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ETpro's avatar

Can we all say a big "Thank You!" to Fluther for joining the blackout to defeat SOPA/PIPA and Internet censorship?

Asked by ETpro (34584points) January 18th, 2012

Our members of Congress, most of who know about as much about the Internet as Australian Aborigines do about quantum mechanics, were all set to pass a bill they had been bribed (lobbied) to support, a bill written by the big ISPs like Comcast, RCN, Verizon, AT&T etc and the Motion Picture Industry Association et al. The idea was to stop piracy of copyrighted content via the Internet. But the bill was written by lobbyist that haven’t a clue how to actually do that. It would not have worked to stop the pirates. What we are currently doing works better. What it would have done is blocked access to Google, Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, Reedit, Fluther, Sodahead and just abnout all sites that allow user input or list sites that allow user input.

It would have also made it easy for political and corporate interest to shut down any website critical of them by complaining that it had some copyrighted material on it.

I feel like I am a fair witness on this. I have a book in print, and earn royalties on it. I do want Internet pirates shut down. If content creators can’t profit from the tremendous effort it takes to write a book or produce a movie; we will all suffer because they will not create. We’ll be left with idiotic YouTube videos of idiots doing inane things that sometimes get them maimed or killed as our new Media.

But I am also a web developer with a small business that would have likely been destroyed by the idiotic way this bill was written. And I am not the only business that would have suffered. Thousands of other tech firms would have been ruined and millions of jobs would likely have been lost. Here’s a list of the special interests that bought this piece of tripe and tried to ram it through congress, and a list to the people who came to the defense of the Internet, trying to stop such censorship. My hat’s off to Fluther for joining the blackout. I hope you will join me.

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50 Answers

Judi's avatar

Thanks fluther team!

Sunny2's avatar

Thanks, Fluther. I hope the powers that be will re-consider.

Bellatrix's avatar

I am not in the US but this legislation would have global impact, so thank you.

ETpro's avatar

@Blackberry It sure as heck did. I cant remember when so many Senators and Representatives, even co-sponsors of the bill, did a U turn in a single day.

@Judi & @Sunny2 Thanks for chiming in. With Obama threatening a veto, I think we can be sure that COngress will actually bother to read the bill now and think it through before just cranking it out for the lobbyist who wrote it and bribed them to pass it. I am for stopping piracy, but not for throwing the baby out with the bath water. This bill was just insanity personified—a wish list of one microcosm of the corporate special interest community.

@Bellatrix Absolutely. The impact would have been severe and global.

jerv's avatar

Thank you, Fluther!

@Blackberry Your link reminded me of Makers by Cory Doctorow; a book that is actually relevant as it deals with copyright issues. The dead-tree edition costs, but the e-book version is absolutely free of charge.

Pandora's avatar

Yes, I’m on board with thanking fluther. Everybody counts.
I get the whole privacy act thing. If I made something and sold it for other people to copy and sell, I would be upset too. But they know the countries they give there stuff too that pirates it onto the internet. So why not simply not sell it to them, or wait till the movie is out on video tape for renting before selling it to these countries? Then by the time they download it here, it has already been released and most of the people who were going to watch the movie already did.
Or heres another crazy idea. Instead of taking a show that is already playing on tv (and by no means if free for most Americans who pay for cable or internet who can download said show on the networks themselves or hulu or is already paid for by advertisers) and then asking about 90 dollars for one season for copies of the show that only cost them maybe 5 bucks with box and all, just charge a cheaper price and people won’t feel like they get ripped off buying the stuff.
Between the internet and cable and phone I am paying 140 bucks. (I didn’t want the phone but it came out cheaper than getting just the internet and cable) That is 1380 dollars a year for entertainment. If the studios aren’t getting their fair share between advertisers, and cable companies and internet companies than that is something they need to negotiate.
But honestly, I think it has more to do with internet companies not liking their services slowed down by the increase in downloads period. They want to continue to collect more each year and provide less and so they won’t look like the bad guys when people can’t go on facebook, or tweet, or go to hulu or any site that hundred of people go on.
Plus if people really catch on with hulu, soon people may abandon their cable to watch their favorite shows on the internet. Whats that. No cable for 90 dollars?
Thats why some cable/internet companies have a limit on bandwith. They want to make sure you still purchase the cable tv.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv Amen, bro.

@Pandora Exactly. We already have effective ways of attacking piracy without simply shutting down all sea travel.

Kraigmo's avatar

Yah thanks Fluther and all the helpful websites who participated.

YARNLADY's avatar

* * * Y * A * Y * * * W * E * L * L * * D * O * N * E * * * Y * A * Y * * *

jrpowell's avatar

This isn’t defeated. They will just sneak it into a defense bill that you can’t “veto” unless you want ads saying “you hate the troops”.

So you still need to let your Reps know that you have not forgotten on a regular basis and let them know that you will not vote for them unless they support a “innocent until proven guilty” Internet. The fight has just started.

AnonymousWoman's avatar

^ Important.

That being said,

Thank you, Fluther! ^_^

rebbel's avatar


flutherother's avatar

Thanks Fluther for taking a stand on this. It gave us a chance to put our views across to Congress. Congressmen should represent us all and not just big business interests.

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m not sure if anyone has posted this yet, but here is a really good website that tracks supporters and opposers of the bills and updates actions on the bills.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Good stuff.

augustlan's avatar

Thanks for being so supportive, jellies!

I think it was really important that so many sites went out on strike. If these bills pass, Fluther (and many, many other sites) could go down for good. The blackout was just a taste of what that would be like. By going dark, sites called attention to the bills and redirected their traffic to sites for taking action against them. That’s a concrete goal, with a measurable impact. I’m proud to have taken part, even in our own small way.

erichw1504's avatar

Yanks Thou!

filmfann's avatar

Congo rats Fluther!

please don’t do that again! I was home all day with nothing to do!

digitalimpression's avatar

SOPA means soup in Spanish.

Pandora's avatar

@digitalimpression And that is what it is. A blend of different things. Only its not really home made soup that may be nutritious. It highly processed and filled with ingredients that most people don’t recognize. People should realize like actual food you shouldn’t eat something you don’t recognize as being actually consumable.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@johnpowell is right. MPAA and its puppet Lamar Smith are not ready to give up. We shouldn’t give up as well. The blackout might be temporary, but that does not mean we have won yet. Do not forget about SOPA/PIPA until they are dead and keep in contact with your senator/reps about SOPA.

marinelife's avatar

I was really glad that you did, Fluther. I also liked the way you chose to do it.

However, you should have given some addiction hotline numbers.

newtscamander's avatar

Good decision on Fluther’s part ! :)

SuperMouse's avatar

Thanks BenDrew, @Augustlan, and team. Also thanks to @johnpowell for being the first to point this out on the site and bringing it to the attention of a lot of jellies (me for one) who otherwise might not have heard about it.

everephebe's avatar

I think we played a part in this.

augustlan's avatar

@everephebe That’s fantastic. Now if we could only get such a consensus on other political issues. We’d surely be a force to be reckoned with!

HungryGuy's avatar

Thank you, Fluther!

I wish more sites joined the protest. At YouTube and Facebook, it was business as usual :-(

everephebe's avatar

WE are a force to be reckoned with, and there will be a reckoning, if and when necessary.
Considering this happened today, I’d bet there will be blood in the streets in a very large way this year.

everephebe's avatar

I am willing to fight, and die, for the internet.
Can’t say the same thing of my country.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

For the internet!

jerv's avatar

@everephebe Attacking a Hong Kong based company… I wonder how China will handle that. Considering how much money we owe them already, I think the Justice Department may have just sent our economy back off the rails!

At this rate, I am no longer sure if we can wait until election time to get the current government out of power.

ETpro's avatar

@Kraigmo @YARNLADY, @AnonymousGirl, @rebbel, @ANef_is_Enuf, @erichw1504, @Keep_on_running, @MilkyWay, @marinelife, @scuniper, @SuperMouse, @Simone_De_Beauvoir, @HungryGuy & @Michael_Huntington

@johnpowell I don’t think so. I watched the Republican debate tonight on CNN. Of course Ron Paul always had the sense to oppose this monstrosity of Gomgast.Verizon/Time Warner greed and desire for absolute control of the Internet, but the others had all supported it till tonight. This evening they were falling all over themselves to claim it was a “Democrat” idea and they hated it as currently written. What a difference a day made.

@flutherother We need a Constitutional Ammendment (as if the Founding Fathers actually wrote that Corporations, which didn’t exist as a legal entity in 1776, are people and money is speech) to force the Supreme Corporatist 5 appointed by recent Republicans to STFU.

@bkcunningham Great link, and it clearly shows how both parties are bought and paid for by corporate money. Most of these clowns have no clue how the Internet works and hadn’;t ever bothered to even read the bill. THey only needed to know how much money they’d get to support it.

@augustlan The thanks goes to you and the Fluther staff.

filmfann Instead of asking Fluther to just let it happen next time, why not ask your congressionalal reps and senators who supported it to not do that again. @bkcunningham gave you a link to the list.

@digitalimpression It was uncommonly bad tasting soup. THe result would have been a near total blackout of any sites where individual users can post, or sites that link to them. All that would have been left online would be the pay-to-play sites.

@Michael_Huntington No question of that. They will reword it. I am not against some reasonable way to crack down of pirate sites operating in countries that give them safe haven. Just don’t block every useful free site on the Internet to do it.

@everephebe As do I. Score one for We the People. This is the real fight to take our country back. Not from the Democrats and not from the Republicans, from the corporatists.

@everephebe Keeping the Internet free is how we are going to take back america from the ruling corporatocracy and the countries living under authoritarian rule from the dictators. Right now, corporatist fascism is on the rise all around the world. THere is no more important fight.

jerv Like each other or not, We are too big for China to let us fail, and they are too big for us to let them fail.

jerv's avatar

@ETpro Some people just like to watch the world burn. Others do not understand the consequences of their actions. Still others put principle above profit, or will cut off their nose to spite their face. Couple that with the fact that, contrary to popular belief, the US does not have a monopoly on arrogance, or short-sightedness, I cannot agree with “Too big to fail”.

ETpro's avatar

@jerv I bow to that logic.

Buttonstc's avatar

Nice going Fluther! Great job.

rebbel's avatar

Senate postponed PIPA vote.

Berserker's avatar

Thanks, Fluther. :)
And I was glad to be part of the fight, in whichever way it may (or may not have lol) counted. Fuck yeah. And fuck SOPA. Fuck em.

Bellatrix's avatar

Far out @WillWorkForChocolate! I can’t believe you did the laundry and dishes? What were you thinking! Absolutely shocking behaviour.

EverRose11's avatar

I had not yet discovered fluther when the blackout occurred so I say Bravo ! Thank you fluther for joining the blackout to defeat SOPA/PIPA and Internet censorship.

Bellatrix's avatar

I knew I posted something about you (@Willworkforchocolate] doing the dishes and laundry, but that answer was meant to be on another question… [how did I do that?]

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Bellatrix You should be punished for posting on the wrong question. I should be punished for… ahem… umm… doing laundry. The perfect punishment would be for both of us to fly to Tahiti for a week, drink mai tais and make the cabana boy [REDACTED]

Bellatrix's avatar

No! Not Tahiti… I will pack my bags right away and meet you at the airport. I definitely think we deserve such a punishment :D

ETpro's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate My god, man, that’s stuff right out of the Spanish Inquisition. Worse than the comfy chair.

TheIntern55's avatar

Actually, I hadn’t been on Fluther for a while, due to a number of reasons, and I came here to whine about WIkipedia being blacked out. When I saw Fluther was down, I nearly cried. I signed the petition though!

ETpro's avatar

@TheIntern55 I can see how the blackout wasn’t so great in certain eyes. Thanks for soldering sailoring through the disappointment and adding your name to the petition anyway. :-)

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