Wednesday, January 18, 2012


occupy the internet v002.
what a fun day

hoping to get occupy the internet v002 out by Saturday.



1. can block access
2. can cut off funds
3. will not block access
4. ambiguous
5. countries passing smiler laws
6. less security/stability
7. there are laws already;txt
Who's opposed to SOPA? 
Much of the Internet industry and a large percentage of Internet users. An informal poll of its readership by BetaNews found that 95 percent oppose SOPA.
On November 15, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Zynga, eBay, Mozilla, Yahoo, AOL, and LinkedIn wrote a letter to key members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, saying SOPA poses "a serious risk to our industry's continued track record of innovation and job creation, as well as to our nation's cybersecurity." Yahoo has reportedly quit the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its enthusiastic support for SOPA.
The European Parliament adopted a resolution last week stressing "the need to protect the integrity of the global Internet and freedom of communication by refraining from unilateral measures to revoke IP addresses or domain names." Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, said in a message on Twitter last week that we "need to find a better solution than #SOPA."
The Sandia National Laboratories, part of the U.S. Department of Energy, also raised concerns about SOPA last week, saying it is "unlikely to be effective" and will "negatively impact U.S. and global cybersecurity and Internet functionality." And Stewart Baker, the former policy chief at the Department of Homeland Security who's now in private practice, warned in an op-ed that SOPA "runs directly counter" to the House's own cybersecurity efforts.
A little-noticed portion of the proposed law, which CNET highlighted on Friday, goes further than Protect IP and could require Internet providers to monitor customers' traffic and block Web sites suspected of copyright infringement.
What has the response to this language been? 
Mozilla, which makes the Firefox Web browser, responded by creating a page saying: "Protect the Internet: Help us stop the Internet Blacklist Legislation." It warns that "your favorite Web sites both inside and outside the US could be blocked based on an infringement claim."
Web sites including Wikimedia (as in, Wikipedia) charged that SOPA is an "Internet blacklist bill" that "would allow corporations, organizations, or the government to order an Internet service provider to block an entire Web site simply due to an allegation that the site posted infringing content." Tumblr "censored" its users' content streams, and reported that its users averaged 3.6 calls per second to Congress through the company's Web site--nearly 90,000 total.
With a bit of HTML from, a Web site supported by the Free Software Foundation, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Public Knowledge, hundreds of Web sites "censored" themselves to protest SOPA. Even Lofgren, from Silicon Valley, has joined the fight-censorship protest.
For their part, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has been highlighting an analysis it commissioned from First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams, a former MPAA attorney, who concluded SOPA is perfectly constitutional. Here's another pro-SOPA rebuttal.
Who supports SOPA? 
The three organizations that have probably been the most vocal are the MPAA, the Recording Industry Association of America, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A Politico chart shows that Hollywood has outspent Silicon Valley by about ten-fold on lobbyists in the last two years.

A letter signed by Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Anna Eshoo, both California Democrats, and 
Rep. Ron Paul, the Republican presidential candidate from Texas, predicts that SOPA will invite "an explosion of innovation-killing lawsuits and litigation." Law professors have also raised concerns.
Among other infirmities, it would:
Allow the government to block Internet access to any web site that “facilitated” copyright or trademark infringement – a term that the Department of Justice currently interprets to require nothing more than having a link on a web page to another site that turns out to be infringing.
    Allow any private copyright or trademark owner to interfere with the ability of web sites to host advertising or charge purchases to credit cards, putting enormous obstacles in the path of electronic commerce.
Most significantly, it would do all of the above while violating our core tenets of due process.    By failing to guarantee the challenged web sites notice or an opportunity to be heard in court before their sites are shut down, SOPA represents the most ill-advised and destructive intellectual property legislation in recent memory.
In sum, SOPA is a dangerous bill. It threatens the most vibrant sector of our economy – Internet commerce. It is directly at odds with the United States’ foreign policy of Internet openness, a fact that repressive regimes will seize upon to justify their censorship of the Internet. And it violates the First Amendment.
And another! This letter (PDF) is from a slew of law professors, including Stanford's Mark Lemley, Elon's David Levine, Temple's David Post, and UCLA's Eugene Volokh. They seem even more generous in their criticism than the other letters, warning that SOPA "has grave constitutional infirmities, potentially dangerous consequences for the stability and security of the Internet's addressing system, and will undermine United States foreign policy and strong support of free expression on the Internet around the world."
One thing private actors can't do under the new bill is actually block a site from the Internet, though it hardly matters, because the government has agreed to do it for them. The bill gives government lawyers the power to go to court and obtain an injunction against any foreign website based on a generally single-sided presentation to a judge. Once that happens, Internet providers have 5 days to “prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site.”
The government can also go after anyone who builds a tool designed for the "circumvention or bypassing" of the Internet block. Such tools already exist as a result of the US government's ongoing campaign to seize Internet domain names it believes host infringing content; they can redirect visitors who enter the site's address to its new location. The government has already asked Web browser makers like Mozilla to remove access to these sorts of tools. Mozilla refused, so the new bill just tries to ban such tools completely. (Pointing your computer's browser to a foreign DNS server in order to view a less-censored Internet still appears to be legal.)
Search engines, too, are affected, with the duty to prevent the site in question “from being served as a direct hypertext link.” Payment processors and ad networks would also have to cut off the site.
Finally, and for good measure, Internet service providers and payment processors get the green light to simply block access to sites on their own volition—no content owner notification even needed. So long as they believe the site is “dedicated to the theft of US property,” Internet providers and payment processors can't be sued.
Call it what it is
Not all censorship is bad—but we need to have an honest discussion about when and how to deploy it, rather than wrapping an unprecedented set of censorship tools in meaningless terms like "rogue site," or by calling a key section of the new bill the "E-PARASITE Act."
You don't have to support piracy—and we don't—to see the many problems with this new approach. Just today, the RIAA submitted to the US government a list of "notorious markets." As part of that list, the RIAA included "cyberlockers" like MegaUpload, which are "notorious services" that "thumb their noses at international laws, all while pocketing significant advertising revenues from trafficking in free, unlicensed copyrighted materials."
It's not hard to imagine how long it would take before such sites--which certainly do host plenty of user-uploaded infringing content--are targeted under the new law. Yet they have a host of legal uses, and cyberlockers like RapidShare have been declared legal by both US and European courts.
Not surprisingly, the new bill is getting pushback from groups like NetCoalition, which counts Google, Yahoo, and small ISPs among its members. "As leading brands of the Internet, we strongly oppose offshore 'rogue' websites and share policymakers' goal of combating online infringement of copyrights and trademarks," said executive director Markham Erickson in a statement.
"However, we do not believe that the solution lies in regulating the Internet and comprising its stability and security. We do not believe that it is worth overturning a decade of settled law that has formed the legal foundation for all social media. And finally, we do not believe that it is worth restricting free speech or providing comfort to totalitarian regimes that seek to control and restrict the Internet freedoms of their own citizens."
Dozens of law professors have also claimed the original PROTECT IP Act, which contains most of the same ideas, is unconstitutional. But the drumbeat for some sort of censorship is growing louder.
Big media companies have ratcheted up the pressure on Washington to support legislation that would protect online content.

S.O.P.A. and Protect IP would give the Justice Department the power to require Internet service providers and pay services like PayPal to cease relationships with foreign Web sites linked to piracy.

Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, has called the legislation “a form of censorship” and told reporters on Monday that Washington “should not criminalize the intermediaries.”

My day job is to write about and report on technology. I get paid to create content. Original content. The people I write for make money off the words I commit to paper (or, you know, a Web page). I’m a content creator in the truest sense. That’s how I earn a living.
In another life, in another time, I made a different kind of content. I used to produce music, I was in bands, and I traveled the world disc jockeying. I got paid then to create content, putting out records (real, vinyl records) and helping other bands to make the kind of music they wanted to make.
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Joshua Topolsky
An authoritative voice on technology and consumer electronics, Joshua Topolsky is the founding editor-in-chief of The Verge, a technology news and information Web site, and the former editor-in-chief of Engadget.  He is the resident tech expert for NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, Bloomberg TV and G4’s “Attack of the Show.”  A lifelong gadget enthusiast, Joshua used his first computer at age 6 (a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A), and has been breaking apart and reassembling gadgets since phones had rotary dialers.
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Who’s involved and what are the stakes?: A look at the politicians, companies and lobbying groups involved in the dispute over Stop Online Piracy Act.

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As a content creator, I fully understand how precious ownership is and how painful theft can be. In fact, a sample of one of my records was used in a snippet of a car commercial in the early 2000s. The song was recorded by a jingle-maker who clearly figured no one would mind that he didn’t produce entirely original content. I was never compensated for what was blatant theft — and you know it’s bad when friends call you up on the phone and tell you they just heard your song on TV.
Yet I oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) — two laws that are doing the rounds in Washington — ostensibly meant to protect content creators from theft in the form of piracy.
And you should, too.
If you don’t know what SOPA is, you should probably spend some time on Wikipedia investigating the bill. Of course, Wikipedia shut down its site Wednesday to voice opposition to the laws (Google, Reddit and several other sites also protested similarly), so I guess that wouldn’t have been a good day to get your facts.
If Wikipedia is still unavailable by the time you read this, let me quickly explain the law. (As I said, there are actually two laws making waves, but for the sake of brevity, I’m only going to focus on SOPA.)
The gist of the bill is that it gives content creators the power to force ISPs, search engines or payment services to shut down access to a Web site that the owner believes violated its copyright. On its face, the bill is designed to stop access to foreign Web sites that are profiting off of stolen content. (U.S.-based business can simply be dragged into court.) In reality, it’s much more insidious than that.
Say a French company just started a social networking site in which users can upload videos of themselves singing. Now let’s say some kids upload a video of themselves singing their favorite Britney Spears song, not even playing back the original recording but simply singing along innocently to a song they like.
In the eyes of Spears’s record label or any number of parties associated with her continued cash flow, that might very well look like an instance of piracy — and indeed, major labels have had content pulled off YouTube for similar “violations.” All the label has to do is send a letter to someone such as your ISP and request that the service stop routing traffic to the offending site, and, boom, no more French-sharing site for U.S. Internet users. And what’s really scary is that U.S. Internet service providers have immunity when it comes to what they can pull from their networks, so that French site might not even have a clear path to resolving the issue.
Now take that concept and begin to apply it across all the places you could potentially find “infringing” material. Sites about art, sites about movies, sites that let users generate content of all types — some of that content containing pieces of other work that should be considered fair use by any modern standard. Suddenly, a lot of destinations on the Internet will begin to look like island vacation spots — that is, they’re really hard to get to. And the impact won’t just be cultural or legal; the technical workings of the Internet itself will be dramatically affected.
As my colleague Nilay Patel said when comparing online piracy to DVD piracy in New York City: It’s “the effective equivalent of blowing up every road, bridge and tunnel in New York to keep people from getting to one bootleg [DVD] stand in Union Square — but leaving the stand itself alone.”
Now to my point. The SOPA and PIPA bills are being driven through our government by lobbyists who have been given a mandate to protect private companies and their profits by any means necessary. As a part of a private company that makes its money through content creation and delivery, I understand the sentiment — I just disagree with the solution.
SOPA and PIPA are like taking a sledgehammer to something when you need a scalpel. The laws are too far-reaching and too simplistic to accurately police real piracy online, and they have been created by people who either don’t fully understand the Internet or can’t appreciate its value.
Free speech and common sense demand a better and more thoughtful law. That law has to come from an organic place, built by the people and companies that live and work on the Internet. Google, Facebook and Twitter, it’s time to get your lobbyists on the phone.

repost from email:

Today was nuts, right?

Google launched a petition.  Wikipedia voted to shut itself off.  Senators' websites went down just from the sheer surge of voters trying to write them.   NYC and SF geeks had protests that packed city blocks.

You made history today: nothing like this has ever happened before.  Tech companies and users teamed up.  Tens of millions of people who make the internet what it is joined together to defend their freedoms.  The free network defended itself.  Whatever you call it, the bottom line is clear: from today forward, it will be much harder to mess up the internet.

The really crazy part?  We might even win.

Approaching Monday's crucial Senate vote there are now 35 Senators publicly opposing PIPA.  Last week there were 5.   And it just takes just 41 solid "no" votes to permanently stall PIPA (and SOPA) in the Senate.  What seemed like miles away a few weeks ago is now within reach.

But don't trust predictions.  The forces behind SOPA & PIPA (mostly movie companies) can make small changes to these bills until they know they have the votes to pass.  Members of Congress know SOPA & PIPA are unpopular, but they don't understand why--so they're easily duped by superficial changes.  The Senate returns next week, and the next few days are critical.  Here are two things to think about:

1. Plan on calling your Senator every day next week.  Pick up the phone each morning and call your Senators' offices, until they vote "no" on cloture.  If your site participated today, consider running a "Call the Senate" link all next week. 

2. Tomorrow, drop in at your Senators' district offices.  We don't have a cool map widget to show you the offices nearest you (we're too exhausted! any takers?).  So do it the old fashioned way: use Google, or the phonebook to find the address, and just walk in, say you oppose PIPA, and urge the Senator to vote "no" on cloture.  These drop-in visits make our spectacular online protests more tangible and credible. 

That's it for now. Be proud and stay on it!

--Holmes, Tiffiniy, and the whole Fight for the Future team.


P.S. Huge credit goes to participants in the 11/16 American Censorship Day protest: Mozilla, 4chan, BoingBoing, Tumblr, TGWTG, and thousands of others.  That's what got this ball rolling!  Reddit, both the community and the team behind it, you're amazing.  And of course, thanks to the Wikimedians whose patient and inexorable pursuit of the right answer brought them to take world-changing action. Thanks to David S, David K, Cory D, and E Stark for bold action at critical times.

P.P.S. If you haven't already, show this video to as many people as you can. It works!

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Friday, January 13, 2012


"The live show is what is going to keep music dangerous" the best line from this:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

batle him of the republic

NH primary today -- how exciting.  The suits are piling on the one guy who actually served their interests in business (which seems  to mean mastering the shell game these days).  Honestly, are any of them really distinctive in any way?

Monday, January 2, 2012