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US Congress gets a Darwin award

Written By: - Date published: 5:19 pm, January 19th, 2012 - 7 comments
Categories: internet - Tags:

The idiots at the US Congress, after covering themselves with shame in 2011, have already started to try to surpass it this year with dumbarse legislation against online copyright piracy. Not only will it not prevent the crimes of its intended targets, who after all know really basic things like how to route torrents, but it is also so badly drafted that almost anything can and probably will be deemed to be a copyright violation.

Wikipedia and many other sites have gone dark.

Predictably the Darwin awards site (a boon for bloggers with a writing block) is 404’ing with this message.

Darwin awards goes dark

Reaching for another story source ….

7 comments on “US Congress gets a Darwin award”

  1. Jum 1

    “Today could be the day we save the free Internet.

    The US Congress was poised to pass a law allowing the US to censor access to any website around the world. But after we delivered our 1.25 million strong petition to the White House, it came out against the bill and with public pressure at boiling point even some bill backers are switching sides. Now, the Wikipedia led blackout protest has rocketed the public campaign to the top of the news.

    We are turning the tide. But the dark forces of censorship are trying to revive the bill right now. Let’s bury it for good today. Click to sign this emergency petition to save the Internet now and if you’ve signed already, to email, call, Facebook, and tweet Congressional and corporate targets. Then send this to everyone:

    http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet_action_center_b/?tta

    The bill would make the US one of the worst Internet censors in the world — joining the ranks of countries like China and Iran. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) would allow the US government to block any of us from accessing sites like YouTube, Google, or Facebook.

    We got the White House to switch sides and now our global campaign and the growing public pressure is forcing Congress to abandon the bill. Last weekend Senator Cardin, who cosponsored the legislation, announced he will vote against it! Then six prominent Republicans penned a letter requesting that the bill be shelved. Now the lower house vote is reportedly on ice.

    Just days ago we were told it was impossible to stop the corporate censorship cabal, but now this is at a tipping point and amazingly we could win! Let’s stop the dark forces of censorship today. Sign this emergency petition to save the internet now and forward it to everyone:”

  2. tc 2

    This is one battle in a war against the kind of fact and opinion most governments are uncomfortable with the punters getting access to.

    It’s far from over even after this event is put to bed.

  3. queenstfarmer 3

    Seems the entire US political system on both sides is so fully in the pocket of the media industry, among others, that this nonsense is set to go on and on.

  4. Huginn 4

    Interesting oped in the Guardian from Dan Gillmore who explores the possibility that the “corporations lobbying for Sopa know exactly what they want: control of online information for profit.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/jan/17/stop-sopa-or-web-will-go-dark

    Also a helpful explainer here for those of us who have trouble concentrating due (maybe) to our excessive surfing of the interweb:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2011/dec/23/sopa-stop-online-piracy-act

    • Oh, the corporations lobbying it do indeed know exactly what they want- we’ve often heard frustration with, essentially, the fact that the DMCA requires copyright holders to sue rather than being based on guilt-on-association, (even though from a copyright holder’s perspective, the DMCA is working, and from a user’s perspective, it often goes too far) and the “miraculous” spread of the guilt-on-association principle around the world when new copyright laws are raised suggests that this is a concerted effort- copyright holders have given up on differentiating between “legal use” and “illegal use”, despite the fact that this is well-establish law, and now want to simply shut down sharing through the chilling effect.

      The amusing thing is, this is likely to create intense opposition to future anti-piracy bills on general principles. (Which is fine by me, I think this is a service problem and will be defeated when buying a movie legally is a better experience than pirating it, like it currently is, in general, for books and software)

      But- and this is worth questioning- do the media figures and politicians who support it? It’s entirely possible that Rupert Murdoch, for instance, really believes that this is about piracy, because as canny a fox as he is, he evidently does NOT understand how the internet works, as anyone who has watched him trying to use twitter will get.

  5. Swampy 5

    Oh, Murdoch understands perfectly – that people don’t think they should pay for his content any more, and that he wants to make them pay. One of the biggest problems in the Internet age is getting people to change their mindset about traditional forms of publishing, such as books and newpapers, being superseded by websites – and that much of what is currently being charged for should be made freely available.

    Use as an example, you belong to Society X, which charges you an annual subscription, for which every one of its members gets a newsletter sent out to it. The newsletter is not published free of charge online, even though the information in it has no commercial value, and even though it costs virtually nothing to publish it online. From my experience, the majority of that type of organisation (an incorporated society or the like) are not willing to exploit the free publicity they could get over the Internet by publishing their news online for everyone to freely read, because then they won’t be able to sell their newsletter anymore. This is certainly very common in a particular hobbyist field I have knowledge of, where of the percentage of groups that actually do have a website and maintain it, news about their activities online is almost nonexistent and about 1% of them are willing to publish their entire newsletter online free of charge.

  6. johnm 6

    Max Keiser:

    ” Never-Ending Witch Hunt

    In short, SOPA is nothing but an never-ending witch hunt proposal that would allow the shutting down of websites, including mine, Zero Hedge, Max Keiser, Town Hall, ML-Implode, Calculated Risk, Naked Capitalism, Patrick, the Big Picture, and other alternative news sites on the most flimsy of reasons without doing anything to curb online piracy.”

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