Raspberry Pi website to go dark on Jan 18 to protest against SOPA

Update, Jan 16: Some people have been emailing us, tweeting us and leaving comments below to tell us that SOPA is dead, because it’s been shelved by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (without his giving any reason; the widespread discontent that has been expressed and the White House’s threat of a veto may have something to do with it, though). This is indeed good news; but it does not mean that the bill will not resurface with minor tweaks; and it also does not mean that PIPA, the Senate version of the same bill (see below) will be shelved too. So we will still be going dark on the 18th. So will Wikipedia, Reddit and many other sites which are much more visible than ours. 

On January 18, Raspberry Pi, alongside many other websites, is going dark for a day to protest against the proposed introduction of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate counterpart, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the USA. SOPA will not just affect those in the USA; its knock-on effects would touch every website in the world. Under the proposed legislation, it would be illegal for us (or you) to link to any website – any website at all, including community-driven behemoths like YouTube, Flickr, Blogspot or WordPress – without checking first that nothing on that site infringes copyright. And we’d have to review those sites continually after a link was made.

Under these Acts, every person making a link to such a site would have to check the millions of other pages on that site to ensure that nobody, anywhere, is breaching copyright. Even search results would be covered under the proposed law. And if a website like ours were to be prosecuted for linking to another site where copyrighted material was hosted, our domain could be confiscated and our IP address added to a USA-wide blacklist, even though we are UK-based and have servers hosted outside the USA – all this without legal process.

So far, so ridiculous. It’s censorship and shifting of responsibility on a grand scale. But despite a loud chorus of opposition to the Acts from legal experts, internet experts, journalists, website owners like us, human rights activists (want to publicise the next Arab Spring using Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or another site that potentially infringes? You’ve just provided the powers that be with an instant excuse and mechanism to shut you down) and ordinary people who just surf the web, the Acts stand a genuine chance of being pushed through. Lobbyists like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the movie and music studios have much louder voices and deeper pockets than we individuals on the internet do; but by joining together on January 18 we hope that we can make enough of an impact to be noticed by those voting on the legislation, and by the news outlets that they read and watch.

So on January 18, Raspberry Pi intends to join the planned shutdown organised by Reddit. This site will be unavailable until midnight EST. We encourage those of you who can to join us – and if you’re a US citizen, please call or email your representative.

177 comments

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This is good. SOPA is bad news and will dramatically change the landscape of the internet for the wose.

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Absolutely ridiculous. I guess the proposed bill has exceptions for search engines and the likes, otherwise Google, Yahoo, etc should fight it with all they got (large pockets). Because if they’re also affected, the overhead of running a search engine will greatly surpass whatever profit you might be making from your adds and sponsors. Welcome to Internet 2, where you can’t find anything.

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It doesn’t actually have any exemptions of the sort; it’s a horribly drafted piece of legislation which appears to have been written by people who have heard that there’s this thing called an internet, but who haven’t ever actually *used* it.

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I think pretending to be clueless about how Internet works is just a part of the game — that diverts the blame to ignorance — which is easier to handle than when people know that they are outright crooks that do whatever they do knowing very well the impact of it, but still want to prioritize the interest of the big companies over those of the common people’s.

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I don’t know I believe it to be ignorance. Look at the late senator of Alaska Ted “Series of Tubes” Stevens. He was head of a comity for regulating the internet and he clearly did not understand how email works. He revealed his ignorance in a public speech–not something you’d do if you were simply feigning ignorance. Is one thing to appear ignorant in legislation and another to appear ignorant on video.

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The Board of Trustees at Open Indie Project Dot Org haven’t quite decided whether we should simply shut down our internet servers or have a page up explaining why… At the moment it seems as if we may just “pull the plug” for one day.

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We’ll have a page (basically the text of this post, without comments) up, but nothing else.

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Not that I am suggesting anything here… but…

Have you seen Representative Lamar Smith’s Campaign Finances? Lamar Smith, is the one (and 12 others) responsible for the SOPA Act.

You can read all about his top contributors at http://www.votesmart.org/candidate/campaign-finance/27097/lamar-smith (this is public information)

Does it surprise you that in the “Top Contributors” list are many media companies and others that have large investments in such markets?

I am not suggesting anything at all…

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What can we ordinary users do? On Facebook for example? Any website to sign a petition? Write a comment somewhere to show our (people of the world) disapproval? Please only suggest highly effective and reputable websites [or the ones already have gained momentum)

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Just mention it on Facebook so people realize sopa exists and is bad. Encourage people to get informed

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May I suggest a copy of the graphic ICE uses when they take down a site and modify it a bit to explain this is what people can expect to begin to see once this law goes in to place?

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We’ll take down thinstation.org/.net too. A small site that doesn’t matter much, but still…

Thanks for the heads-up. I just thought it was some usual American BS unrelated to the real world.

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I am going to host my own website once I get my Raspberry Pi. I would have made it go dark on 18th january too if I could.

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I decided to have my small german Blog about the Arduino Platform (http://ardufact.de) to join the protest. This site (http://americancensorship.org) was very helpful.

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Love Thinstation! Use it daily. (the SW, not the site :p)
Excited to know you guys are following the Pi.
Excited to think there might be a Pi version of thinstation coming(?)
If so – MASSIVE savings for companies who don’t have old PCs to re-use and don’t want to buy new more expensive Thin clients.

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OFF with SOPA’s PIPA’s vile head!
Why does this 1% in the U.S keep on screwing the 99% of this Earth?

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It’s not a 1% thing. Most 1% doesn’t know or care about Internet censorship. It’s just media companies. I wrote to one of my Senators and was more or less informed she is pro sopa. She lost my vote next round, (stabenow from Michigan)

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Same here. My senator is also pro-SOPA and has lost my vote. As a matter of fact, they have all lost my vote. Please join me in protest voting. Vote against ALL incumbents! Get them all out. They will not respect us until we show them they answer to us and the only way to do that is massive turnover by firing them all.

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If you run a web site, visit sopablackout.org. They have a sample javascript line that you can put on your site to do the blackout. There’s also a link to a WordPress plugin that will insert that Javascript on your WP site.

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I run sopablackout.org – if you guys end up using it, give us a shout on twitter (@sopablackout) and I’ll include you in our list of sites!

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as an american, i would like to thank everyone around the world for the blackout against the new copyright laws. it is actually 1% of the american population is screwing the rest of the world. please don’t generalize all of us americans due to the fact that all of our politicians are full of shit.

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We do know, Ken.

I was very moved by the ‘sorry, World’ website after George W Bush’s second election.

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I myself have a forum that I plan on taking offline as well. Make sure to spread the word as far and as wide as possible!

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SOPA is stop online Piracy, not privacy (although one could argue it does end online privacy)

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liz – Thanks for this post, I wasn’t aware of this.
By the way, you wrote “Stop Online *Privacy* Act” instead of “Piracy” :)

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I did – classic Freudian typo! It’s fixed now.

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Wow. I thought Canada’s Bill C-52 was nuts. This is just insane. Do these politicians not have a single advisor to tell them this will essentially break the Internet?
All for the sake of mollifying a bunch of media companies with bottomless pockets who simply fail to realize the world has changed. Rather than utilize the most basic human trait of adaptability (and a basic tenet of capitalism), these cartels insist on manipulating legislative bodies to cling to an outdated and unrealistic paradigm. It’s worse than embarrassing, it’s shameful.

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I was not even aware of this act so have just be reading up on it.Typical political knee-jerk reaction.
Reminds me of the story I heard about some US senators trying to stop the usage of Di-Hydrogen-Oxide because a website proved it is was present in 95% of fluids that kill humans.

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Yeah, the government here in America is extremely ridiculous. Our Congress is entirely made up of Corporate backed politicians who think that facts are irrelevant. Or, in the case of Di-Hydrogen-Oxide, that the relation and MEANING of those facts are irrelevant.

(For anyone who doesn’t know it off the top of their head, Di-Hydrogen-Oxide is good ole H20, aka water)

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I think SOPA means Stop Online PIRACY Act and not Stop Online PRIVACY Act! :)

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Freudian typo. Fixed.

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SOPA simply underscores the depth of ignorance, greed, chaos and corruption the American political system has descended into. I recently visited a blog where I filled out a protest form letter to my congressmen and senators, it also included a protest letter to out State Department. The gist of that letter was an angle I hadn’t even considered, that to advance a piece of legislation like SOPA is the height of hipocracy for a nation that has consistently engaged in diplomatic activities to advance and preserve free exchange of information around the globe.

The tragedy of SOPA is threefold. First is that it appeals to a number of special interest groups who would attempt to corrupt the process and use it as a universal ban-hammer to protect their particular deviant political and economic interests.

Second is that it is absolutely impotent in preventing the most common and damaging form of organized piracy which primarily comes from industry insiders who covertly disseminate pre-release material.

Third is that it, and future legislation along it’s line of precedence, open the floodgates to future legislation that will permit unencumbered government censorship and oppression of political dissidents.

I really didn’t think any of this was possible in my country.

From the State Department angle, we need diplomats from other countries to convince our government that abuse of such powers, as many view the recent acts of Lulzsec and Anti-Sec, is a hostile act, and that enforcement of such an abomination extends too far beyond the reach of US dominion and would be construed as an act of state sponsored terrorism… and potentially an act of war.

Word needs to be spread far and fast. 1/18 needs to be remembered as “The Day Without an Internet”. It’s that critical. We really need to embolden major search, transaction and media providers to observe, at the very least, an hour of silence. No E-mail. No VoIP calls. No News. No credit card transactions. No stock trades. No streaming. No social media. No blogs. Most importantly – No online contributions to political campaigns. Everything needs to stop. For one day. Everyone needs to realize how economically important and liberating the Internet has become to all.

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Fun fact: Sopa means garbage in swedish, and that’s just what it is.

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+1

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I wonder if Google is also willing to go dark that day… THINK OF THE CHOAS IT WOULD CAUSE D:

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If any site that (even inadvertently !) links to “infringing material” can be taken down like this, then Google will probably get taken down about 10 minutes after the legislation gets enacted !
There is probably nobody in the world that stands to lose out more than Google !
I hope they go dark.

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I can’t stand the US making these international affecting laws. From the bribery law to this. They are so stupid and think they are the Washington D.C. of the entire world. It’s got to stop, it’s not fair on all these other countries. They take advantage of the fact that they are so big. And I can’t stand them. For example this website. Even though the servers are outside the US and you are under the national law of the United Kingdom, the US could so easily take your IP address away. So stupid, should never happen.

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America! F**k yeah!

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Sounds like a good day to migrate to that new server you were talking about!

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Simple, responsible, effective and not one window smashed. +1

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+ 1

I have two teeny-tiny sites that will also go dark on the 18th. The plan is to add the javascript mentioned by pauldow (sopablackout.org) to modify the sites then unplug my router and declare the 18th as Internet Blackout Day from home.

Catch ya on the flip side!

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Frankly, I don’t think there’s any point. This will not inform the people who need to know why it’s a bad thing – the average American will not be visiting this site.

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Yes, let’s just do nothing. Hurrah! ;)

Ironically, if no one thought that individuals could make a difference, the RasPi would not even exist.

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While I can see your point, Jez, I think it’s more of making a clear statement, that the RasPi foundation does NOT support the ridiculous act that is SOPA.

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Mate,
If everyone who can makes some protest (however individually small), the collective effort may be noticed.
If nobody does anything, we get what we deserve.
Stick your head in the sand, and see what happens to the other end of you. ;^)

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Even if it doesn’t work, at least people can say they tried and stood on the side of right.

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“Lobbyists like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the movie and music studios have much louder voices and deeper pockets than we individuals on the internet do”

Not if we don’t buy their CDs and don’t watch their movies

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Don’t get me started; buying their CDs is supposedly supporting the artists, or it would be if the record companies didn’t drain the profits for themselves first. They scream about piracy and effectively hustle money from the artists! The artists go bankrupt? Good luck, the RIAA lobbied the government to ban it. (See here, I don’t want to go into too much detail… http://www.salon.com/2000/06/14/love_7/) and that was just back in 2000!

Music: Playing the safe bet, we’re left with a lot of boring artists writing boring songs.

Movies: Playing the safe bet, blockbuster? Nope. Franchise the life out of a good film? Indeed!

Then there’s the issue of company influence over governments. The UK itself had a rather nasty bill passed in it’s previous government’s twilight, a bill that only come to light after one key member of the Labour party took a weekend out with David Geffen on his luxury boat…? (Sorry Labour supporters, but that was pretty damned corrupt) Digital Britain (sorry, “The Mail” link: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1206901/Mandelson-launches-crackdown-file-sharing–just-days-meeting-record-producer.html)

Just… AAArrrrggghghhhHHHH!

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Maybe but “All it takes for evil to win, is for good people to do nothing”

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That’s actually a misquote: the correct version is “All it takes for evil to win, is for good people to buy Nickelback albums.”

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And Bob wins the comment of the day award. :)

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Sometimes I wonder what’s worse: terrorists or american politicians..

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Why not just duplicate Richard O’Dwyers site all over the place? Have a European Spring?

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I’m not a US citizen, so I can’t kick the ass of any politicians over there – but what I can do is offer you my strong support on this.

SOPA won’t just break everything that’s good about the internet in the US, but worldwide – if any other country committed that sort of attack on the integrity and security of the network, they’d be classified as cyber-terrorists.

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I wonder if we should also boycott things like going to the cinema, or buying other forms of media that provide the organisations who are backing this piece of rubbish bill with their income.

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The worst of this is that they’ve managed to convince a number of people that those opposing the acts are only doing so because they implicitly support piracy—the whole human rights == pro-terrorism fallacy again. I’ve had conversations with a number of online friends (whom I would generally consider entirely reasonable and rational people) who don’t seem to recognise the difference between opposing a poorly designed act and supporting that which it is purportedly intended to fight.

If I could make one suggestion, it would therefore be to make it absolutely clear that you condemn online piracy. While it may seem implicitly obvious, my experience is that without making it explicit, those supporting the acts will use that to discredit your opposition.

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I would assume that the US only has the power to take (which is to not direct) and IP on US based DNS servers. Therefore this will only affect the US. I must also assume that the big US-based web-sites (Google, Facebook, etc) will have to move to Canada to avoid this nonsense. So the US will end up with its own private internet, oblivious of events outside the country except for those provided by the filtered news.

Welcome to China!

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But what about websites with a mostly American audience e.g. Reddit.com? Without their US page views, they will almost certainly go out of business, or at the very least there will be significantly less content, affecting international redditors.

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I’m not 100% clear what you’re saying here, but when you say it will only affect US sites, bear in mind that many non-US sites may depend on US visitors for revenue, so would certainly be affected by SOPA.

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I thought that said snide…

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Does this not come a little too late since the white house released statements that clearly indicate that SOPA will be vetoed?

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Doesn’t harm to make sure these ‘idiots’ know the strength of feeling out there.

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They never really said they would veto, only that they don’t support current legislation. This could mean that they will likely sign into law, only “reluctantly.”

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Nice how you guys from Britain (and other parts of the world) are taking interest in American politics. SOPA doesn’t just affect us, but can in fact affect other people of varying nations.

The Weekdayz clan forum had a censor bar over our logo. (which as of now is removed yet linked still to http://americancensorship.org/ )

You guys should add that censor bar too to the Raspberry Pi.

Well this SOPA episode is almost over. Good Work!

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If the act goes through, we all know Britain and other allied countries will follow suit, they’d pretty much have to… its the ‘you’re either with us or against us’ argument.
which leads to… ‘and if your against us, you’re an enemy to the US’, and we all know where leads us…

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http://www.usa.gov/

Check ou the links at the bottom of the page. They’re going to have to shut themselves down!

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lol just doesn’t quite cut it.

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then again, I just tried searching for Google on the site and just came up with stuff with ‘google’ in it, rather than the site… makes me wonder if that’s the reason they don’t have a clue what the internet is!

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@BlueClogger +1

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90% of the post is false. Read the bill. SOPA is bad without having to lie to make it sound ten times worse.

The truth – SOPA is limited only to sites DEDICATED to THEFT. Having any significant legal use exempts a site from SOPA.

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And who decides what is theft……? And whether a site is ‘dedicated’ to it? Therein lies the problem.

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The truth is that a SOPA takedown does not require any evidence, a trial or indeed any legal oversight whatsoever.

To give you a real-world example:

I send a letter to your boss saying “Ray has been infringing my copyright.”
You are then immediately fired.
Your boss doesn’t have any requirement to check that I’m telling the truth, and you have no opportunity to defend yourself.

Still think it’s OK?

Seondly, SOPA has nothing whatsoever to do with theft, it’s aimed at copyright infringement.
Copyright infringement is not and never has been theft.

Real world example:
You make tables for a living.

Theft is someone removing your tables from your storage so you don’t have them anymore.

Copyright infringement is like someone buys one of your tables or takes a photograph of them, then starts making duplicates of your table design using their own resources.
You still have all your tables and tools.

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Hi Tomo2k – Firstly allow me to say that I am, of course, completely against SOPA and agree with you regarding the implications of not being able to defend oneself against an allegation of copyright infringement.

SOPA is an exercise in futility and seems to miss a vital point: The perpatrators of piracy will find an easy way around this by simply maintaing their own private databases of IP’s for sites that have been taken down – Serious video/music/software pirates are certainly (already) organised enough to accomplish this. It will stop the ‘casual’ pirate but will do nothing to ‘hardcore’ pirates other than force them further underground than they already are!

It is, however, the far wider implications of SOPA that worry me along with it’s seeming ability to impinge on free speech and generally cause chaos on any site that indexes others or allows people to post any kind of comment.

However, I must disagree with your real world examples that try to distinguish between copyright infringment and theft. I am afraid that your example falls down simply because (amongst other things) it doesn’t consider digital items:

For example – Let’s say I produce a piece of software and sell it online. If someone comes along and takes my software, looks at it’s feature set, uses their own programming tools and creates a program that does a similar thing then that is fine – It is more (often welcome) competition in a free market.

However, if someone downloads my software and then simply posts it on a site offering it for sale or free of charge then that is theft. There is no argument about this – The person who downloads a free copy of my software will not buy a version from me – I have lost that sale.

The same applies to the latest hollywood movie. If I buy a digital copy of a movie and post it on a website for all to download then I am stealing that movie. With your “table” analogy I would have to watch the movie and then crank my videocamera up, enlist the help of my friends and produce my own take on that movie. That, obviously, is not what is happening LOL!

Besides, if you had produced a very unique table with features that were able to be protected by copyright (I know this is tough with a table but, hey, you came up with the table idea LOL) then your argument falls down again.

Your argument only “sort-of” works because the object you chose is something as generic as a table. If, however, the table that I produce has an intricate artwork inscribed in an inlay in the top (that I have commissioned an artist to draw) then someone who “uses their own resources” to reproduce my table (complete with artwork) verbatim is stealing from me in real terms.

People who buy the “copy” table from him/her will not buy the original from me. Copying someones idea verbatim is theft in terms of the money it will take from the originators pocket.

Someone who uses their own resources to produce a similar table with a similar but different artwork inlay (that they have produced or comissioned) is not stealing but simply using their initiative in a free market – this is fine but it is NOT what is happening when people post copies of the latest movies, music, games and applications on pirate sites!

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I was unsure of his comment when I read it, but decided to hold off. Technically, I believe he is correct; legally (IANAL), it would appear that copyright infringement is considered distinct from theft: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement#Theft

However, regardless of whether or not it is classified as theft, it IS illegal, and it IS wrong. If his comment was intended to suggest otherwise, I’d take issue with it, but that wasn’t clear from what he wrote.

All that said, I remain opposed to SOPA/PIPA. They’re simply not fit for purpose.

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Simon, your premise is incorrect.

The only difference between (eg) a hardback book and a piece of downloadable software is the marginal cost of reproduction – it’s simply cheaper to make copies of purely digital goods than physical ones.
– This obviously applies to both you and the infringer.

There is no legal difference whatsoever.

– eg, Consider putting a knock-off copy of a book on Lulu.

– That said, there are some notable differences between a table design and a copyrightable item like a book or piece of software.

In the case of a non-copyrightable like a table, you can pay to take out a “Design Patent” to protect your particular design.
These last 14 years in the US.

In the case of a copyrightable item like a book or a piece of software, you automatically (Berne Conv.) get copyright protection. In the US this lasts for your lifetime plus 50 years, or life plus 70 in some cases.
– Presumably the table manufacturers don’t have the same lobbying power!

Secondly, you fell for the most stupid of all the assertions made by the RIAA and others, that every infringing download is a lost sale.
This is clearly rubbish.

Some proportion of those infringing downloads will result in lost sales, some have no effect as the downloader would/could never have bought the “real” thing anyway, while others will result in gained sales as the downloader (improperly) considered it “shareware” or a “sample”.

You can of course argue the relative proportions of these three groups – I would estimate that the last group is probably small, the first group equally small and the middle group >90%.

Probably the most disturbing cases of copyright infringement are those undertaken by the commercial media – primarily unattributed use of private footage on various news channels.
This is probably one reason why many people no longer have much respect for copyright – after all, if a major news channel has so little regard for your rights that they will use your footage without even attributing you (let alone paying for it), why should you have any greater respect for their rights?
(Watch the amateur footage of the Costs Concordia disaster. Who filmed that?)

I consider the “moral rights” to be the most important part of copyright.
– If I don’t get the recognition for creating a “thing”, then I lose all the exposure and possible employment/sponsorship/bragging rights that may come from it.
That’s far more significant than the cash I might get from selling/licencing that individual thing!

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Some guy from Google once gave a seminar explaining parts of their search algorithm (the parts the public may know), including the calculations behind the pagerank system. If I remember correctly, the web is interlinked in such a way that within 6~10 clicks, you have accessed billions of pages.”Linking to illegal content” could just as well mean every single page on the internet (apart from orphan pages) are inclined to be blocked because after a few clicks it all redirects to ‘illegal’ content.

I’m getting absolutely sick of criminalizing citizens for justifying the greed of certain companies or even individuals. Laws exist to protect the integrity of a society, to protect individuals and to protect ventures. Each law is tested for compliance with other laws and international rights and treaties. Let it be clear that I am not a lawyer, though I may say that certain jurists have criticized these kinds of ‘censorship’ laws. A while back, the UK agreed on extradition of one of its citizens because he had a website that infringed USA copyright laws. In the USA, this young British fellow faces a trial that may result in a huge fine or prison sentence. The implication of this is that at any point in time, you could be breaking laws enforced by nations other than your own, which you may be extraditable for. I find it very difficult to justify this kind of legal behaviour, especially when it affects young adolescent individuals (10-30 years of age) who are most involved in the online “wild west”.

Certain people comment about extreme exaggeration to USA online law enforcement, because similar Australian IT law (pressed years ago) did not affect anyone significantly and only blacklists websites from the 90s, while simple redirects fixes their silly blockage.

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Please don’t try and link the anti-SOPA campaign with the TVShack case. There is no ‘criminalisation’ there. The act of running a website to infringe copyright on a for-profit basis IS a criminal act, both in the US and in the UK. The only question is jurisdiction.

And please don’t try to twist things, the MAN is 23 years of age. Not an adolescent. We would not extradite a 10 year old.

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What he did is not against UK law.
Furthermore, the website he runs does nothing more than link to material on another site (such as goolgle does with it’s search engine)
The website he ran contained no “illegal” material. If you are happy with children losing their freedom for what is esentially 1’s and 0’s on a computer, then you have some serious moral issues. I do not feel it is right to destroy the lives of innocent children.

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You are Helen Lovejoy and I claim my £5.

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I don’t think you’re okay with extradition of your own friends and family. If it was really challenging the laws in the UK to have such a website (a website with links), why not hold the trial in the United Kingdom? Clearly it was legally impossible to prosecute this “MAN” in the UK, hence the abroad trial. It is important to relate the ethical implications of illegalizing merely linking to a source which can potentially infringe copyright. Not all copyright infringement is illegal (for example, downloading is legal in my country), and each downloaded film is not automatically copyright infringement (I’ve already paid for this, I may download a backup or replacement for personal use).

“Facilitating copyright infringement” is a very big generalisation that does not consider the individual situations of those who are downloading. This is the whole reason a court manually goes through each trial instead of automating judgement.

I thought the reason for having a “nanny state” was to protect the citizens. It’s outrageous to send those abroad who supposedly broke laws of nations not your own. It’s just ridiculous how human rights in Western nations are handled these days. The people from Libya and Egypt must be laughing their heads off at our censorship laws, big brother societies and occasionally unfair justice system. It’s like we’re imprisoning ourselves, taking away the freedom rights we once gave to our children.

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This is ridiculous. I run a set of programs allowing anonymous access to the web (branon.co.uk). We’ve 75,000 customers – who all agree the right to privacy is so important. I’ll be shutting the service for 12 hours on the 18th. Thanks for making me aware of it.

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I don’t get how they can even get something like this so far, it must be all the lobbying money from organisations like the RIAA and MPAA, which are funded by the industries, but it’s still ridiculous.

Can’t the US government make decisions like this themselves?

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Thank you for joining campaign! I’m glad, so many websites are in. (including my blog :))

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Citizens of the web!

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[…] Reddit.com Tucows.com The entire Cheezburger Network Destructoid.com Hacktivist group, Anonymous Red 5 Studios, developer of the Firefall MMO Mojang.com and Popular MMO, Minecraft NLB Creations – my own site Webmaster community Admin Forums Web design company, Skytemple.com Gaming site Video Game Generation Right Angle Recording All sites in Major League Gaming’s network GamingBus.com Errata Security XDA Developers Gaming site, GOG.com Hey It’s Free! – confirmed via email Harder Blogger Faster Colossal Mind Sonic Retro BrentAnderson.info Working It Out e-cloudy.com – confirmed via comments Seibertron.com NewGrounds Through the Eyes of a Pirate – confirmed via Pirate Party Cynical Brit Platform Nation Digital Suicide – confirmed via comments Kahn Labs Jamacast CryptoCat Joyblind – confirmed via email A Much Better Way – confirmed via comments [H]ard OCP Gaming Community – confirmed via comments GamersTube.com Boing Boing Inkerro – confirmed via comments The Weekly Gripe – confirmed via comments Leslie Networks – “We will not be preforming a full black out but will be displaying a SOPA message on our site and possibly more.” – via comments and Twitter WordPress for Business Websites – confirmed via comments Simply Fixed – confirmed via comments FriendStream – confirmed via comments TacticalCraft – confirmed via comments RedStoneHost.com – confirmed via comments EcchiDreams (link NSFW) – confirmed via comments RaGEZONE – confirmed via comments Raspberry Pi […]

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So a democratically appointed government is proposing a law, and international corporations that oppose this law are planning to deprive innocent citizens worldwide of their services in order to force these democratic governments change the law?

This is shocking, the stuff of conspiracy theorists! Corporations blackmailing governments? We can’t let this happen! We must fight!

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A bit of good news. The legislation is “shelved” until a consensus is set. Sounds like all the calls and letters may be making a difference. Of course, when things quiet down, it is likely to come right back.
http://t.co/jN7Bhiyp
I’m personally embarrassed to be from the state that kept electing former senator, and current MPAA head, Christopher Dodd, along with his successor Richard Blumenthal who has received a big boatload of entertainment money.

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Ya just gotta realize that political varmints are all the same no matter which side of the pond they are on…. We that live in the so called free world have the best governments money can buy!

Be nice now…. stop stealing those electrons……..

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way to go!!!

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Is there anything planned for us without websites to do? Would not using the WWW for the day make any difference to anything?

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I applaud your motives, but your actions could be construed as political which would jeopardise you charitable status.

IANA lawyer, but is it worth risking losing whatever benefits might accrue from being a registered charity?

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UK charities are allowed (and encouraged) to campaign on issues which affect their mission. This is one of those.

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http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/publications/cc9.aspx

OK, I am not a lawyer, but I am a trustee of a few charities and in business I have had plenty of dealings and long negotiations with top lawyers in London, New York and elsewhere, and I would say you are sailing pretty close to the wind here.

The charitable objects (activities) of the R-Pi Foundation are “TO FURTHER THE ADVANCEMENT OF EDUCATION OF ADULTS AND CHILDREN, PARTICULARLY N THE FIELD OF COMPUTERS, COMPUTER SCIENCE AND RELATED SUBJECTS”

You might think that includes protesting against foreign legislation, but I wouldn’t ne surprised if the Charity Commissioners and the courts took a different view.

I am not against the protest, but you could lay yourself open to attack from the proponents of the bill if the charity (as opposed to its supporters ) makes the protest

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And if the bill goes through you may as well can the charity because it won’t be worth anything anyway. And why would the charity commission and the court be in the slightest bit interested? They are UK based, the SOPA bill is in the USA.

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If the bill goes through it will have very little impact on R-Pi.

The Charity Commissioners have to take an interest if somebody raises a complaint, and a little bit of gratuitous retribution on behalf of the MPAA is very easy. A lawyer’s phone call only takes 5 minutes, although clearly he/she would bill for the full half hour perparation time etc.;-)).

All I am saying is that it isn’t worth the trouble for a startup charity to be seen to be acting outside its charitable purposes before it is really established. On the other hand, what the charity trustees and founders do in their own name and outside the charity is none of the Charity Commissioners’ business.

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I know you mean well, but do you really think that the Foundation have no legal nous, that they just blunder into these things without thinking? Have you seen the List of Trustees (plus Liz of course :) )? I wouldn’t worry about them too much :D

Having said that – at the end of the day you have to stand up for what you believe in. Even if there may be repercussions.

I know you mean well,

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Fortunately for us, I *was* a lawyer before I moved into publishing. We are confident that our objectives would be badly affected under this legislation. The UK Charities Commission does a good job of dealing with inappropriate lobbying, but we do not believe this is an instance of it.

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I’ve just read through SOPA, and the relevant points of Title 18 & 17 (I do love how convoluted legal systems are).

The people who are considered the ‘primary law breakers’ are people who repeatedly distribute copyrighted work >$1000 within a 180 day period. Fair cop.

The only reference to non infringing parties I can find under SOPA are:
Internet Search Engines, who are required to remove links to infringing sites within 5 days of government request (provided it is economically and technically feasible*).
Internet Advertising Services (defined as providing a link for ‘compensation’**). Same requirements as search engines, with additional bits about passing of funds.

I could find nothing about regular websites that link to infringing parties. and certainly nothing about the non-infringing parties being responsible for prior or continued checking of sites they link to.

* The onus is on the defendant to prove that the task is not feasible (thus giving the government the ability to say the evidence is not sufficient).
** Although requiring a site to link back to yours in order to receive a link from your site (about the only form of compensation a non-advertising agency would request) would put you in a bad situation, you’d be upsetting Sir Tim anyway.
*** 5 days is just ridiculously short, come on!

SOPA / Title 18 / Title 17
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.3261:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/usc.cgi?ACTION=RETRIEVE&FILE=$$xa$$busc18.wais&start=3648881&SIZE=8818&TYPE=TEXT
http://www.copyright.gov/title17/circ92.pdf

Please note, I’m neither a lawyer, nor unfallible (thank you Mr Adams). I also completely ignored any parts of the bills/laws concerning fraud, motor vehicles, unborn children (90A) – and to be more relevant – trade secrets (90)

And now for something completely different – Co-codamol!

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Having had a quick look at PIPA, and subsequently section 512 of Title 17 there is one mention of people other than previously mentioned in my post:

Service Providers (for some reason not defined – which is a little worrying) I’m assuming that creating a website to provide information does not make you a service provider in the sense of these acts. All references make it fairly (though not entirely) clear that the SP is the company providing net access and/or web hosting.

Either way the onus of checking for infringing work is still with the rights holders or acting agent, and not the service provider. The provider does not need to act unless contacted and shown ‘suitable evidence’ (again, dodgey grounds as this can be interpreted differently by different people – the problems with encompassing laws).
The service provider is deemed not liable if they have no knowledge of the infringements on the site. The providers can very safely claim a lack of knowledge if they have not been provided a notice listing exactly what materials are infringing and clear information on exactly where to find this infringing material (allowing a simple black listing against specific parts instead of the whole site if the majority does not infringe).

leahy.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/BillText-PROTECTIPAct.pdf

I think there has been some very misleading information put out in what should otherwise be trustworthy news sources. Although calling any news paper trust worthy is laughable these days.

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The r-pi is capable of playing copyright infringing media should anyone wish to. Does this mean this website is a sopa target? The whole thing is ridiculous

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Normally it’s about primary use – the r-pi’s primary purpose isn’t to distribute copyright material, break into government facilities, be strapped to suicide-dolphins, etc. so it’s in the clear.

It’s the same way google – despite linking to thousands of ‘dodgy’ sites, isn’t in court all the time. Probably how places like megaupload stay in business too (although in their case it’s far less clear cut).

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Thanks for doing this. I’ll have my small site on the blackout list as well.

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As reported by David Carr of the New York Times in an article critical of SOPA and PIPA, Google, Facebook, Twitter and other companies sent a joint letter to Congress, stating “We support the bills’ stated goals – providing additional enforcement tools to combat foreign ‘rogue’ Web sites that are dedicated to copyright infringement or counterfeiting. However, the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action and technology mandates that would require monitoring of Web sites.” Smith responded, saying, the article “unfairly criticizes the Stop Online Piracy Act”

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[…] jQuery("#errors*").hide(); window.location= data.themeInternalUrl; } }); } http://www.raspberrypi.org (via @rgfincher) – Today, 8:11 […]

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> “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.”

and for other purposes … !!! … sending us back to middle-ages!!! ….

> “by combating the theft of U.S. property”

what a load of crap!! They mean US intellectual property, don’t they? Then the positional value of 0 can be argued to be Indian Mathematicians’ intellectual property [HALF OF ALL THE DATA ON THE INTERNET and on the very computers these *gentlemen* use] and as long as you can’t type English on a computer without using the concept of zero, the people suggesting the bill are themselves can be argued to be in violation of it! [unless they don’t touch a computer afterward]

Elementary Mathematics must be a mandatory course in law schools! These idiots are as blind as blind mice!! Combination of greed and idiocy.

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The IP concept of zero…
You might as well same that any email address link to any company other then your own is copyright infringement

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Oh! Ok! Now I see what’s going on … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lamar_S._Smith … he thinks someone’s out there to still his cows and he wants to prevent it by building up a fence around his field …

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[…] On January 18th, between 08:00 and 20:00 UTC, Pulpmovies will be joining Identi.ca, Boing Boing, Rasberry Pi, and many others in an internet blackout in protest of the Stop Online Privacy Act proposed in the […]

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I fully support you all at RaspberryPi.org!!!!

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God, don’t you love badly worded legislation..

I run a website that has as it’s primary purpose the preservation and publication of documents and data relating to the old BT “Prestel” service and it’s kin. For the most part I’m publishing stuff that’s 20-30 years old, and in which it seems that nobody has any interest, and yet, technically, I’m probably infringing somebody’s copyright in each case. The same goes for countless other sites that make available obsolete documentation or data. In most cases, the copyright owner is unclear, out of business, or simply uninterested. We get away with it because the stuff IS worthless to any commercial outfit, or, at least, not worth the costs involved in their trying to trace back to see if they even own the copyright!

Should I, and others like me, be lumped together with the likes of The Pirate Bay, for instance, especially as nobody is actually suffering any loss, and indeed, we are preserving content that would otherwise be lost? Would this comment itself be counted as linking to offending content? It’s ridiculous.

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Hopefully this ridiculous idea has been quashed:

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/political-animal/2012_01/putting_sopa_on_a_shelf034765.php

Looking forward to pi :-)

Russ

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Small bit of info: SOPA doesn’t actually affect any .org, .net or .com domain – those are already covered by other legislation, as evidenced by ICE seizing hundreds of domains, where at least one site was declared legal in a court before it’s domain was seized. Not that this makes it any less bad.

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Maybe it’s time we start an Open-Source Internet…

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[…] mailing list I subscribe to. This could affect us all, if it gets passed as law in the U.S.A. Raspberry Pi website to go dark on Jan 18 to protest against SOPA The third paragraph is particularly scary! So if the protest comes off, the internet may be a bit […]

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You guys should consider linking to http://americancensorship.org/ and mentioning to international users (including UK) that they can join us in the fight by writing to the State Department via that website. :) Nothing like reverse international pressure, right? :D

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Is this then to be the year of massive Freenet Adoption?

http://freenetproject.org/

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[…] more information, skim through the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s SOPA article and also Wikipedia’s SOPA article. A informational reddit article also explains what the go […]

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Thanks for doing this.

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When I read the bill, part of the intent was to protect people from buying counterfeit products unawares. Imagine if another website popped up selling knock-off Raspberry Pi boards. The counterfeit vendor would profit while hurting both the consumer and Raspberry Pi’s reputation.

The bill is still being developed. Tom’s indicates adjustment with regards to DNS [ http://www.tomsguide.com/us/SOPA-Protect-IP-Lamar-Smith-DNS-Blocking-Piracy,news-13899.html#xtor=RSS-998 ].

I suppose you could use some of the down time to prepare for the first sales (hint hint). ;)

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Their intention *might be* good, I say *might be* because I really can not tell what’s going on in some of these guys minds, either they’re playing idiots or they are idiots, but in any case this SOPA thing is dangerous. The way these guys want to implement the good intention is the part which is wrong. Intellectual property is an extremely important concept, but it’s a delicate matter when it comes to enforcing it (as a law). This SOPA thing is quite extreme and actually in violation of people’s freedom [as I understand it (and its possible implications)]

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Anyone from Spain?
What’s been the reaction to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16391727

If you’ve got a PHP website and want to take part without much effort, add this to the PHP that’s run on every page:
= strtotime(’18-Jan-2012 11:00′) &&
(time()

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http://www.care2.com/causes/sopa-shelved-until-consensus-found.html

Looking at this news, it appears Obama has vowed a veto for this and the Protect IP Act, the Senate’s version of the same thing. There’s enough debate that the bill won’t fly.

Good job joining in – blacking out the internet in protest was an awesome idea.

However, now that the damage is done to this bill, I think it might be an imprudent idea to carry it through.

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Making it legally possible the prosecute people who mainly enable piracy, it’s like prosecuting someone who is assecory to murder, and stating that he/she didn’t do it, and therefore he/she shouldn’t be punishable. Of course, murder is stealing a life and piracy is stealing intellect.

You can call it “Information sharing”, but that’s like max 5% of what thepiratebay is used for. Torrents for ubuntu or whatever ‘unpiratable’ media can also be downloaded from their own site (which imho would be a sense-able place to search for them). An be fair, thepiratebay does exactly nothing to prevent piracy torrents to show up on their site.

The only downside I can find is that there is no acceptable market for buying or renting movies and television series, which do (already) exist for games and music. I would suggest sitting it out by old-fashionably watching your series when broadcast. :)

Anyhow, Raspberry PI is WAAAAAAAAAAAY Cool :D

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[…] in protest of the draconian laws of SOPA. Websites going dark on the 18th are Reddit, XDA Forums, Raspberry Pi’s blog (despite them being based in the UK), ourselves, and many more. For more information on SOPA watch […]

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HOW hard is it to block US ip addresses (permanently)? There are enough people outside the US to continue this project.

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On a well known torrent site from Sweden I get this message:
http://image.bayimg.com/palibaadn.jpg
Thought I had no need for it anymore but just reinstalled TOR :-)

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Don’t be silly and hysterical.
There is about as much chance of anyone enforcing this as the end of the world on 21st Dec 2012. lol

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Id just like to interject for a moment. What you’e referring to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/Linux, or as Ive recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.

Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called linux and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project.

There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machines resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called linux distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux.
.

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that feel when nobody in EU knows about ACTA
it’s basically our SOPA and was implemented behind our backs couple weeks ago

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Fully support your decision, nice find other with ethics. I will encourage others to do the same with a holding page explaining why. Cheers!

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Seems as though SOPA has been canned in it’s current incarnation. They have pulled the rug from under the blackout…

http://tiny.cc/e25nv

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Don’t Give up!!

Their is still P.I.P.A. to content with!!

The “Protect IP Act” (PIPA) is the Senates version of SOPA. It’s just as bad.

More info here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PROTECT_IP_Act

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[…] to Boing Boing, an accompany post from Raspberry Pi explained the company’s stake in SOPA war: If a website like ours were to be prosecuted for linking to […]

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[…] UPDATE: IHeartChaos.com says that it too will go black on Wednesday, as will the website of Raspberry Pi. […]

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Yup just read that the Rep Cantor (R-VA) has pulled SOPA from consideration from the House floor. PIPA is still up in the Senate though… The White House has stated publicly that they will veto either bill if they get passed however. So unless a 2/3 majority can override the Veto (which I doubt will happen), this is effectively a dead issue for now.

Still, I agree with the blackout and protest. Politician’s need to understand that they represent ALL of the people, not just the big companies/industries that give them huge campaign funds…

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This won’t do anything because anybody who visits already knows about SOPA and there is nothing we can do about it because we don’t have millions in lobbyist power.

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And thank you for your vote of confidence. Let’s all sit back and watch the internet go to crap shall we?

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I agree with you all against SOPA and PIPA.
Today I’ve read in Slashdot “House Kills SOPA”.
Go on.

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So if we post copyright material or links to sites hosting copright material to government websites then the government sites would have to be taken down? I thought all your own copy was automatically your copyright. But that means if someone anywhere else has already written the same words elsewhere they could have your site taken down. Just check the whole internet before writing ANYTHING!

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LOL but how you are going to check if it is written by someone else when all the search engines will be down already for linking to copyright materials :D

Maybe it is time to start thinking on new protocol for websites based on p2p instead on the boring client server. Long time ago I spent some time on planning such network but never had time to start the coding. Maybe when I get my Rpi in a month (I hope) … it will be the ideal reason to learn linux coding. 3w at 24/7 is just 26kW/year … it is perfect for node (client/server).

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[…] Beat: via comment on this post 058: Metroid Reorchestrated: Announcement Link 059: Raspberry Pi: Announcement Link 060: Jorja Fox Online: Announcement Link 061: Wikipedia: Announcement Link Share […]

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[…] to Boing Boing, an accompany post from Raspberry Pi explained a company’s interest in SOPA war: If a website like ours were to be prosecuted for fasten to […]

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I wouldn’t get too hung up though…. it’s not practical or enforceable. Just like the Digital Economy Act passed in the UK in 2010. Which is probably where the USA got the idea from…. Decent lawyers will tear it to pieces.

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[…] My Beat: via comment on this post 058: Metroid Reorchestrated: Announcement Link 059: Raspberry Pi: Announcement Link 060: Jorja Fox Online: Announcement Link 061: Wikipedia: Announcement Link 062: Poland is […]

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[…] IHeartChaos.com says that it too will go black on Wednesday, as will the website of Raspberry […]

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[…] to Boing Boing, an accompany post from Raspberry Pi explained a company’s interest in SOPA war: If a website like ours were to be prosecuted for fasten to […]

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[…] Beat: via comment on this post 058: Metroid Reorchestrated: Announcement Link 059: Raspberry Pi: Announcement Link 060: Jorja Fox Online: Announcement Link 061: Wikipedia: Announcement Link 062: Poland is […]

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Great, shut down on Wednesday.

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Now that SOPA is dead now we only have to take care of PIPA.

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The greedy bastards will take a step back for a chance to leap forward, it will resurface with another name. It must be made clear that the world will stand against them firmly.

It’s interesting that it’s a lose/lose situation (current content providers and content audience/consumers). The first one to be shot in the foot is US itself. Pretty soon they’ll loose their pioneering position. The rest of the world will share knowledge and advance, Americans will be left out in the dark. When now they are the *center* of the digital world, Wikipedia, Google, YouTube, Facebook … they think if they hinder these websites, others in other parts of the world won’t pop out offering the same services? The world will find its way out … a bunch of idiots financed by some bastards with deep pockets blinded by greed.

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[…] comments EcchiDreams (link NSFW) – confirmed via comments RaGEZONE – confirmed via comments Raspberry Pi – confirmed via comments and site LazySlob1 GeNyaa – confirmed via comments Rational […]

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Hi,
I’m sure if you’re taking care of it but this can be interesting for other members too.
Read below…
You may be thinking about joining the website blackout movement, but yikes … what about the SEO implications?
http://searchengineland.com/blackout-your-site-without-hurting-seo-108302
Cheers,
Ermanno

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I thought I might post this link because it seemed “kind of” important… It’s about blacking out the site, and it recommends to use a 503 HTTP status for it.
https://plus.google.com/115984868678744352358/posts/Gas8vjZ5fmB

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[…] WordPress for Business Websites Simply Fixed FriendStream TacticalCraft RedStoneHost.com RaGEZONE Raspberry Pi LazySlob1 GeNyaa Rational Responders Brian Sapient Celebrity Atheists  Purpose of Christmas […]

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Excellent! Thank you for helping stop SOPA. I hope others join and we get a huge internet blackout to show our solidarity against this draconian, Orwellian measure. I also encourage everyone to vote against anyone supporting this measure. Please set “party” affiliation aside and vote out these idiots, they are harmful to the US and the WWW as a whole and need to go! Please join me in protest voting against every incumbent.

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The US government is run by a bunch of old codgers who have no idea 1) what it is like to be a person outside the rich “political class” and 2) have no idea what modern technology is or is capable of. They are corrupt and in the pockets of whichever company bribes them the most. Er, contributes I mean.

Anyhow, please join me in boycotting all incumbent politicians. Let us not be fooled by “party” affiliation, both parties are the same. The truth is they are both corrupt and bad so voting demorat or repulbirat makes no real difference, other than to get these idiots out of office and replace them with a new crop of hopefully less idiotic idiots.

These politicians will not respect us until we prove that they work for us by throwing them all out and throwing them out on a regular basis. We need to get people in office who respect their constituents vs. their “contributors”. We need to get people in office who understand what a computer is and how the internet works. We need to change the attitude in DC and ensure they know who is the boss. The only way to do this is to fire everyone there and then turn over their replacements often. This way they cannot get to deep into the system.

Vote against them all!

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[…] comments EcchiDreams (link NSFW) – confirmed via comments RaGEZONE – confirmed via comments Raspberry Pi – confirmed via comments and site LazySlob1 GeNyaa – confirmed via comments Rational […]

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[…] Raspberry Pi […]

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[…] via comments EcchiDreams (link NSFW) – confirmed via comments RaGEZONE – confirmed via comments Raspberry Pi – confirmed via comments and site LazySlob1 GeNyaa – confirmed via comments Rational Responders […]

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Just another individual with a tiny web presence – I’ll have just a simple message on my website tomorrow.

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[…] more information, see this raspberrrypi’s post or latimes’ article.  Posted by l0res at […]

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SOPA IS NOT DEAD
================

Markup of the SOPA bill is to restart in February, despite any appearances to the contrary from elsewhere. Action is still required.

[http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120117/12563317437/its-baaaaaaaaack-lamar-smith-says-sopa-markup-to-resume-february.shtml]

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Don’t forget about PIPA!!!! Make sure you mention PIPA.

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[…] Raspberry Pi and site […]

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As a citizen of the UK (England), I find it incredible that any US citizen would endorse SOPA. It is my understanding that the US Constitution enshrines the right of free speech. Here we had Magna Carta which didn’t so much protect against King John as curb the excessive bullying and denial of rights of the common people by the Barons. Although that was 797 years ago it seems that some things do not change.

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Durring the testing phase of this product, has anyone tried to use this system board and created a Hackintosh? That sounds interesting

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[…] this UK-based group has announced in their blog that, “on January 18, Raspberry Pi intends to join the planned shutdown organised by Reddit. […]

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