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Old 01-08-2012, 08:16 PM   #1
astrangerhere
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SOPA Blackout Protest

More from the ongoing saga that is the Stop Online Piracy Act. Google, Amazon (+ subsidiaries Twitter and Tumblr), Facebook, eBay, PayPal and many other sites are considering what some have called a "nuclear option" of blacking out for a day in protest of SOPA. The tentative date is January 23 - the day before hearings on the bill begin.

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Old 01-08-2012, 08:20 PM   #2
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i hope they do it, if not outright shut down at least have a sopa related front page.
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Old 01-08-2012, 08:41 PM   #3
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Don't they have lobbyists for this kind of thing?

By the way, those in the US who oppose SOPA should write their Congressional reps.
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
Don't they have lobbyists for this kind of thing?

By the way, those in the US who oppose SOPA should write their Congressional reps.
Too many Congressmen/women had already been bought before people like Google were aware of it.

(Definition of an honest politician - One who stays bought after you buy him...)

Free speech, anyone?
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Old 01-08-2012, 10:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
Don't they have lobbyists for this kind of thing?

By the way, those in the US who oppose SOPA should write their Congressional reps.
Unless you can include a few $100 bills in the envelope they probably won't even bother opening it.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:01 AM   #6
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Not to get too far off topic but... If you don't communicate with your elected officials, how are they supposed to know that their constituents object to a proposed law? Telepathy?

I'm not saying a single email is the equivalent of a $100,000 fund-raiser, but it doesn't take much effort, and it's more effective than you think.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:09 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
Not to get too far off topic but... If you don't communicate with your elected officials, how are they supposed to know that their constituents object to a proposed law? Telepathy?

I'm not saying a single email is the equivalent of a $100,000 fund-raiser, but it doesn't take much effort, and it's more effective than you think.
They already know what their constituents think, because their constituents buy their votes. What the voters think is irrelevant.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:43 AM   #8
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I didn't want this to turn into a debate that is better suited on the political subforums. I was just posting it for information.
I hope they go through with it, honestly. It'd be a great object lesson in how to protest for a new generation. I don't know how much difference it will make politically, but it will raise awareness to a fever pitch at any rate.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:51 AM   #9
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I didn't want this to turn into a debate that is better suited on the political subforums. I was just posting it for information.
I hope they go through with it, honestly. It'd be a great object lesson in how to protest for a new generation. I don't know how much difference it will make politically, but it will raise awareness to a fever pitch at any rate.
Topics like this invariably turn political, because it is political. The only way to prevent it is to post the information and then lock the thread.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:01 AM   #10
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I'd rather see people force the proponents to withdraw the legislature.

I think a more effective protest would be for all consumers of media to stop purchasing media until SOPA is killed. Their product is discretionary. People can live without movies, CDs, and books for a couple months -- the industries cannot.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:02 AM   #11
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Don't they have lobbyists for this kind of thing?
Yeah, but I imagine their influence in Washington is still marginal compared to the motion picture and drug industries. Both of whom support this bill.

Last edited by Dylrob; 01-09-2012 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Kali Yuga View Post
Not to get too far off topic but... If you don't communicate with your elected officials, how are they supposed to know that their constituents object to a proposed law? Telepathy?

I'm not saying a single email is the equivalent of a $100,000 fund-raiser, but it doesn't take much effort, and it's more effective than you think.
When we had similar over-the-top laws proposed in the UK, millions of people contacted their MP to point out that removing the presumption of innocence and putting the burden of proof on the accused rather than the accuser was a big mistake. As was introducing collective punishment for families where one member of the family (may have) broken the law.

When it came time for the MPs to discuss the new law in full, only 4 of the thousands of MPs bothered to turn up, and only one of those actually seemed to have any idea what the law was about. One of them even thought an IP address was the URL of a website that contained pirate music. After the "discussion", all the other MPs piled in from the free bar they had been hiding in and voted in favour of the new law.

It later turned out that the BPI (our version of the RIAA) had written parts of the new law, specifically the parts about no longer needing any evidence of wrongdoing.

So no, lobbying your elected representatives is entirely pointless unless you can match or beat the other lobbyists' financial incentives. Money always talks louder than banners.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:48 PM   #13
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Are you referring to the Digital Economy Bill?

If so, from what I can tell it was passed by 184-47, and it had been on the table and revised once or twice before the final vote; policy documents dated back to 2009. The likely reason why there wasn't an extended debate was because they had already reviewed the materials, discussed it in committees and in private. In fact, many Congressional debates in the US are political theatre rather than substantive policy debates, as exhibited in the health care reform discussions.

Photographers, by the way -- hardly a powerful lobby or numerically large group -- managed to get the "orphan works" provision killed, despite several groups promoting it. I'm guessing their organized opposition might have had something to do with that change.

I'm seeing one Guardian article which refers to 17,000 letters opposing the fast-track process, but no references to millions of emails or letters sent to MP's. If you have a reference, I'd be glad to see it.

Again, I'm not saying that a single email will change the world, or even your elected official's mind. I'm also definitely not saying "send an email and it will be fine." But it is rather basic that they don't know what the voters are thinking if the voters don't communicate.

I mean, really, how thoroughly can you oppose SOPA or a similar bill if you can't take out 5 minutes to fire off a couple of emails?
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:08 PM   #14
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More from the ongoing saga that is the Stop Online Piracy Act. Google, Amazon (+ subsidiaries Twitter and Tumblr),
Neither Twitter nor Tumblr are subsidiaries of Amazon. Bezos does personally invest in Twitter through another company that he owns.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:17 PM   #15
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I'd rather see people force the proponents to withdraw the legislature.

I think a more effective protest would be for all consumers of media to stop purchasing media until SOPA is killed. Their product is discretionary. People can live without movies, CDs, and books for a couple months -- the industries cannot.
That requires everyone to know about the issue and at the moment main stream media isn't really covering it.

A blackout of Google, Amazon, Facebook, Paypal and eBay for even one day with a suitable replacement page saying why would instantly get word out to just about every single person who uses the internet and a good dose of those who don't as it'd be headline news too.

Whether the aforementioned companies would be willing to take the complaints such a day offline would bring though, I have my doubts, but if they all follow through with it they'd certainly be putting their money where their mouth is and have my respect for such a real protest.

Edit: Assuming blackout refers to actually closing the service and not just changing the page background to black as has happened in the past.

Last edited by JoeD; 01-09-2012 at 01:37 PM.
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