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SOPA and PIPA: The Internet Needs Your Help!

As you may know, Congress is considering two bills, SOPA and PIPA, to combat online piracy, ostensibly by foreign rogue websites. While the aim seems noble, the devil is in the details.

There are many criticisms of SOPA and PIPA (e.g. the ones at EFF, Gizmodo, and reddit), but let me focus on one: under the proposed law, linking to a website with infringing content is illegal.

Censorship aside, that presents a huge day-to-day operational problem for many law-abiding websites. For a blog like Neatorama, which has nearly 40,000 posts and over 311,000 comments, this means that we'd have to police every single comment to ensure that nobody links to a rogue site (and continuously checking that legitimate links in past comments haven't gone rogue), otherwise we'd be breaking the law. A gargantuan task, indeed.

I urge you to contact your members of Congress and ask them to vote against SOPA and PIPA: Link

Update #1 1/18/12: Sign the Petition or Call Your Representative and tell them to vote against SOPA and PIPA - Thanks for the suggestion, ray hahn! Update #2: Header on all Neatorama posts now links to the petition and call pages.

You could stop allowing comments. 99% of the comments on web sites are garbage. This comment is probably garbage, too. The web would be a much nicer place if nobody allowed the idiotic comments!
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Disallowing comments would not totally clear us under SOPA. We link to a lot of other sites here; that's the main thing we do, because we want to show you the "neat" things the web has to offer. But under SOPA, if we linked to site ABC because they have a nice kitten video, then site ABC were to get into trouble for a copyright-infringing photo that site ABC posted 6 months ago that WE never even saw, then Neatorama could get taken down along with site ABC.
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Here is a decent article explaining SOPA/PIPA and how it affects free speech and innovation.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/01/how-pipa-and-sopa-violate-white-house-principles-supporting-free-speech
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This is just terrible....SOPA is the equivalent of curing a headache with a guillotine. It may stop piracy, but it would shut down our economy and unconstitutionally erode our most basic freedoms in the process.

I just hope that everyone realizes how important this is and does their part to save the internet & our economy!

here is another good video that explains the consequences of SOPA pretty well:
http://www.peeje.com/peeje-goes-strike-stop-web-censorship-bills-congress-209/

1,000s of more websites have joined the force and went dark today, we need EVERYONES help!!!!
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Neatorama: You should get hold of a form that can be filled in by your visitors and supply a link to it and a link to send it to congress. My AMA group (model airplanes vs. homeland security) did this and they got tons of people on board because it was mostly done for them and they just had to finish it. People are lazy, build it and they will send it in.
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I think LisaD's comment is sarcastic, which might be why the next commenter is called DasiL (read it backwards). I can't be the only one seeing that? People, unbunch panties: GO GO GO!
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Sadly, one of my members of congress in my state is one of the supporters of the bill. But when investigated, it turned out they had some content on their YouTube page which made them a hypocrite. They quickly removed it and said it was posted in error. And the whole thing got swept away.
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Tried to fill out supplied form, can't cause I'm Canadian, not about to create an account for Avaaz just to sign something. But I will say it all here:

To act upon SOPA is to put the United States in worse light on world view. If SOPA is brought on I will personally never travel to the states again. Nothing personal against the country there are plenty of good things and good people but I will not be able to go there wondering, "What's next on the oppression list?" It's already hard enough to get into the country with so much TSA bullshit and this just makes me feel like it's one more reason not to bother.

Piracy can be good, it can also be bad, but I can think of many dvd's in my collection that I went out and purchased because I saw the movie online and liked it enough to go buy it. Same goes for music, I've listened to an artist on youtube, loved them so much I went out and purchased their albums. So it's time to get your heads out of your asses and get with the times because without the internet I would not have ever heard of many of the great movies and music I enjoy and would have never purchased them to begin with.
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Alex,
I'm so glad you posted this. I know Neatorama tends to be apolitical, but this is a huge issue that needs as much attention as possible.

Frau,
Try living in California, where both state senators helped write the dreadful legislation no doubt because Hollywood has them in their pocket.
It makes me sick.
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Self Censorship???

...on the internet?

What country are we living in? IRAN???

Surprise folks! Iran has such a law!

...something called juriprudent! (...basically watch out on what you say or think...and always put yourself in the "clerics" shoes considering what they might find "inappropriate or offensive...yeah illegal!)

Soon we will have the same legislative structure as Iran! (...a bureau of "voice and communications" where every letter of the alphabet is scrutinized and rejected for "perceived" meaning and such!!! ...then we can move to the next step...closed door trials where the accused will not know what they are being charged with...not to mention secret jails/prisons and then hit squads!!!)

ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

If this so-called law passes here in the US we will be moving backwards a few centuries!!! (We the people must consider a new revolution!!!)

If you pass this "law" you must also pass a law where you must wear "head gear" while passing future laws! (just like the ayatollahs!!!)

Do not "sell out" the forefathers and their wisdom/legacy!!!

The people have spoken Mr/Mrs lawmakers/representatives...consider your actions and while passing such laws...because your will be doing it without representing me!!!
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This is what happens when everybody puts up pictures of their unauthorized, illegal knitted Darth Vader helmets, or tries to sell their artistic take on someone else's copyrighted intellectual property.
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I thought it was worth mentioning that the impact the online protest actually affected votes on the hill. The word got out, people emailed and called their elected officials and at least 18 senators have changed their yes to a no, many of which were co-sponsers of the bill.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/pipa-support-collapses-with-13-new-opponents-in-senate.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss

It'd be great if Neatorama posted a follow-up article showing their readers that they made a difference. :)
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