1. Tech

    Internet Freedom Day Marks One Year Anniversary of Internet Protests

    One year ago today, the Internet went dark. The reasons aren't even that complicated: A massive number of influential Internet denizens, like Wikipedia, were protesting SOPA at the time. The best part? It totally worked. Lawmakers listened, albeit likely reluctantly, to their constituents and quickly withdrew support from the controversial bill. That doesn't mean new efforts to enact similarly terrible legislation have been prevented, though. So, celebrate Internet Freedom Day with us, and at least reflect on all that's happened.

    Read on...
  2. Tech

    SOPA is Off the Table Again, Internet is 2 for 2

    After going from the floor, to the shelf, and back to the table, SOPA has been delayed again. This means that for the first time in months, neither PIPA nor SOPA are on an active course to being passed. This is literally the best reaction to the SOPA blackouts than anyone could reasonably expect. Shortly after PIPA was delayed, Representative Lamar Smith -- in an oddly familiar announcement -- said that SOPA will be off the table until a concensus can be reached and that nerd expert opinions will be seriously considered.

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  3. Tech

    PIPA Debate Postponed Until Compromise

    The SOPA blackouts seem to have worked, ladies and gentlemen: The Senate hearing on the Protect-IP Act has been postponed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and will not resume until some sort of compromise is reached. After the SOPA blackouts, support for PIPA dwindled, with at least a dozen Senators announcing their opposition and all four GOP candidates coming out against it during last night's presidential debates.

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  4. Tech

    Supreme Court Rules Congress Can Remove Works From Public Domain

    While the majority of the Internet rambled on and on about SOPA and PIPA yesterday (Geekosystem included), an interestingly related piece of legislation slipped through in the background. Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that Congress has the authority to remove works from the public domain. That is to say that the public domain is not “territory that works may never exit," contrary to common understanding.

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  5. Weird

    The Real Reason We Don’t Need SOPA or PIPA: We Already Have Broken Copyright Law, DMCA

    Now don't get me wrong, there are awful, awful aspects to both SOPA and PIPA. The prospect of DNS blocking is egregious censorship. The prospect of cutting off funds and ad revenue to "infringers" without due process is egregious. Even without those provisions, though, we still don't need or want SOPA or PIPA. Why? Because we already have dangerously broken copyright law: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

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  6. Tech

    Mark Zuckerberg Comes Out Against SOPA, PIPA

    Up until now, Facebook has been pretty quietly anti-SOPA. Sure, they've been anti-SOPA from the start, but in a very reserved, quietly private way. They wouldn't just up and tell you; you'd have to look into yourself. For instance, they were one of the Internet giants who took out that full page ad, and one of the ones who wrote that letter. They were even one of the companies reportedly considering the nuclear option. Nonetheless, they hadn't public addressed users, until today.

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  7. Weird

    Choose Your Own PIPA-SOPA Protest Adventure [Interactive Flowchart]

    Maybe by now we've all saturated the Internet with so much anti-SOPA, anti-PIPA content that you've finally decided you want to do something about stopping these bills, even if it's just to get everyone to shut up already and talk about something else. Great, but what steps can you take, and where can you get the information to take those steps? Well, this super fantastic interactive flowchart from Ape Con Myth will walk you through the steps and direct you to where you need to be to know what you need to know and do what you need to do. Step up everybody, and then we can all go back to talking about video games and silly cats again. Check out the chart after the jump.

    Read on...
  8. Entertainment

    The Day the LOLcats Died [Video]

    In the time-honored fashion of making a parody of American Pie, Chris Parker gets on the YouTube and sings out against SOPA and PIPA. Sure, a little cheesy, but hey, SOPA and PIPA would ruin all the Internets, and Parker and his crew made a song about that.

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  9. Tech

    How SOPA and PIPA Will Break the Internet [Video]

    Sure, we have a veritable library of posts explaining what's wrong with SOPA and PIPA, what's wrong with the way they're being approached, what's wrong with the current copyright law they're building on, and anything else you might want to know. But what if you don't like reading words? Well, here's a video that sums up the big, important points. Knowledge is power, and knowing is half the battle, right? So get battlin' folks.

    Read on...
  10. Tech

    How to Access Wikipedia During Its SOPA Blackout

    If you're a person who feels the need to use something right when it turns out you can't, or you're the type of person that must know everything about everything when it comes up in conversation, then the Wikipedia SOPA protest blackout is probably an obnoxious inconvenience, though it is happening in the name of all that is good. Fortunately for Wikipedia enthusiasts who can't live without learning all they can about Bruce Willis and his studio albums, Wikipedia is still accessible during its blackout protest. Head on past the break to find out how.

    Read on...
  11. Tech

    Google to Display Anti-SOPA Message During Blackout

    It's official, tomorrow's anti-SOPA protest has reached its height: Google will be displaying an anti-SOPA message during the blackout. Google will not actually be blacking out, but instead will display a link to an anti-SOPA, anti-PIPA message on its homepage, presumably in the form of a Google Doodle, but they haven't said explicitly.

    Read on...
  12. Tech

    Even the MPAA is Shying Away From DNS Filtering, Saying It’s “Off the Table”

    Perhaps the most egregious and offensive provision of SOPA and PIPA was the one that called for DNS filtering and blocking. Of course, considering it is the same method of censorship used by governments such as China, you might expect that the proposal of its use would be a little unpopular. Recently, supporters of the method have been falling one by one. SOPA author Lamar Smith agreed to drop the DNS blocking provision just as the White House came out against it. In light of all that, the MPAA -- poster child for aggressive copyright defense -- has backed down too.

    Read on...
  13. Tech

    Wikipedia to Blackout on January 18th Protesting SOPA and PIPA

    The bad news is that while SOPA may be "shelved," PIPA is still on. The good news is that while PIPA may still be on, Jimmy Wales has come out and announced that Wikipedia's anti-SOPA, anti-PIPA blackout is on too. The decision isn't unilateral, but rather by concensus of the Wikipedia community and as such, the English language Wikipedia will be going dark on January 18th from midnight to midnight EST reaching an estimated 25 million users globally. Better listen to what Jimmy says and get your homework done ahead of time.

    Read on...
  14. Tech

    SOPA May Be Shelved, But PIPA Is Still On

    It's been a good weekend for everyone who opposes SOPA and Internet censorship in general. In a statement on Friday, SOPA author and copyright infringer extrodinaire Representative Lamar Smith decided to drop the egregious DNS blocking provisions from the bill. On top of that, the White House responded to a pair of anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA petitions and came out against DNS blocking as well. With all that and SOPA "on the shelf" until the nerds can come in and a "consensus" is reached, we're practically in the clear, right? Not quite. PIPA is still up for a vote in the Senate on January 24th.

    Read on...
  15. Tech

    Reddit to Black Out During SOPA Hearings in Protest Next Week

    In protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, a nefarious act that tries to censor the Internet without actually showing much understanding of said Internet in the first place, reddit, one of the most popular social news aggregation currently on the very same Internet, will black itself out next week. Redditors may not know what to do with themselves, but on January 18, a week from today, from 8 AM to 8 PM EST, reddit will be blacked out in protest.

    Instead of the normal reddit feed, the site will display a "simple message" regarding how the SOPA and PIPA legislation would shut down sites like reddit itself.

    Read on...
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