You may have noticed that there were no posts here on Wednesday. What you may not have realized is that Wednesday was the day of a massive coordinated protest against SOPA:
Wikipedia went dark for a day. Google hid its logo under a black shroud. And hundreds of other websites darkened their pages temporarily in a massive, coordinated protest against a pair of bills that would step up enforcement of copyrights and trademarks. Wednesday’s demonstration provoked such an intense backlash against the Protect IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act (better known as PIPA and SOPA) that by the end of the week, more than 100 lawmakers had declared their opposition and both bills had been placed on hold.
So in fact, what seemed like sloth on the part of Blog Management here at Patterico.com was actually part of an Online Protest Against Big Government Attempts to Control Free Speech!!
Well, OK. The truth is that I have been in trial and Karl was having Internet access issues. But you have my assurance that, if I had known that I could not post for a day and call it a “protest,” I would have.
Hell, the Occupy Wall Street guys got away with doing nothing and calling it a protest for months!
In all seriousness, this SOPA and PIPA nonsense sounds like a terrible idea. I can’t tell you how often I see bogus claims of “piracy” used as an excuse to squelch speech — and now we want to give the government the power to shut down web sites when some doofus asserts a claim of piracy?
The original versions of PIPA and SOPA would have enabled the Justice Department to seek court orders to seize the domain names of foreign sites that were either “dedicated to” infringing copyrights and trademarks or just facilitating infringement.
Not a good idea at all.
I may have to protest a few more days.