Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is a co-sponsor of PIPA, the sibling legislation for SOPA, the awful one that still contains the provision that would allow our government to shut down websites accused—not convicted of—but accused of copyright infringement. Today, there was quite a large protest outside of her office! 1,000 people and a bunch of Internet luminaries were there.
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Yet another Important Internet Person has come out against SOPA, the controversial legislation that would put the power of a kill-switch in our totally computer-savvy government’s hands: The Zuck.
You should not listen to him, nor commend him, nor care. Why? Read More
At a morning news conference, Mayor Mike Bloomberg urged Congress to come to a compromise on the Internet piracy legislation now making its way through the House and Senate.
"There’s no easy answer," he said in response to a question from Juan Manuel Benitez of NY1 Noticias. "You have to protect the rights of people to transmit information in a practical sense."
The mayor reached for an old-fashioned comparison for today's digital age, telling reporters, "If you make a threatening phone call over the telephone, going after the telephone company is not something that makes some sense." Read More
UPDATE 1:27 p.m.: About
300 to 400 900 to 1,000 New York techies are gathered in front of the Midtown offices of Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at 780 Third Ave to protest their sponsorship of the Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP Acts that internet workers say will have destructive effects on the web.
“They’re making chants,” Stephen Duffy, our man on the scene, told Betabeat over the phone. The protesters reportedly took a page from the Occupy playbook with “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!” and crafted the cachy, “STOP SOPA, PASS ON PIPA!” (N.B.: It’s apparently pronounced “pippa.”)
“What we have here is one of the geekiest, most rational protests in NYC history,” Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder and now advisor, told the crowd (via Ben Kessler).
“This is a whole rearranging of the way the web works,” Jessica Lawrence, managing director of the New York Tech Meetup, which helped organize the event, told our reporter. “Taking away the free speech elements and making it censored in the U.S. in way that it shouldn’t be, and that it is in foreign countries.” Read More
-Peer-to-peer SOPA/PIPA tutoring.
-Sympathy cards to Congress, for the death of the internet.
-Raising money for a lobbyist.
-The New York Tech Meetup emergency anti-SOPA/PIPA rally.
-Blackouts at Craigslist, Wikipedia and Reddit; opt-in blackout at Tumblr.
-Changing all our Twitter avatars!
What are we forgetting?
With blackout curtains shrouding the internet this morning, it’s hard not to think about what the web might look like if SOPA and PIPA passed. One company who isn’t sweating it? The Pirate Bay—yup, that’s right, the very site these laws were proposed to censor.
A Pirate Bay source told TorrentFreak that the company is concerned, but not about being shut down, “Of course we’re worried. Not so much for The Pirate Bay, as there are many workarounds, but for democratic reasons.” Indeed, via backup domains, alternative DNS-servers or proxy sites, both SOPA and PIPA can be circumvented, particularly since its advertising partners aren’t subject to U.S. laws. Read More
This is a guest post by Aaron Harris, CEO and co-founder of Tutorspree.
After finding myself explaining SOPA and PIPA to my parents and to my girlfriend over the weekend, I realized that, while the tech community has done a good job firing itself up – we have not done enough to educate people outside of our sphere. When it comes down to it, that constituency is the one you really need to sway Congress. If we stay within our own echo chamber we’ll lose to the force of the MPAA/RIAA and their associated lobbies. Read More
Over the past two weeks, staffers from HUGE, the Dumbo-based digital agency, have been at work on a different kind of interactive campaign. Yesterday around noon, a skunkworks team made up of software engineers, interaction designers, information architects, and more finally unleashed their side project on the world: a platform called We the Lobby that “makes the United States political system available to the 99% who can’t afford a lobbying group.”
“I put it up and I immediately went to sleep,” Sankho Mallik, a web developer and primary instigator for the site, which is unaffiliated with HUGE, told Betabeat.
We the Lobby works by allowing users to pool together micro-donations for political causes. As the accusation goes, Washington only listens to lobbyists, so why shouldn’t you get one of your own? Read More
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), Founder of GarysGuide, Mentor at ER Accelerator and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can follow him at @garysguide and reach him via email at gary [at] garysguide.com.
Night of the Living Dead SOPA / PIPA Chainsaw Massacre Part IV
Awwwwwwwwright, SOPA is DEAD! We did it, folks! The interwebs and twitterati and blogosphere and ce-web-rities and all came together and stuck it to the Man (or rather Men in Washington, and their lobbyist chums and their old media deep pocketed fat cat friends). Time to partayyyy! …. Oh wait, hold on now … I’m getting some new updates. What’s that I hear? Uhh-ohh, SOPA ain’t dead, y’all, its just “shelved”. SHELVED. Hmmmmmm, lets focus our attention on that word for a moment, shall we? Read More