SOPA and PIPA bills affect RRS writers and readers
Rational Response Squad website and affiliate sites are in a black out on Jan 18 to draw attention to SOPA and PIPA which threatens our existence...
Have you noticed how some of our members like to cut and paste news articles for discussion on our forum? Did you know that in many cases you're not supposed to do that? Did you know that it's not always easy to tell if you can or can't because of tough to understand copyright rules and potential for fair use treatment since the post is being used for critique, parody, or criticism? What do you think would happen if corporations and the government worked together to control the copyright problems on the internet?
For the last few years some companies have been fighting for a bill that protects against online piracy. They pushed for a bill to come along that they could support. Many of those same people today are leading the charge against SOPA and PIPA which go too far, give the government too much control, put too much fear into the webmaster, and should put fear into everyone talking about anything on the internet. These rules would stifle internet development. The next big thing will not happen, it'll cost too much in legal fees for the start up. Only mega-corps will stand a chance at innovation.
Maybe you kept quiet over the last 10 years as our Constitution has been trampled on by our government. Maybe the Iraq War built on a lie didn't bother you because it was so far away. Maybe you let the Patriot Act slide because you didn't think they'd torture you. This time you should not be quiet. This time you have to speak up... or you may not be able to later.
The internet and the free exchange of information that we have been afforded has helped catapult our society into a much more knowledgeable one. A more efficient society that is more informed about anything it chooses to be informed about. SOPA and PIPA help put the control of our information in the hands of government officials and massive corporations. It is an attack on the grass roots nature of the internet. As an atheist site webmaster it is the biggest fear I have today.
Let me run you through what would happen if a bill like these get passed...
There are probably thousands of instances of people posting trademarked or copyrighted information on our site.
When SOPA and PIPA are passed I will have a team of mods scour over 100,000 pages to censor, delete, or eliminate conversations that have any possible violation.
I will instruct my team that if it's borderline, delete it.
We might find that the problem is too rampant, so we may choose to simply delete everything that has ever been written on any of our sites, and start over. (you may know that maintaining our old information is about the most important task I have put on myself... this would be devastating to me personally)
During this process we may find that the laws are too restrictive or too scary, or too costly to fight. We may at that point decide to close our doors for community posts.
Internet dark ages... here we come... unless you speak up.
So we’ve been covering SOPA a lot, specifically how horrible it is and how horribly it’s going. On the dim, but bright side, someone listed as Ji S has created a beautifully simple illustration of how utterly ridiculous SOPA really is. Under SOPA as it currently stands, this anti-SOPA petition on Whitehouse.gov would lead to a nationwide block of Whitehouse.gov on the whole. The irony is delicious, isn’t it?
One of the many issues with SOPA that is so offensive is that it allows any and all sites with links to copyrighted content to be summarily blocked. A recent amendment has made this even more egregious, allowing ISPs to block entire domains even when a court order specifies one certain link or page. The petition, which provides a link to this copyrighted image in its description, would, under SOPA, classify Whitehouse.gov as a rogue site and flag it for censorship. Need I say more?