I would note that Marta, who works in the film industry, has written a good diary on the subject.


I think?

[ Parent ]
A Side Comment (4.50 / 2)
It is not surprising that this Congress would not be able to write legislation that is reasonable for addressing technology and copyright.  As noted last night on the Daily Show, you have several Congresscritters commenting on their lack of knowledge of how the Internet works, followed by a comment on needing to ask some "nerds" about it.

Any other field, I am sure they'd be seeking "experts" or "scientists" or "engineers."  The level of disrespect shown by using the term "nerd" is clearly shown in the quality of legislation written.

It is particularly disgusting that Zoe Lofgren, whose district includes the corporate headquarters for Cisco, used that term.  Were I to live in her district (I don't -- Jackie Speier is my representative) I would certainly let her know my displeasure at that lack of respect for my profession.

Agreed (0.00 / 0)
The politicians give lip service about how we need to develop our math and science expertise, and then they make jokes about understanding nothing about either.  Perhaps it would be ok if it were self-deprecating, but for the most part it dismisses engineers as something foreign.

Disappointing to say the least.

I think?

[ Parent ]
Save the Internet | 6 comments
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