The SOPA/PIPA Protest Is Working!

We need to keep pushing because:

The whip count against PIPA now shows 24 senators opposed, and 36 in favor. This time last week, five were opposed and forty were in favor. Nine of the nineteen new opponents announced their opposition during today’s protest.

The stream of senators who keep flipping on this issue should give hope to anyone who doubts that elected officials listen to them. Please, keep sending emails to your senators, telling them to oppose PIPA. Through strength in numbers, we really are making a difference.

12:35 PM PT (Joan McCarter): Add one more to that list of Senators withdrawing support. Sen. Orrin Hatch, an original cosponsor, says that the legislation “is simply not ready for prime time and both sides must continue working together to find a better path forward.”

I guess the Senators need their Wikipedia as much as anybody else, eh?

Now let’s imagine the depths of despair the Senate would plunge in if Google went completely dark, too.

12 thoughts on “The SOPA/PIPA Protest Is Working!

  1. Speaking of Wikipedia + SOPA = insanity this looks like as good a place as any to point you to this twitter scroll of people freaking out about the blackout:

    My favorite is about seventy-five or so down: “What does Wikipedia have against SOAP”

    Well if you’ve ever met one of their editors….


    1. Instead of asking a bizillion times in succession “WTF Wikipedia is not working???”, why not just Google it and find out what’s going on. While you can still Google for information.


  2. Sorry to comment on this tangential issue again with an addition but I think that it is important in an open source environment which SOPA is trying to destroy.

    “Congress may take books, musical compositions and other works out of the public domain, where they can be freely used and adapted, and grant them copyright status again, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday (January 18, 2012).

    In a 6-2 ruling, the court ruled that just because material enters the public domain, it is not “territory that works may never exit.” (from Wired magazine today)

    To see the actual text:

    Click to access golanscotusruling.pdf

    In a dissenting view by Supreme Court Judge J. Breyer the following comments were made, “ the statute inhibits the dissemination of those works, foreign works published abroad after 1923, of which there are many millions, including films, works of art, innumerable photographs, and, of course, books—books that (in the absence of the statute) would assume their rightful places in computer-accessible databases, spreading knowledge throughout the world. “ and “ It is the kind of argument that could justify a legislature’s withdrawing from the public domain the works, say, of Hawthorne or of Swift or for that matter the King James Bible in order to encourage further publication of those works; and, it could even more easily justify similar action in the case of lesser known early works, perhaps those of the Venerable Bede. “


    1. This is not a tangential issue. This is one of the multitude of things we will gradually be losing because we allow politicians to stuff this showbusiness-sponsored copyright craze down our throats.

      Look what happens: on the one hand, books with the “wrong” ideas are banned from schools. On the other hand, books are removed from the public domain. It all adds up to a government that does not want us to read.

      I have just written to Dick Durbin of IL about SOPA. I’m not a voter but I live here and I am appalled.


  3. I’m delighted to see that the protests are working. They should not have been necessary but were. The legislation was ill advised and ill thought out, likely by legislators who had not bothered to read it and to detect the “unintended consequences.” How much other legislation, passed and signed into law without such protests, is in the same category?


  4. I have read the following pro-SOPA arguments in my blogroll today:

    1. Wikipedia helps students cheat, so it needs to be brought down. (These people must be very young because I could tell them quite a few stories how students cheated in in pre-Internet times.)

    2. Opposing SOPA means supporting huge corporations like Google and Wikipedia and that can’t be good. (My counter-argument: don’t oppose SOPA for the sake of Google. Oppose it for the sake of your own blog or the blog you read on a daily basis.)

    For obvious reasons, I will not be linking to these SOPA supporters. They have got to be against being linked to, right?


    1. “2. Opposing SOPA means supporting huge corporations like Google and Wikipedia and that can’t be good.”

      Meanwhile, the bill is being funded by big-time media corporations who are pushing to stop internet piracy in a rather dumb way. But if it affects people who don’t charge money for their services….


  5. SOPA and PIPA were just a smoke screen for ACTA, the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement which covers all the control over Internet content and intellectual property. It is a perfect example of the unitary executive where the executive branch of the American government usurps the authority of both the judicial and congressional branches. The signing statement with respect to NDAA on December 31, 2011 was an example of the unitary presidential right, Obama in this instance, to interpret enacted law which is the purview of the judicial branch and this is what he said he would do in the text of the NDAA statement. ACTA is an example of the ability of the executive to usurp the authority of congress to enact law. Read this post and tell me I’m wrong.

    “The president has no independent constitutional authority over intellectual property or communications policy, and there is no long historical practice of making sole executive agreements in this area. To the contrary, the Constitution gives primary authority over these matters to Congress, which is charged with making laws that regulate foreign commerce and intellectual property.”


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