It’s time to stop PROTECT IP

A couple months ago, I wrote this about SOPA:

SOPA galvanized the tech community, from start-ups to venture capitalists to the largest web companies. SOPA was an unexpected shock and a wake-up call. Well, guess what? Now the internet is awake. And I don’t think it’s going back to sleep any time soon. We might need to rally again in the near future, but we can do that. The internet learns fast.

Now it’s time to rally and get loud. It’s time to call your Senators. Heck, it’s time to ask your parents to call their Senators. If you think the internet is something different, something special, then take a few minutes to protect it. Groups that support SOPA have contributed nine times more money in Washington D.C. than our side. We need to drown out that money with the sound of our voices. I’d like to flood every Senator’s phone, email, and office with messages right up until January 24th.

If you need a quick refresher about why the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) are horrible ideas, Google did a blog post talking about how SOPA and PIPA will censor the web and won’t stop actual pirates. Or read about how capricious takedowns can cause serious collateral damage. Find out how real, legitimate companies can be run out of business.

What you can do?
It’s time for action. Call your Senator right now. Spread the word to your friends and family. Promise not to vote for politicians who support SOPA. Print out some PDFs and post them at work or on your campus. There’s also protests and meetups happening today in New York, the Bay Area of California, and Seattle. Don’t live in the United States? You can still petition the State Department at americancensorship.org.

This is it. You want to look back months from now and know that you did everything you could to protect the internet. Call your Senators, educate your friends and family, and please spread the word about PROTECT IP and SOPA as widely as you can.

But if you can only spare five or six minutes, please call both of your senators below:


Thank you!

47 Responses to It’s time to stop PROTECT IP (Leave a comment)

  1. It’s kind of interesting that they tried to double bombard this Bill with SOPA. Perhaps they thought they would sneak one through?
    My only concern is that if it does pass, what will happen to YouTube as we now it? Not to mention all the other media sharing web venues…

    Great Post!

  2. For people reading this, please just write/call your representatives above. This is democracy and this is the America. It takes only a minute to contact them, and it is not as painful as a new registration on some website, I promise, it is just an e-mail.

    “There will never be a free and enlightened State until the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived, and treats him accordingly”- Henry David Thoreau

    I hope people will yield to the logic of the situation and are motivated to action.

    I do not know what do say, however, maybe everyone that does take action and initiative to contact their representative, should say so here in the comments and convey their own personal quote or philosophy as to what motivated them about freedom, America and/or the Internet.

    The quote above is one example of my beliefs, that power is in the hands of the individual, to preserve your power you need to take peaceful purposeful action against those who want to take it from you, and they do.

  3. Scott V

    I am disappointed. Google’s been making a lot of noise in blogs and other places that tech people would see, which is essentially preaching to the choir.

    Then they go and add a tiny snippet of barely noticeable text on the Google home page. I wasn’t expecting Google to blackout entirely, but come on, surely a sizeable black banner would actually get some attention?

  4. I am a UK resident and I have been active in trying to get the message out. Thanks for supplying me with more content that I can link to.

  5. So many people are up in arms against this bill. But nobody seems to have any better ideas for the problem of IP theft. Or is this a “not our problem” thing?

  6. Hi Matt

    i’ve just created a thread about SOPA on my websites in ARABIC and received 280 hits instantly after publishing it within 1 hour !!!

  7. Barnett, actually it’s the other way round. Those who are concerned about IP theft don’t seem to have better ideas on not affecting people freedom. It’s a ‘not our problem’ thing for lobbyists. They are going to the extreme.

  8. Helen O

    US is getting closer and closer to North Korea.

  9. @Barnett, IP and copyright theft is a problem that we need to deal with. But just because some people shoplifted a store doesn’t mean you shut down the store to prevent further people from stealing. It’s time for us to sit down and have a real conversation about piracy and ways to prevent it, not find ways to shut down the internet.

  10. Being in Australia, the Google petition doesn’t accept my zip code, so I signed http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet/?tta, even if it is old. Does anyone have an effective place where international community can voice/petition their concerns also? Cheers, Thea

  11. The reason everyone (with sense) is against this bill is because its all about control really, while pretending to take care of IP theft.

  12. The petition has been signed and the senators have received my comments. I hope others are doing their part to help protect the internet.

  13. But Barnett, how many people “up in arms” have actually read the legal language — or are merely jumping on a bandwagon because of their friends?

  14. Matt…Thanks for taking the time to bring exposure to the issue and informing your followers. It is obvious that they are trying to do the right thing…but it is clearly too extreme and ultimately will not be effective. There seems to be a lack of understanding in terms of how the Internet works from a technical perspective for them to make an informed decision.

    Piracy has been around for every since computers have been operational. Back in the day, in the days of the Apple II plus and Commodores, I can remember kids riding their bikes to their friend’s houses to copy disks and trade programs. Both of these acts feel a little like taking the draconian stance of “BANNING ALL BICYCLES and CLOSING ROADS” in order to fix the problem of kids riding their bikes in order to trade programs.

    Did my part my calling/e-mailing my Congressman/Senator. Take 5 minutes out of day to to the same.

  15. Should we in Europe be worried about having stuff that you Americans won’t have? You know, businesses on the internet, unrestricted content and so on…..

    No doubt some eedjut over here will think of something similar eventually as virtually all American trends come our way.

  16. Zoran

    Hi Matt!

    Where I can get this widget I want to put it on my website

  17. Remo

    @nigel, and I live in EU so it’s not a case of an issue for the US so why be bothered.

    As a starting point the 3 main search engines Google,Yahoo,Bing (who are US companies) would be made censor there results eg full removal

    So I think you would notice , and then you move onto publishing sites, anyone who publishes too many links deemed infringing and on and on and on

    It is very far reaching bill that affects worldwide Internet – its borderless mashable.com has the best breakdown I have seen

  18. But Barnett, how many people “up in arms” have actually read the legal language — or are merely jumping on a bandwagon because of their friends?

    Almost no one, I’d bet. If anyone actually sat and read the thing, they’d realize that it’s a puff bill. It has no teeth whatsoever. It’s a joke.

  19. These protests are having a good effect on this bill, I saw in the news that six key lawmakers have removed their support.

  20. Viggie, it is not the lack of ideas, but the willingness to cooperate. As long as those that benefit from others IP do nothing other than the minimum required by law, new and stronger legislation will remain the only option.

  21. G

    I admire your spirit Matt and SOPA now looks defeated. It’s good to be passionate about something and try to protect it (I used to feel the same). I wish you luck in defeating these ridiculous acts.

  22. Jeff

    How about Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, NBC, Comcast, HBO, etc, etc… work together and come up with a solution to the problem. Everybody complains how bad these bills are, but nobody comes up with alternative solutions…

  23. I’ve done everything I think I can do from outside the USA for this. You know the UK will be only months behind if this passes. Good luck USA! Stop SOPA!

  24. Now it’s time to stop ACTA which seems to be worst!

  25. Mike

    Hey Matt – you did an amazing job leading the charge on SOPA, do you think it’s worth the same effort for ACTA?

    Also, being a Ron Paul supporter, I want young people to know who is behind these draconian acts – Chris Dodd (D) and Obama (D) – the media doesn’t usually point that out, but they’ve both been bought off by the Hollywood 1%…

  26. Mike

    Well great, it looks like Obama has already signed ACTA. What the heck?

  27. We do not need the government regulating the internet. The internet industry has blossomed without government intervention, so let’s keep it that way.

  28. I hope that these black bills never be approved. All of sudden, I am seeing not many news about these bills. I hope these types of bills get burried forever.

    Matt one question! What would be your 30 day challenge in 2012?

  29. I did everything i can to do , and everyone in USA must to do more to stop SOPA , we’re against SOPA ‼
    USA , STOP SOPA NOW ‼

  30. This is like war between factions, but on the other hand it is like totally out of control…

  31. It sure is, Kent. That’s why I haven’t taken any sides in this. Both sides are wrong, and neither side will admit it.

    http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2011/12/15/the-not-so-great-sopa-debate/ <– this guy says it all about the whole thing.

  32. Great to see the lot of companies against SOPA, but again isn’t piracy a problem as well?

  33. i hope this SOPA story is done by end of feb.

  34. i hope this SOPA story is done by end of feb 2012.

  35. Matt, does the potential of SOPA and PIPA have any impact on organisations and businesses out side of the USA. Would the implementation of either or both acts have any consequences within the UK for example. There is a fine line between piracy and the freedom of speech (in terms of the internet), politicians who get this confused with the amount of money they get just ruin the image of politics in general. I think though that the point that the internet, thus far, has done pretty well without government intervention is the key. do we need any intervention in any case?

  36. Marco Viani

    Hi Matt,

    instead of a petition (which i signed anyway), i would create a Panda-bis filter, that would put all the Hollywood blue chips ranked below the 100th page.

    If that law will be effective, it is not just the US market that will suffer from it, but the entire world. Why you guys at Google, in cooperation with other internet big companies, put this problem under an international spotlight ? Since it affects all of us (I am european), it should be a political problem featured in our News as well.. so that our Countries can make pressure as well.

    Rgds
    Marco

  37. I also hope people will yield to the logic of the situation and are motivated to action.

  38. Fortunately was stopped for the moment , i think it was an experiment .
    Perhaps we were distracted attention from something more important .

  39. Amy

    Hopefully SOPA and bills like it will never be passed. So many bills in the name of good have done far more harm then good.

  40. Good thing SOPA and PIPA got thrown to the ground and burned almost immediately. Now we’ll never have to worry about Government control over internet again! (<- serious. not sarcasm. <- sarcasm.)

  41. It’s kind of disappointing that it sometimes comes to this but I guess – what can you do?

  42. sam

    i hope this SOPA story is done by end of feb 2012.

  43. Everyone should jion hands and take action right now! Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP.

  44. Now it’s time to stop ACTA which seems to be worst!

  45. Dear Matt,

    yes you right, we have to do so ” Call your Senators, educate your friends and family, and please spread the word about PROTECT IP and SOPA as widely as you can.”

    thnx for sharing with us..

    theprabin.com

  46. Where are we at now with SOPA? Dont forget Google take action. Thanks Again.

  47. @Matt,

    I agree that SOPA is not such a good idea. What is your take on the following idea.

    Create a worldwide Authentication provider (like OpenID) and try to get support from ISP’s to use this database so people are authenticated before entering the Internet.

    They can use that ID to login to websites, order things and whatever they can do on internet. But the identity of the user has to be validate, maybe using social security number or passport id or whatever. This information should no be disclosed without user permission.

    The authentication provider only validates and gives information that the user approves to provide to a website, that way you don’t need tens of different username/passwords.
    The website owner knows that he is dealing with an actual user and if the user is a spammer they should be able to report them.

    I think this service should not be related to current webservice or social networks.
    Anyway, I would love it if such a service would rise. My website uses third party authentication providers, but I still need to check spam databases and even then sometimes one manual spammer with a lot of time, ip and email addresses and gets through the mazes.

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