Black Wednesday

No, it's sadly not a day for shopping. Today, some of the most visited websites are dark to raise awareness of two bills now making their way through the U.S. Congress. The bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), pose such a great threat to all of us who use, enjoy, and make a living on the Internet that they have united a formidable front from the likes of internet giants such as Google and Wikipedia. Social sites like Reddit that would be devastated by this sort of legislation are getting in on the black out, as well as those who help build the software that powers the Internet like WordPress.

Anyone who values the Internet as we know it, as a place that is open and free to share ideas and creativity, should oppose this legislation, as it would provide a disturbing amount of broad and far-reaching power to censor and ultimately cripple the Internet.

While I do value the rights of the entertainment industry to make a living, I do not believe these bills do anything to help the average entertainment industry employee. And frankly, I value my own ability to make a living more. I see a definite threat to my own viability in these bills, and that is no joke. At all. There is a world where the Internet and the entertainment industry can both thrive, and I hope that the Motion Picture Association of America, one of SOPA's major supporters, will come to understand that it will be far more beneficial to work with us over here on the Internet side of things than to accuse us crazy, free-thinking geeks of "abuse of power."

If you vote in the U.S., Please visit Wikipedia or Google today and find out who your representatives are, and let them know that these bills could have devastating economic effects as well as threaten the freedoms we are all promised as Americans. If you are outside the U.S., consider joining in the efforts by blacking out your site, and visiting http://sopastrike.com/.

Please go educate yourselves about SOPA/PIPA, and please watch this video I borrowed from WordPress.org (see, borrowing and sharing are great things you can do on the Internet, for now):

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

And then you might want to look at this one too. Because it's no laughing matter. LOLCats may in fact die along with the rest of user-generated content, and that would be very sad.

______________________

Katherine Druckman is webmistress at LinuxJournal.com. You might find her chatting on the IRC channel or on Twitter.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Get off Google's back

Dentist Melbourne's picture

Personally, I think Google did the right thing... they made a stance and allowed us to still use their service to find other websites making a stand. Either way, the legislation is ridiculous in my opinion.

I can't think of any good

Army bases in Florida's picture

I can't think of any good reason why SOPA should take place. Only large record companies wants it but they don't realize that they will destroy all the economy

I think the black wednesday

opus's picture

I think the black wednesday was necessary to make the protest against sopa more reliable. Let's see what happens...

The awareness of SOPA has

NHL Arenas's picture

The awareness of SOPA has gained so much attention that there is no way the bill would ever pass. It is just a bill and Obama said he would have no part of it.

Black Wednesday sounds really

Kristen Alina's picture

Black Wednesday sounds really awesome indeed. I love it very enjoyable though. By the way I enjoyed this awesome input very impressive so long for me. thanks for suggest me. sport injuries Keep it up though!

how do the people who write

pilot school's picture

how do the people who write code for these softwares get their bread and butter from or make a very decent living?

pros and cons

Sedot WC's picture

many people are pros and cons of SOPA and PIPA
as a layman I wish there was the best way to decide whether these laws have passed ..

hi

huller's picture

I’m glad to know there are still writers out there that can create good
thought-provoking content. I really like this article and the writer’s unique point of view.
There’s a lot of good information here.

hello

Busana Muslim's picture

Thank you for taking the time to write on this topic.

hei, i do agree of what you

utami's picture

hei, i do agree of what you said "borrowing and sharing are great things you can do on the Internet, for now" :D

Anyone who focus on Internet,

auto diagnostic tool's picture

Anyone who focus on Internet, because we know it as the place of an open and free exchange of ideas and creativity, that is, should oppose this legislation, because it will provide a wide range of disturbing and far-reaching powers to review and, ultimately,undermine the Internet.

Google isn't responsible

Alina Erin's picture

Google isn't responsible for these activities ...

Target the pocketbook

Vanzippee's picture

If we want to stop this we need to go to the head of the matter. Boycot the media industry for a bit. If we could empty the theatres and DVD stores for a couple of days then they would see the impact this is going to have.
The problem is that then we need to actually give up a little comfort for our freedom. I know some of us are willing to do it, but all of us need to. I fear that this won't happen until after the fact, and It'll be a lot harder to undo than it would be to stop.

So many time read interesting

security camera systems Miami's picture

So many time read interesting story about Friday and Cyber Monday though first time read a bit impression about Black Wednesday. Thanks!

Email Your Representative

Rural Internet's picture

I spent black Wednesday writing letters and calling my representatives to show my opposition to SOPA and PIPA. I don't think they will pass anyways but you can't be too sure and my representatives needed to know how I felt regardless.

Google makes a_lot_ of money

Anonymous's picture

Google makes a_lot_ of money each day on their services. The cost of a total blackout would be enormous.

I don't see why they are

Anonymous's picture

I don't see why they are picking on Google. Most websites, including twitter and facebook didn't even have a link to SOPA. Twitter could have had a promoted tweet or something. It costs lots of money to black out your site, it's silly to expect them too.

google

Benzeb's picture

But google also has an online petition. They didn't performed a real blackout but isn't the petition worth a signing ?

Regarding Google

gt's picture

@ madcama

If google did a blackout, no one would be able to search about other blackouts :P

LOL...i got your point :) ...

Anonymous's picture

LOL...i got your point :) ... sure google is the biggest search engine on the internet hehehe.... about SOPA and PIPA lots of big authority site that doesn't agree with the regulation plan, and i don't think it will get approved, specially after Obama also doesn't want to sign the petition, cheer up guys

waterproof camera

brainfuck

rottentothecore's picture

no more content on the internet
everybody sues everybody
law requires a degree and conventional crimes are nonexistent
this is a nice way to generate revenue and retire with your spouse or have an orgy at your 55th birthday party
revenue is needed for the people who think they are doing right
everyone thinks they are right and it goes on and on.
in shitty times where people lose jobs the internet is the only place for revenue generation , cycling and churning.
vlc, libreoffice, chrome, docky, banshee, amarok, audacity, hydrogen drum machine, kernel 3.2, unetbootin, blender, hardinfo, truecrypt, gcc, transmission, vuze, yarssr, nautilus ........etc will show attributes and the propensity to become copyrighted even though they might never.

how do the people who write code for these softwares get their bread and butter from or make a very decent living?

linux kernel 3.2 is a piece of "Arificial Intelligence" code waiting like a ticking time tomb and if current trend continues then the next 100 years shall yield the most unpredictable scenarios.
Shall this be copyrighted too.

Will Richard Stallman's GPL become a mockery by warring corporate bully's who are hell bent on organized crime where drugs, prostitution and rape become more prominent.

Google is the only one that did the RIGHT thing.

Anonymous's picture

Blackouts are utterly pointless, they've never been beneficial and they never will. ALL they do is hurt the people who rely on the sites.

SOPA/PIPA supporters fleeing--blackouts did work

Sum Yung Gai's picture

Actually, it looks like the blackouts did work after all. Several former supporters, including the two initial top backers, are now backing away from SOPA/PIPA, citing the online protest blackouts as the reason. When major sites like Wikipedia, Mozilla, etc. coordinate a blackout, apparently it works.

As for Google, no, they didn't do an actual blackout, but I see no reason to fault them, either. Very prominently on their page was a black-as-ink box over their name as their form of protest. Their disagreement with SOPA/PIPA was very obvious.

What all of these Web sites did was to bring attention to the problems of SOPA/PIPA, and that's a good thing.

--SYG

PLease do not metnion google

madcama's picture

PLease do not metnion google in this action. What was their black out. Only one url. Rest of their services were working as usual.

Google as always is playing double game.

Think about it.

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState