SOPA

SOPA Protests Threatened

A new year is about to begin and protests against the Stop Online Piracy Act are being organized.

Amazon.com has joined with Google, eBay, Paypal, Twitter, Facebook, Wikipedia, Bloomberg and numerous other companies and individuals in founding NetCoalition, an organization dedicated to opposing SOPA. And there have been numerous media accounts about the possibility of self imposed black-outs by NetCoalition members.

According to Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales, a similar protest by the Italian version of Wikipedia had been successful in thwarting an Italian law that would have limited editorial independence. But it appears that this protest may be limited according to Wales :

“My own view is that a community strike was very powerful and successful in Italy and could be even more powerful in this case. There are obviously many questions about whether the strike should be geotargeted (U.S.-only), etc.”

If these protests are geotargeted Canadians will be able to access the sites, as usual. But Wales claims that a blackout of the English version of Wikipedia is being considered :

“One possible view is that because the law would seriously impact the functioning of Wikipedia for everyone, a global strike of at least the English Wikipedia would put the maximum pressure on the US government.”

The date of this protest has yet been published but several media outlets and blogs speculate that it may be scheduled for the 24th of January, when the United States Senate vote on the Protect IP Act.

About Face On SOPA for GoDaddy

GoDaddy has reversed their position in regards to the Stop Online Piracy Act according to an official statement issued today :

“Fighting online piracy is of the utmost importance, which is why Go Daddy has been working to help craft revisions to this legislation – but we can clearly do better,” Warren Adelman, Go Daddy’s newly appointed CEO, said. “It’s very important that all Internet stakeholders work together on this. Getting it right is worth the wait. Go Daddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it.”

The Stop Online Piracy Act was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011 and would enable the U.S. Department of Justice and copyright owners in the states to impose American law on foreign sites by compelling American search engines to remove links to these foreign sites, by disallowing American advertising on those sites and by severing payments processed by American facilitators like Paypal.

Google, Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo and numerous other groups have voiced concerns about the ramifications of this legislation, including some Canadian groups who believe the United States could attempt to isolate countries whose copyright laws are not compatible with theirs.