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.

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  2. Tech

    SOPA Returns as Ransomware Virus, Highlights Just How Horrible the Bill Actually Was

    The Stop Online Piracy Act received a lot of attention when Congress was trying to push it through under the radar. Though the bill eventually floundered, the threat it represents is still there, lingering on the peripheries of the Internet. The fear is that some kind of Internet regulation in regards to copyright will almost inevitably be passed as lobbyists will continue to push such measures. A computer virus now exists that takes advantage of this dread by implying SOPA is in effect and infected users have been caught in an act of copyright infringement.

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  3. Tech

    Canadian Intellectual Property Document Reads Like Extremist Wishlist

    In the ever-constant attempt to curb counterfeiting and piracy, Canada's lead intellectual property lobby group, the Canadian IP Council, has released a document titled Counterfeiting in the Canadian Market: How Do We Stop It? detailing the changes it believes should be enacted by the Canadian government to ensure the continued prominence of legal goods. This includes such measures as SOPA-style blocking of websites, the implementation of ACTA, and jail time for downloaders.

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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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.

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  10. 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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  11. Weird

    MPAA Releases Statement About Blackouts, World Gags on Irony

    So the MPAA did release a statement saying they were now against DNS blocking. Of course, just like our buddy Representative Lamar Smith who brought back SOPA after seeming to back off, the MPAA is right back to flailing its arms and pouting in the face of the SOPA blackouts. Here, this tweet from sister-group the RIAA does a good job of setting the general mood. Yesterday, the MPAA released a statement that is so self-absorbed, so self-serving, so wrought with irony that I'm not even going to bother providing any further commentary. It speaks for itself.

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  12. 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.

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  13. 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.

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  14. Tech

    Google Tastefully Protests SOPA

    Along with a few other prominent sites, Wikipedia and reddit to name a couple, Google has come out in protest of SOPA. Though they didn't take the blackout route like Wikipedia and reddit, which would've brought the Internet to something that would amount to a near-complete halt, Google displayed their feelings about SOPA with a tasteful Google Doodle, a simple black censor bar covering the iconic Google logo.

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  15. Tech

    SOPA is Back in Action and Off the “Shelf” Just In Time for the Blackouts

    It should come as no surprise that SOPA has come back off its proverbial "shelf" but feel free to be surprised that it came back so fast. A mere 4 days after announcing he was dropping the DNS blocking provisions of the bill and putting it on the shelf until a "consensus" was reached, Representative Lamar Smith has brought SOPA back out to play, and just in time for the January 18th SOPA blackouts.

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