We’ve already heard the rallying cry against SOPA/PIPA, urging us not to let the LOLcats die, so we thought we’d ask the king of the LOLcats himself, Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh, to weigh in on SOPA. He explains why his sites are standing against SOPA today and how these potential laws would threaten the Internet as we know it.
Reddit is set to black out for 12 hours starting at 8 a.m. ET this morning. But in advance of that temporary shutdown, the site’s co-founder Alexis Ohanion has been making the media rounds to speak out against the Stop Online Piracy Act.
MPAA Calls Anti-SOPA Blackouts A "Gimmick" To Punish Politicians & Turn Us All Into "Corporate Pawns"
The Motion Picture Association of America cares about you. It doesn’t want children to see boobs or hear curse words (though rampant bloodshed is cool) and it doesn’t want you to turn into a pawn of the big corporations that it says are really behind today’s blackouts at sites like Craiglist and Wikipedia, which everyone knows are both monstrous examples of corporate greed.
For years, BitTorrent tracker site thePirateBay.org has been one of, if not the biggest target in the music, movie, software and video game industries’ anti-piracy efforts. So it might come as no surprise that, along with many, many other sites, the folks at Pirate Bay decided to shutter for the day today… well, sort of.
As the Stop Internet Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act have inched their way into the headlines, a number of people — even some who make their living on this here Internet — have shrugged and said things like, “I don’t download any pirated movies, so why should this bother me?” So we spoke to Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer at Google, who gave his feelings on why we should all be concerned.
Even though the House Judiciary Committee has moved its planned hearing on the Stop Internet Piracy Act from today until February — perhaps hoping that we’ll all be too hungover from Super Bowl beer and wings to care — that’s not going to stop people who are peeved about SOPA and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act, from taking to the streets to have their say.
As you probably already know, a number of websites have gone silent today in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act currently being considered by Congress and the Senate’s similarly controversial Protect IP Act. And while Google, which has previously voiced its opposition to both pieces of legislation, didn’t shut down for the day, it is making its feelings known to the public.
To say that Jeff Jarvis, the media blogger, journalist and author behind BuzzMachine.com, is against SOPA/PIPA, would be more than an understatement. When we connected with him to prepare for our “SOPA/PIPA Only” content for today, Jarvis made it clear that he’s as anti-SOPA as anyone could be.
If only every political issue or very important cause could be explained with a song about LOLcats, maybe everyone would enjoy a higher level of understanding. Case in point: SOPA/PIPA is a big deal to those of us who enjoy the current form of the Internetz. No one wants those adorable cats to go anywhere, right?
Craigslist founder Craig Newmark has been a vocal opponent of SOPA and PIPA with good reason: According to Newmark, if the bills as currently written were passed into law, “any site with any kind of user provided content could be shut down easily. For example, Wikipedia, Amazon, craigslist. Any media site with commenting.” In an email interview with Consumerist, Newmark (who is also a member of the Board of Directors of our parent company) warned that, despite White House opposition, and recent changes to the bills to limit DNS filtering, consumers should still be concerned.
Wikipedia prides itself on being neutral… so why is it taking itself down to protest something political? According to their official explanation of the protest decision, the members of the Wikimedia Foundation feel that “although Wikipedia’s articles are neutral, its existence is not.”
Sorting through all the SOPA/PIPA related news today is bound to get overwhelming. Sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, those in the Cheezburger network, Boing Boing, Mozilla and more are dark to protest the proposed anti-piracy laws. We’ve roped in a few industry experts and veterans to help sort out what exactly is going on here, and were lucky enough to get Mashable’s former and formidable editor-at-large Ben Parr to weigh in.
Although the White House this weekend expressed “serious reservations” about elements of the pending anti-piracy bills SOPA and PIPA, and House leaders have said they will not conduct hearings on their bill any time soon, the legislation is far from dead. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this weekend that he hopes to open debate on the Senate’s version later this month. And House sponsor Lamar Smith said he will continue work on that chamber’s version. Internet protests planned for tomorrow, in which some of the web’s largest sites will go offline for 24 hours, are expected to go ahead as scheduled.