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SOPA and PIPA

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Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, Wired Magazine, and countless others are protesting today.

I know a few of you are protesting this as well, as I've seen posts from you on Facebook. When is this coming up for a vote, and how likely is it to pass? I've gotten involved on FB, and signed Google's petition, but am still trying to get my mind around the consequences of the whole thing.

In a fascinating twist, a co-sponsor of the bill, Senator Marco Rubio, just withdrew his support for the Protect IP Act. Evidently things are on the move.

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Posted · Report post

Well, SOPA has been shelved for the time being, due to lack of consensus. Doesn't mean the bill is dead, but it does mean that it needs significant reworking before it can move ahead.

Wired has a good overview of what SOPA/PIPA's potential ramifications.

And here's a piece I wrote for Christ and Pop Culture that explores the issue as well.

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Nice article, Jason. I especially appreciated the bit about Christians seeking justice, hadn't really seen that angle before.

Saw this today, made me laugh quite a lot.

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Surprisingly enough (to me, anyway) The Nation has some pretty strongly-worded criticisms of the anti-SOPA/PIPA arguments (without, be it noted, endorsing either bill):

In a way, this is a fight between Godzilla and King Kong. Consumers may like Godzilla because they don’t want any interruption in the full use of their gadgets. And I prefer King Kong because I’ve never seen an Internet company give advances to writers, musicians or filmmakers that allow them to concentrate on creativity. But let’s be real—we should look at all of these companies with a jaundiced eye and question their talking points at least as rigorously as we scrutinize politicians. What is good for Google and Facebook is not always going to be what’s best for the 99 percent. (And of course Microsoft and Apple et al. are extremely aggressive when it comes to protecting their intellectual property rights).

I hope that in future weeks, some of the anti-SOPA/PIPA progressives will reflect on the content of some of the Kool-Aid that has recently been served and help swing the pendulum back, if only a little, in a direction in which intellectual property can be nourished. Otherwise, we will be complicit in accelerating the trend of the last decade, in which those who write code get richly rewarded, while those who write the music, poetry, drama and journalism that are being encoded have to get day jobs.

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