Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Stop Online Piracy Act Protest

Tomorrow this blog will go dark to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act, generally known by its initials as SOPA. In case you haven't heard, this is a nasty piece of legislation that the United States are planning to pass to make it easy for anyone to take down someone else's website if they claim copyright violation.

It doesn't have to be the person who's complaining that their copyright has been violated, and there is no need for a trial: the website will be taken down before any case is heard. You will be held to be guilty until proved innocent - which is going to be bloody hard in the case of copyright law.

It's very easy to inadvertently violate copyright. Indeed, some of the people behind the new law have been found doing just that. We're all at risk of being taken down and so are all of our favourite websites.

If you want to protest, you can find the code to make your blog go dark here: http://sopablackout.org/
You can find out more about SOPA on Wikipedia here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Take_action


Edited to Add: to black out your website, open the template for your blog. In Blogger, you go to Design, Edit HTML. I recommend clicking on Download Full Template first: this will allow you to save a version of your blog on your computer.

Then find < head>, and after that insert this code: <script type="text/javascript" src="//js.sopablackout.org/sopablackout.js"></script>

It helps to leave a space before and after the code, so you can find it easily when you want to delete it. Save the template and check your blog. It should now have gone dark!

14 COMMENTS:

Lexi said...

FH, does one just post the HTML code as a post to effect a blackout? Or what?

fairyhedgehog said...

Lexi, I don't think so. I've put mine in the template after the < head> tag and it works there. I've added instructions to the post in case anyone else wants to try it.

Old Kitty said...

Power to the peeps!! Great debate/commenting going on at the BBC website news article about this legislation! Very interesting!

Take care
x

fairyhedgehog said...

Kitty, I didn't know that. I'm glad! I hope all this activity works and they throw it out.

Debbie said...

I didn't know about this. Thanks for the post, I will go take a look.

fairyhedgehog said...

Debbie, I'm glad you're looking into it!

stacy said...

I'll be looking into it tonight, too.

jjdebenedictis said...

Thanks for the information! My blog's already kinda defunct, but I might do this too, just to be in solidarity.

Whirlochre said...

Undoubtedly piracy is a bad, bad thing and the internet makes a lot of material more piratable than was the case back in the days of banda machines, cassette tapes and "memory cheese". On the plus side, it speeds up loads of good stuff, up to and including the kind of love fest we all delight in when Hogs of Wonder display their woolcraft and everyone cheers.

Like much legislation currently in vogue around the globe, "the solution" appears worse than "the evil that must be eradicated before it poisons mankind", though at time of writing it's looking like SOPA has considerable opposition.

Not sure how things will look in five years' time, however, with a different bunch of geezers in charge and a recent past assembled from what looks to be our current future.

fairyhedgehog said...

stacy, great!

jj, I love your blog! Even if you don't update so often these days.

Whirl,I'm not sure how bad I think piracy is; I know that Cory Doctorow takes the view that obscurity is more of a problem than piracey! He makes his books available free online and people still buy them.

But even if it's the evilest evil, this Act is all wrong. Anything that assumes guilt automatically has to be wrong.

In future, when it's all piped directly into our brains... who knows?

stacy said...

Did a test run, and it worked. : _

fairyhedgehog said...

stacy, yay! I'm glad it worked!

SillyBoy said...

I'm afraid the blackout only succeeded in leaving me slightly peed-off with the US sites that participated. Boo hoo, your stupid government is cooking up a fresh batch of stupid legislation. Yes, I thoroughly disapprove of whatever this week's acronymous drivel is, but given that I live thousands of miles away in a mythical land called The Entire Rest Of The World That Isn't The USA, what exactly am I supposed to do about it?

fairyhedgehog said...

SillyBoy, I think the sites that participated were trying to make a point; they aren't the ones trying to pass US legislation that will affect the rest of us. I hate that the US has so much power and we don't even get to vote for who is in power there!

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