Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I think I agree with Wikipedia...gad, that's a first

THIS Wikipedia Blackout seems right......while I'm no big fan of Wikipedia and I'm not an expert on this situation, it seems like they're protesting something that needs protesting.
Do you agree?  What do you think are the pros and cons of the legislation?  I'd really like your opinion.  Thanks.


Silverfiddle said...

Z: When you stand on the side of freedom you will find strange bedfellows, which in this case is not a bad thing.

It's the old Voltaire quote:

"I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."

A threat to freedom anywhere is a threat to freedom everywhere...

Always On Watch said...

As far as I can tell, SOPA as written likely doesn't pose a danger to freedom.

HOWEVER, the potential for abuse with such a measure as SOPA is real and, if one considers human nature, likely.

The shutting down of Wikipedia for the day got my students' attention. Now they are curious enough to look into SOPA -- and to consider what they've been doing with their iPods, etc. The teachable moment!

Ducky's here said...

It is a step toward major corporations being even more in control of distribution.

Our popular culture is already pretty uniform (uniformly mediocre) and the goal is not to make the bandwidth available to minority expression, just make the bandwidth available for mainstream distribution to the widest possible audience.

I remember back in the day before all these most excellent electronics. The cultural scene was wide open, not segregated as it is now. By segregated I mean that content is isolated and divided into a few widely accessed categories.
I was a youngster in a time when music, writing, film, painting, poetry ... it was all happening. The radio had stations that would segue into Miles Davis right after playing Merle Haggard.

Now it's constrained. The culture is a big bore and this bill is a way for major companies to control providers and therefore control distribution.

"You can always make the film. If you can't afford 35mm you can switch to 16. The big problem is distribution."
Jean-Luc Godard

-FJ said...

I have no problem with shutting down "pirate" websites. I DO have a problem with shutting down those who "link" to them. It's not Wikipedia's job to enforce copyrights and ensure that the material they cite exists in the public domain. Their responsibility is to cite their sources for their articles, be they in the public, OR private domain. And if the government issues a court order and shuts down that source, let the "Wiki Reader" buy a private copy of the cited source that has been shut-down.

Many Wiki sources cited are unlinked. The link is there primarily as a convenience to the researcher.

Chuck said...

I don't have an issue with idea behind SOPA, as I understand it. We need to shut down pirate sites.

My concern is two-fold. (Again I am a little hazy on the bill, I would welcome some insight from anyone)

-FJ mentioned one. Shutting down sites that link to sites.

-Second, it seems as if there is no real recourse to being shut down.

AOW nailed it. As with a lot of legislation and/or regulations passed in the US, it's not the law - it's the interpretation. Too much room for abuse.

Silverfiddle said...

This bill is a Trojan Horse attack on free speech. Our government is no longer accountable to anyone. Imagine what the bureaucratic jackboots will be able to do with this...

@Ducky: The radio had stations that would segue into Miles Davis right after playing Merle Haggard.

Coooool... Sounds like my typical playlist (as long as its Miles' pre-Bitch's Brew stuff...

Joe said...

The government should protect everyone from any possible harm, actual or imagined.

The government should control as much of your life as possible.

The government would only pass SOPA for the common good, the reason they pass everything.

The government should tell you what's safe to eat, what's safe to drive, what's safe to breathe, what's safe to do and where it's safe to go.

The governmnet should treat you like a new mom treats her first one-year old.

The governmnt knows more about what's good for you than you do, yourself.

The government knows more about what's bad for you than you do, yourself.

At least that's what they think.

Anonymous said...

Marco Rubio sponsored the bill...he's changed his mind:

Z said...

Marco Rubio has changed his mind...and shows good reasons, Imp.

Harry Reid is 'rushing it through'...odd, isn't it, for the Dem do it in spite of the 'fact' that Obama supposedly opposes it, according to something I read last night. Sometimes, it's felt that O gets henchmen to do his bidding while looking the 'open minded' hero, but this is odd.

Z said...

Here's some info: Under the laws, websites like Facebook, with its hundreds of millions of users, or YouTube, where 48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, would now be accountable for all content posted on their sites. As a result, websites would be discouraged from engaging in speech or from providing a forum where others can do the same. That, in turn, will stifle innovation–the lifeblood of the economy. One study showed that among 200 venture capitalists and angel investors, almost all would stop funding digital media intermediaries if these laws are enacted.

Setting aside the burden the laws would impose on the freedom of speech and innovation, they don’t even make practical sense. Trying to block content online is tantamount to blocking the Mississippi River with a two-by-four. It can’t be done. Countries like Iran routinely censor content, yet information still flows through–oftentimes with the help of the United States. This attempt to crack down on pirated material is a futile effort by industries that are suffering at the hands of a technology that has surpassed it, much like when Hollywood was up in arms over VCRs in the 1980s and when the music industry threw a fit over MP3 players in the late 1990s.

z: how would this and other information posted here affect us bloggers? if we link to something, "we're accountable for it"... how "accountable"?

Lisa said...

In my gut I believe this is just a back door into Net Neutrality.
just like the expansion of power of the EPA is a back door into Cap and Trade as Obamcare is a back door into Single payer health care.
I am hoping that when Obama is out in 2013(God Willing) whatever he inherited will be a walk in the park compared to what he will leave behind.

Ducky's here said...

In my gut I believe this is just a back door into Net Neutrality.

You got it.

Ducky's here said...

Coooool... Sounds like my typical playlist (as long as its Miles' pre-Bitch's Brew stuff...


One thing about Miles. He kept moving, always innovating.

Man, I really miss those days.

Boston media used to be fantastic. Now you've got robo stations playing the same stuff right along the dial.

A lot of the small venue clubs are closing too. Wally's pretty much shut down. Great tryout spot for the kids from Berklee and it's gone. Had a history going back as one of the first integrated clubs in town.

Really sad. I think I'd give up the hip electronics to get bak to that 60's scene in a heartbeat.

Ducky's here said...


Whoa, it's our old friend Chris Dodd (D - Lobbying stooge).

This dirt bag said he wasn't going to become a lobbyist when he left.

Did anyone believe him? This clown is worse than Schumer.

Silverfiddle said...

@Z: Trying to block content online is tantamount to blocking the Mississippi River with a two-by-four. It can’t be done.

I love that analogy!

Anonymous said...


EPA about to announce the KILLING of the XL Pipline. Canada says piss off....China says we love you stupid Americans.

Bob said...

I have belatedly joined the SOPA/PIPA protest. blogs can just go to the admin dashboard, click on the Settings menu, and choose the level of visible protest you want. I chose the ribbon.

Both Senators in Georgia are guilty of sponsoring PIPA, and they will hear from me today, both by email and by telephone call. I understand from emails from others in Atlanta that their voice mailboxes are full, but I will not give up.

As Silverfiddle said, SOPA and it's cousin are trojan horses. For example, if you are discussing something that the eventual government enforcement agency doesn't like, your site can be shut down without proof of anything. You are automatically judged to be guilty.

At least that's the way I am reading things.

Opus #6 said...

My college boy alerted me to SOPA. And he never brings up politics with me, knowing I'm a political blogger. But he was happy when I did a story about it. I think the potential for loss of freedom is too great to risk implementation of SOPA or PIPA.

Some Gay Guy said...

On my opinion, it is idiotic to strike against anything. The only ones who get hurt are the workers.
My pet peeve is when people strike, boycott, and petition.
If there is something or anything that you don't like, then don't buy it, don't watch it, and don't listen to it. But don't tell me or anyone else what to do and what not to do.

Z said...

Imp, Obama's blaming Republicans today for his not going along with the pipeline... this is unbelievable

christian soldier said...

posted on simple action to be taken-w/ your Congressperson and Senator
remember- "for your own good" is the heads up warning phrase...for govt control---and-shall I say ---- tyranny----

Anonymous said...

"Obama's blaming Republicans today..."

OF COURSE HE IS. But his stupid, moronic apostles will never know that this has been studied for 3 years and had been basically green lighted. And that he was given plenty of time between golf rounds to sign off on it. Once more the magic moron doesn't give fart for jobs or energy independence.

I wonder if during this summer his poor helpless idiots who wonder why gas is $5 or more a gallon...will remember...why they can't afford electric cars.

And our greatest ally to our flummoxed and has every right to tell us to go to hell....and to keep kissing bowing to the Islamist extremists who want to kill us.

Nice job...Loser in Cheat.

net observer said...

One could argue that the Internet i what it is, bad AND good (mostly good in my opinion) b/c of the unprecedentedly "free-for-all" nature.

The "backdoor/net-neutrality" theory makes sense to me.

Sadly, I think there are enough people who fear a world in which everybody can freely express themselves to the rest of the world. "Too much freedom!"

And that's one reason why such legislation continues to have legs.

Z said...

Imp, it's a living nightmare, isn't it. Sure, let CHINA win,...again.
Poor Canada's trying to be loyal to us.

Net, who do you suppose is so fearful? Conservatives are furious at this as it's the only way most of us get the real news; we get links nobody shows on the networks quite a bit.

There's a very thin line that I believe militant islam has counted on; playing our fears against Western society. We know there are awful extremists sites on line.....Can we live with them gathering extremist troops and not stop them? but, stopping THEM means stopping some of all of our freedom on the 'net.

I don't know how America will walk the fine line of freedom with terrorism that's not defined from a country, a certain uniform, etc...our enemy is "everywhere" now...not in Japan, or Germany or in Mussolini's office, etc etc..

I truly believe extremist islam has planned on this for years and developed what's happening now.

Elmers Brother said...

Duhkkky no one listens to radio anymore. They create their own stations with Iheart radio and Pandora. Its better then radio, with Indie music and anything you want you can create yourself. All from the internet. Nothing imposed (wish there was an equivalent with art).

Ticker said...

If Dodd had anything to do with the writing of this mess then by all means run because we know what a mess he made of the Banking bills that were suppose to "Protect" folks. I call Barnyard Bovine Excrement on the whole mess as it opens the door for a real screwing by the government. But then what else is new?

Elmers Brother said...

BTW I mix a little Bird with Miles to begin my day.

Kid said...

I am highly offended that anyone in Congress would even bother reading let alone writing a word of any bill that does not deal with the grave financial state we are in.

My feeling on the bill is that to screw with something that isn't broken is always taking the wrong turn. If media content providers don't want to be ripped off it is their problem to deal with, not the government's.

Generally speaking the ripping off and hacking is coming from other (lawless) countries. The government decides to further constrain its own citizens rather than deal with these rogue countries? BS. Sanction-Embargo-Seize funds, whatever.

Unfortunately, the USA has less and less power to lean on such countries since it needs to "borrow the car keys" and get an allowance from them continually and now has little bargaining power.

Anonymous said...


with a vengeance that only HERMAN CAIN could understand.

Marianne Gingrich has said she could end her ex-husband’s career with a single interview. Earlier this week, she sat before ABCNEWS cameras, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

And....she's going to spill her hateful spleen.

Politicans...know your weaknesses...better yet...know your whores.

And make leave no bones behind screw your life over forever.

Z said...

Imp, I heard about it.

It's despicable and I was thinking about posting something about the ethics of this.

I'm telling you, there isn't ANYTHING the media won't do to kill any Republican and this could be big.......I doubt they'd show it if she wasn't telling a lot. Whether it's true, we'll never know, will we.

My gosh...all the background on Obama, all the unanswered questions, and the response to that is to vote for him. Let Republicans start running and they go through their trash, tell you their children aren't their own, move in next door and write slams about you, demand every record you could possibly have, ...we could all go on and on with that one.


Anonymous said...

"It's despicable and I was thinking about posting something about the ethics of this."


Tell ya what..if she does this and she's still dependent on him via alimony....I hope he turns her into a bag lady. I hope she has to live in 66 Chevy wagon ( with 4 flat tires ) the rest of her miserable life.

Newt...get a hit might be worth it.

Kid said...

Z, between 2004 ("We need a message!") and 2008("The one"), the democrats got Extremely Efficient at working the election process.

I have to believe they had help. Hugo? Vladamir Putey Pute? They didn't do it themselves.

net observer said...

"Net, who do you suppose is so fearful?"

Just for the record, Z, I was not thinking about conservatives at all when I made that statement =)

I was thinking about people in general, really. Probably some more than others.

Yes, probably liberals more than conservatives. And yes, probably conservatives more than libertarians. But in the end, "most people", political as well as apolitical.

(Don't mean to get too "philosophical" here, but...)

The reason why pure libertarianism sounds kinda "crazy" to a lot of people, I think, is because of its fundamental belief in maximum freedom for everybody. As the theory goes, basically, a society of truly free people produces high levels of prosperity, which in turn produces fewer and fewer reasons for people to inflict harm upon each other. i.e., "Why fight if we're all prosperous and free?"

Ultimately, that makes a lot of sense to me. But I don't think most people, despite their politics, are comfortable with a world with that kind of freedom. I assume it's because most people don't trust human nature. I wish that weren't the case, but I think it is.

The Internet arguably represents the most powerful, most ubiquitous conduit to an ultimately libertarian-ish world. So, similarly, it scares people.

Mass communication USED to mean a very finite number of networks spewing information to billions of people. If the Internet is allowed to evolve "freely", ultimately, billions of people will be broadcasting to billions of people.

If you're someone who really doesn't trust human nature, that's a harrowing prospect.

TS/WS said...

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined"
- Patrick Henry
"The Constitution is not an instrument for government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government, lest it come to dominate our lives and interests."
-- Patrick Henry

"[the United States] can't be so fixed on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans..."--President William Jefferson Clinton, March 1, 1993 during a press conference in Piscataway, NJ source: Boston Globe, 3/2/93, page 3
"You know the one thing that's wrong with this country? Everyone gets a chance to have their fair say."--President William Jefferson Clinton 5/29/93

christian soldier said...

They Say is right on as usual!

Z said...

net, for the record I didn't think so...A, because it didn't read like that and B, because Conservatives aren't.... =)
You're right about human nature; but that applies to almost everything, doesn't it.
For instance, I don't trust it enough, in many people, to believe that private Soc. Sec. accounts are a good idea. I believe a LOT of people'd spend the money way before they got to where they needed it if they could manage their own accounts!

it's a tough one, isn't it. How do WE trust human nature when muslim extremists are out there? ...and they somehow feel the same about OUR human natures!? :-)

THEY SAY/WE SAY: I can't believe CLINTON said that??!

(((Thought Criminal))) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
(((Thought Criminal))) said...

Wikipedia editors caterwauling about censorship is akin to Hitler cryptically warning of possible anti-Semitism in the Einsatzgruppen.