Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This post is in support of the anti-SOPA / PIPA actions that are about to start in the U.S.  Details of the "internet strike" are here. This blog, and the handful of sites I administer will also be joining the strike, which now includes big hitters such as Google, Wikipedia and Reddit.

Whilst SOPA has (for now) been put on ice, its sister bill, PIPA is still alive in the Senate. SOPA could quite easily return as it is on hold. Both need to be chopped up and burned, never to see the light of day again. Just like the Digital Economy Act here in the UK before it, though a much more far reaching version, it hands far too much power to copyright holders and will likely be used to censor huge swathes of the net. I say this as someone who supports IP / copyright in some form, though one who is still undecided on what the solutions might be - many aspects of the issue are intractable. What I do know is that concentrating power in the hands of copyright holders, who - in the case of SOPA / PIPA supporters - represent the old school mass media interests who really should realise that their time to die is long past and are desperately clinging on, is a terrifying and deeply wrong turn of events.

This video explains the mortal danger SOPA / PIPA poses to all of us, not just citizens of the U.S.

And if you think it doesn't directly affect Britons, just consider the fate of Richard O'Dwyer - if SOPA or PIPA pass, expect to see dozens if not hundreds more cases like his, and for a much milder "crime". It will surely include many of us in the blogosphere.

In solidarity with the sites that will be going into "blackout", all of my other posts will revert to 'draft' and be inaccessible for the duration of the draft - disappearing suddenly into the ether in exactly the same way that many sites will if SOPA / PIPA pass.

Join the strike! If you have no sites to 'black out' then help to raise awareness if you can.

And one last thing that has been lost in the drama of SOPA / PIPA is that the DEA has now officially been ruled compatible with EU law. Expect a fight on our hands very shortly on our own shores as it is enforced.....