We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming

Thanks to all who supported the SOPA/PIPA blackout which was the main page of WUWT for 24 hours.

The thread is here, should you wish to comment further.

It appears to have been a success, as many dropped support. A total of thirteen senators announced their opposition to PIPA today, plus many in the House as well. Senator Inhofe saw the light when it was pointed out to him that SOPA/PIPA would likely damage the climate skeptic movement. My own congressman Wally Herger got schooled as well.

From wire sources:

Republican senator from Florida Marco Rubio, previously a sponsor, said there were legitimate concerns about the impact of the bill on access to the Internet, and about the “potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet,” Ars Technica reported

Forbes reported that Mr Rubio had written on his Facebook page that congress should listen to these concerns and avoid rushing through a bill which could have “many unintended consequences.”

Yeah, it’s those “unintended consequences” of poorly thought out legislation that we all have to live with. That’s a primary reason we fight attempts to legislate climate change.

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33 thoughts on “We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming

  1. There’s going to be a mass exodus on this concept before the day is through. Google et al. have acquired a ferocious amount of support behind them for this. Anyone who thinks that SOPA/PIPA have a prayer of passing anymore is flat out insane. Even if it passed Congress, Obama would be politically suicidal to sign it considering the percentage of his base who were coordinating and recruited through the internet in 2008.

  2. SOPA/PIPA are infamous now. My son and daughter came home from school today filled with terrible (and not especially accurate) stories they had heard from classmates about what will happen if SOPA passes. It is a sign of how thoroughly the word has been spread that a bill about Internet regulation was the talk of the class. They are only in middle school.

  3. So its still ok for youtube and Facebook to use copyrighted materials to sell their ads without compensating the artist?

  4. grzejnik says:”So its still ok for youtube and Facebook to use copyrighted materials to sell their ads without compensating the artist?”

    Of course not. But there are already laws in place to handle this piracy problem.This is/was just an attempt by the Zero to start imposing censorship ala the USSR.

  5. Welcome to the Brave New World…wrinkles, blemishes, bumps, grinds, and all. Where democracy meets copyrights. i-tunes was one solution to piracy and its now projected to bring in $13 billion in revenue in 2013. Hollywood needs to chill a bit and come up with a non-censorship solution. HDMI cables, Netflix, etc. are going to make it economically viable for more people to access media, and, you only need to match numbers with revenue to create enough profits/residuals for Hollywood. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    http://articles.businessinsider.com/2011-07-05/tech/30072341_1_app-store-itunes-apple

  6. Nobody condones massive downloads of copyrighted information, songs, movies, etc. I will personally confess to downloading a thing or two during the P2P days as a sample of the artist involved. If I enjoyed the artist, I went out and bought the CD or DVD. Properly done, the web can be a strong advocate for normal retail sales. But Greed Uber Alles: They probably would sell fewer albums and DVDs with their model than the one that exists.

  7. no “mocking” allowed:

    18 Jan: Marketwatch: Climate Change Liability the Focus of Mock U.S. Supreme Court at UH Law Center Jan. 19
    SOURCE University of Houston Law Center
    The Environment, Energy & Natural Resource Center at the University of Houston Law Center is hosting a mock U.S. Supreme Court argument on climate change tort liability on Jan. 19 in Krost Hall on campus…
    Professor Tracy Hester, director of the EENR Center. “This mock oral argument will help highlight how the U.S. Supreme Court might answer some of the fundamental legal questions that will govern these lawsuits.”
    The bench includes Baylor University President Ken Starr, retired Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Phillips, and John Cruden, president of the Environmental Law Institute. Richard Faulk, chairman of Gardere Wynne Sewell’s Litigation Section, and David Axelrad, a partner at Horvitz & Levy, will present arguments. An extended analysis and discussion with student input will follow the mock session…
    The free event is open to the public and has been approved for 2 hours of Continuing Legal Education credits by the State Bar of Texas…

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/climate-change-liability-the-focus-of-mock-us-supreme-court-at-uh-law-center-jan-19-2012-01-18

  8. our regular scheduled programming!

    18 Jan: Forbes: Steve Zwick: Climate Change: What Would Eisenhower Do?
    “The conservative perspective has traditionally been steeped in responsibility, accountability, and pragmatism,” he (John Reisman) writes in Exposing the Climate Hoax: It’s ALL About The Economy (2011, Lyra Books, ISBN: 978-0-9839231-0-7, 569 pages). “Conservative thinking regarding our economy is what will start to get us out of this mess.”
    The mess is climate change, and the “hoax” is the campaign to discredit the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – an organization that he says is inherently conservative…
    The “hoax” in the title is, I assume, targeted at denialists posing as skeptics (I’ll paraphrase his distinction thus: a skeptic says, “Show me the evidence,” while a denialist says, “Show me the argument that fits my inclination”).
    He (Reisman) focuses his scientific analysis not on the dramatic consequences that most of us in the media have dwelled on – such as rising sea levels – but on global agricultural production and the consequences for the economy and national security…

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevezwick/2012/01/18/will-old-school-conservatives-rally-to-slow-climate-change/

  9. John F. Hultquist says:
    January 19, 2012 at 12:11 am

    “unintended consequences”

    I believe there was a California Congress-Critter that expressed the view a bill had to be passed so we could find out what is in it. The “what” would be the intended consequences.

    Unintended by the voters, but not by her and her cohorts.

  10. 100% of legislation in the UK has unintended consequences many of which are worse than the problem that the legislation was brought in to rectify.

  11. “Senator Inhofe saw the light when it was pointed out to him that SOPA/PIPA would likely damage the climate skeptic movement.” LOL that made me laugh. Who cares if its right or wrong, big oil pays my bills.

  12. Personally I find this whole episode disturbing.

    Consider that we’ve all just been given a reminder of who controls our most ubiquitous sources of knowledge. Consider the clearly stated political bent of the majority of these people. Consider how easily the children are filled with fear.

    In reality, the concept embodied in SOPA will need to be dealt with soon enough, but hopefully it will be re-approached by people whose heads are NOT firmly embedded in their backsides. We are already living in a world modified by profit-minded leftists (in their world, that SHOULD be a contradiction in terms, except the left is all about hypocrisy).

    The destruction of Napster had an “unintended consequence”… the mini-boom in record sales that was occurring in spite of the total crap being pedalled by the RIAA ended the day Napster died. In the minds of the RIAA it was all about “theft”… sure, the same kind of “theft” I apparently commit every day I listen to the radio. In reality, it was about exposure. In that era I worked with several bands that were deliberately releasing on Napster and watching their SALES take off. What theft??? Oh hey, I can currently hear almost any music I want on YouTube. And watch the video. In HD. For free. Am I stealing? Some of these things have tens of millions of views. Is that all lost profit?

    The RIAA exposed their real motive then, which was less about profit and more about power. They didn’t want people to decide what defined popular music, they wanted to define it. Congratulations, the crap we have to hear every time a radio is playing is the result of governments intervening and giving them that power. Oh, and the current design of Windows and most of the media component are another result.

    The “stated” purpose of SOPA is noble… stopping actual outright theft and, worse, thieves profiting from that theft. I’m for that. The way the entire thing is laid out, the punishments mentioned, the clearly visible side effects, no. It is only pure insanity that would want that.

    I believe it was Robert A. Heinlein that wrote that just because you’ve been making money a certain way for a long time, the government is not obligated to keep things so you can continue to make money the same way. Things change. Technology, particularly, changes. We’ve built a mighty Internet so the world can communicate, then crippled it in fear that people will communicate too much.

    It’s not dead, and it’s not over, just this incarnation is. But just like the intrusive and punitive anti-smoking and lowered alcohol enforcement for drivers, we will continue to see these types of laws being passed by nanny-state types. In fact, the laws ALREADY IN PLACE are sufficient, if only anyone had the WILL to enforce them.

  13. “grzejnik says:
    January 18, 2012 at 10:34 pm
    So its still ok for youtube and Facebook to use copyrighted materials to sell their ads without compensating the artist?”

    Opposing a stupid bill doesn’t mean you condone what it is (supposedly) trying to prevent.

    With SOPA in place, someone can post ‘copyrighted’ material here on wattsupwiththat.com. Someone who owns that copyright material can then get a court to issue the authority to shut wattsupwiththat.com down. Anthony can then take legal action to get his site back, but the site goes down first until he gets his day in court to prove himself innocent, or at least prove he has taken action to rectify the issue.

    If you want an analogy, try this:
    – BigToyCo sells toys in MomAndPopCo’s shop
    – a shoplifter steals one of the BigToyCo’s toys from MomAndPopCo’s shop
    – Now that a toy has been stolen, BigToyCo gets an order from a judge, and then MomAndPopCo’s shop is padlocked shut, until they can go through the courts to prove their innocence and open the doors again.

    Of course, this is unlikely to happen. EIther they will just close the shop because it’s too risky, or they will put in onerous security measures to stop the toys getting stolen. Nobody will want to open a toy shop, because why would you when you can get judged guilty until proven innocent, and have your business closed down without even a chance to say in court.

    Any sane person would say that such a bill would be idiotic- it doesn’t really stop theft, it just stops companies opening shops, unless BigToyCo gives them special treatment.

    But that’s exactly what the SOPA/PIPA bills want to do. Give the accuser the right to close down the accused site in an action of being considered guilty until proven innocent. I could go on about other idiotic things in there, but that should get the point across for now.

    As a side note I’m happy to see the climate science blogs (the realist ones, that is) taking part in the protests. It felt very lonely trying to bring up this issue in all the noise when TallBloke has his computers nicked. Nobody seemed to be paying attention at the time. I for one could see how this bill could easily be used by a Michael Mann or Phil Jones to shut down a climate audit or wattsupwiththat, especially if they reposted emails or other materials from leaked sources.

    As for the recoding and movie companies – ask Kodak what it’s like if you can’t figure out what to do when the industry fundamentally changes. You’re all owned by Apple now because you were too pig headed to think another business model was possible. Imagine how the Sony execs feel now when all their music ads run with Apple iTunes branding!

    As we say around my parts ‘suffer in your jocks’.

  14. I’m disappointed by the treatment of the subject here. Anthony Watts, and 99% of the commenters, seem to have swallowed uncritically (not to say unskeptically) the alarmist propaganda put out by Google and its poodles.

    Anthony’s original post made the claim that his website, and others like it, could be shut down by spurious copyright complaints, without due process. I simply do not see how SOPA (or PIPA, though I am less familiar with that) could be used to do this. I challenged Anthony to back his claim up with references to actual provisions of SOPA that could plausibly be used in this way. The challenge is still open.

    As I hope I made clear, I am no great fan of SOPA. It has many defects. But I have seldom seen as much hysterical nonsense on any subject as there has been on this one over the last few days.

  15. People, let’s not celebrate just yet.

     
    Stop Online Piracy Act Markup to Resume in February

    For Immediate Release
    January 17, 2012
    Contact: Charlotte Sellmyer, 202-225-3951
    Stop Online Piracy Act Markup to Resume in February

    Washington, D.C. — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) today said that he expects the Committee to continue its markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act in February.

    Chairman Smith: “To enact legislation that protects consumers, businesses and jobs from foreign thieves who steal America’s intellectual property, we will continue to bring together industry representatives and Members to find ways to combat online piracy.

    “Due to the Republican and Democratic retreats taking place over the next two weeks, markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act is expected to resume in February. 

    “I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to send a bipartisan bill to the White House that saves American jobs and protects intellectual property.”

    http://judiciary.house.gov/news/01172012.html

    Straight from the horse’s as…um, er, mouth. This one needs to be spread just as far and wide. On any host of issues, these feckless crapweasels (feel free to snip if necessary) slip things into law that are offensive to the very idea of a free society. If We the People happen to find out,they ignore us. If enough of us come down on them like a ton of bricks, they (pretend to) relent. Then when our righteous anger has cooled off,and we go back to American Idol and the Kardashitwits, they sneak right back to the cookie jar and steal our savings and liberty. Apologies for the mixing of metaphors so badly here, but I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it any more! (to swipe a phrase)
    /rant off

  16. More than just reading the bills – try applying the bill in theory. Think like a lawyer for entrenched interests trying to close down competition. Look in the bill to see how you could use it to achieve that goal, then look at the harm to society brought about by that application. You would probably find that doing nothing was the better solution, but that isn’t politically expedient. For some reason in our press climate a politician can’t say “doing nothing was the right thing” without getting a great deal of flack from reporters and tons of ink spilled on your “do-nothing” attitude

    This reminds me of the flack on internet radio a couple of years ago. The RIAA position was to try to shut internet radio down by imposing royalty fees FAR in excess of what was charged to broadcast radio. The suits that run that organization didn’t realize that there are millions of people like me out there that will not part with a dime of my money on a CD or MP3 unless I have heard the songs and artist and like what I heard. The same goes with movies. I wait for most movies to go to a discount theater chain or until it is available on Netflix or Redbox. I only purchase a DVD or Blu-Ray once I am satisfied that I would enjoy the convenience of being able to watch it whenever I have a free couple of hours (which is all too rare). I am a little older than their target demographic, but my money spends as well. Their efforts to control the message just makes them lose out on my commerce and I am sure I am not alone.

  17. Although US politics are, from what we read on your websites from here across the Pond, somewhat short of perfect, you are very lucky in that you still appear to be able to influence your “representatives” to some extent. Over here, all you will ever get however you protest is a bland smile and soothing words from your “representative”, followed by the very crap you were protesting about being forced into law anyway (see, e.g., our “Digital Economy Act”, a close relative of what you just derailed). You’ll have to give us lessons sometime, when you’ve got your lot sorted out.

  18. I just don’t get. Why on earth are people opposed to protecting intellectual property rights? Some of you will claim that you are in favor of property rights, but this was a bad bill. I’m sorry but for some of you I find that hard to believe. I know there were many people who supported Napster, and I remember several other bills that came up to protect artists, and a lot of people said the same thing about them as I am hearing about this bill. So, for all you people who claim that you support intellectual property rights, but not this bill, exactly what type of bill would you support, and have you ever support a bill to protect the property of artists?

    • TomT, the OPEN proposal (Issa/Wyden) seems far less open to abuse than SOPA/PIPA. It may have helped that the sponsors solicited a lot of input from many quarters while drafting it.

  19. @TomT says:
    January 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm” I just don’t get. Why on earth are people opposed to protecting intellectual property rights?”
    When copywrites last as long as patents, cost as much as patents, and copywrite holders have to protect their IPs as patent holders have to and pay the fees to keep their rights as patent holders have to. Then I might have some sympathy towards their protection. pg

  20. TomT says:
    January 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I just don’t get. Why on earth are people opposed to protecting intellectual property rights?

    False assumption. IP protection is the NOMINAL goal of the legislation, its “cover”. But it provides tools that go deep into suppression of information distribution. That’s the problem.

  21. If it wasn’t for people ripping off DOS, we would never have heard of DOS nor Bill Gates. Wide distribution often creates the demand for a product and the opportunity to reap profit, than otherwise. Many people made DOS popular, who just could not afford to purchase the many versions. I believe Gates is one of the wealthiest men BECAUSE of file sharing. He is also the one who complains the most. In addition, he ripped off other people’s programs to add to his. GK

  22. Article explains why Democrats support PIPA …

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/throwing-hollywood-under-the-bus-could-pay-dividends-for-gop.ars

    Throwing Hollywood under the bus could pay dividends for GOP
    Published January 22, 2012 8:00 PM UTC – by Timothy B. Lee | Posted in: Law & Disorder
    When the Internet went on strike, 16 GOP Senators came out against the PROTECT IP Act. We talk to two conservatives who argue the debate gives Republicans a golden opportunity to align themselves with the tech sector.

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