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The Longest Now

13000 comments 1 post, part 2
Saturday January 21st 2012, 5:14 am
Filed under: %a la mod,Blogroll,international,popular demand,Uncategorized

Update: see also Clay Shirky’s brilliant talk explaining SOPA and PIPA, and why they were drafted.

More comments on the Wikimedia community blog:

  1. I didn’t even know about the proposed legislation by America until just now reading here about the blackout and I’m sure that most people, including most Americans have no idea about it…  I have been going to Wikipedia since I was little as a site that I could trust not to have an agenda. I have grown up with Wikipedia as a part of my life and I am grateful for your existence.  – Sigrid Anderson
  2. The comments show that Wiki has generated a considerable amount of uninformed hysteria about proposed legislation that is not going to be adopted  – Bill Wood
  3. You should blackout every language version. The whole world is against of this dumb law.  – Jesús Manuel O.
  4. I’m an Australian man facing similar legislation.  I have been hoping that Wikipedia, Google, and similar organizations would make their position known in the form of a black out protest, to say what my little voice can’t get across  – Uriah
  5. “It’s political, but it’s not partisan politics.  SOPA is not a left-right issue. It’s a new media, old media issue. New media has every right to get political about its future. Congress should not be in the business of protecting one business model at the expense of another, especially when the new model is the only true source of growth in the nation’s economy for the last 20 years.” – Factoid (via Reddit)
  6. SOPA in it’s current form is scary, yet preventable, and I support Wikipedia for making a stand. – Brande Kramer
  7. Oh…no…witnessing the gagging and chaining of our only remaining freedoms: healthy freedom of speech and self expression on the internet would surely break my heart!  – Alejandro Bina
  8. A word of advice for everyone, like myself, who will suffer the inconvenience of this black out:
    Don’t Panic.  – Rowdy
  10. Working within an Indigenous community in Australia, it is clear to me that poverty begins and becomes generational, with lack of access to information.  – Ron West
  11. Wikipedia… is a source for great knowledge.
    Wikipedia team is not an ordinary team.
    The protest must be supported in a resounding tone of echoes.   – Karthik Yerramilly
  12. A G R E E !!!  – George MacNabb, M.D.
  13. This message has brought me to tears, literally.  – Carol
  14. These bills restrict not just freedom of expression, but considerably worse, will constrain an individual’s right to knowledge.  – Aisha
  15. America isn’t the world. If members of the American parliament are planning on doing something in America, it’s YOUR problem.  – Thomas Marshall
  17. I don’t really see how protesting a restriction on the free flow of information by restricting the free flow of information is at all helpful. Aren’t you just doing exactly what they want you to do?  – jjs
  18. AWESOME! The internet is a tool for the evolution of our entire species, not just another control mechanis…  – Trevor Allen
  19. about time someone takes action against SOPA and this nonsense!! YOU’RE AWESOME WIKI!  – brittany
  20. Thumbs down to Wikipeida. What’s wrong with you guys? I read the SOPA and I don’t see in any way will harm free speech.  SOPA is about IP and business, different stuff alright.  – James
  21. Wikipedia has created a permanent shift in human awareness, and has probably altered the very structure of our minds by abolishing “I don’t know” from out lives so many billions upon billions of times. Wikipedia going dark will hurt. It will be frightening, and I’m going to hate it. But if they chose to go dark for a month in protest of such terrifyingly dangerous laws, they’d still have my absolute support.  – Ehren Turner
  22. The balls (or ovaries) of the administrators are commendable. As much as it will hurt me if it does happen- I am aware it’d hurt me more if it didn’t  – jUrk
  23. como en mexico como en america latina y no me reservo al todo el mundo, nos sentimos indignados y ultrajados por esta tonta accion, que conlleba a lo que por muchos años idealistas han peleado y han muerto por ello. la libertad, la idea de controlarla de esta manera me parece arrogante y de mal gusto. – gerardo perez
  24. I love Wikipedia, but I think you’re making a big mistake in opposing laws that restrain intellectual theft.  – Hal Barwood
  25. If some industries must rethink their economic models in the face of the fundamental changes the internet has afforded the larger world, then so be it. That is by far the lesser evil  – Steven Burg
  26. Yeah, I get it, but 24 hours, really. How is that a protest. The library closed for 2 days over the weekend every week…big deal. I know your head is in the right place but really, man-up and do something that makes noise.  – Mehnert
  27. From Iran.
    It is very disappointing to see what my people are trying to fight here is emerging in the U.S.
    …we can live one day without Wikipedia to make sure it remains there forever.  – AgentTheGreat
  28. I definitely concur Team Wikipedia. Do what you have to do. ‘Nuff respect!  – Kush Barnes
  29. <quotes Spiro Agnew>
  30. Here in South Africa the government is in the process of passing a secrecy bill, which will, in effect muzsle the media as well as free speech. I definately support the blackout.  – Walter Hutchison
  31. I would also like to offer my country – South Africa – as the potential host if you need to move.  – Adam Brink
  32. Do not disrupt Wikipedia to make a point. Shame on you.  – Kyaa
  33.  dear wiki-world, i experience ms. gardner’s statement and wiki community’s mandate to be nuanced and reasoned—neither overly interventionist/hysterical nor frightened into inaction—not making wiki (this gynormously birthed baby) an overly precious object, nor being so lax as to be w/out any integrity.  – mazal
  34. This is actually a very serious decision. In all its years of existance, i have never seen Wiki go down. Just yesterday, a national stock exchange was DDOSed and hence out of service. I have seen the PSN go down. I have seen gaming clients’ networks go down. I have seen news clippings of “such and such site attacked and compromised”. But never Wiki was attacked or down, because everyone accepts it to be a neutral ground, a safe no-nonsense ground, where everyone turned to for information, regardless of language.This is one of the unwritten rules of the internet.
    This blackout just shows how serious this SOPA and PIPA problem is.
    I completely and unconditionally support Wikimedia in this.   –jmd.akbar
  35. Not only Wikipedia, but also the structure of Wikipedia is quite dependant on the freedom of expression on the [W]eb. Even if wikipedia itself is not blocked in any way, we would still feel the backlash if other websites with legitimate information are blocked… badly defined laws with a broad spectrum such as these tend to be abused for purposes they were not (or perhaps were) intended for.  – Excirial
  36. “We want people to trust Wikipedia, not worry that it is trying to propagandize them.” But then just a few lines down in the same letter it says… “I have increasingly begun to think of Wikipedia’s public voice, and the goodwill people have for Wikipedia, as a resource that wants to be used for the benefit of the public.” So they don’t want people to think they are engaging propaganda, but… want to use the “voice” of Wikipedia to influence public policy? …I imagine I will support many/all of the positions they would support, but I dislike the idea of eroding Wikipedia’s neutrality.  – Dan
  37. If I start replicating Wikipedia pages on a gigantic website of my own, for my own purposes such as to put ads on them generating revenue for myself, you wouldn’t like that would you? Oh, but by your standard, wouldn’t that be “freedom of expression”? I think you need to explain your position a lot better than you have done.  – jrbt2647
  38. I think we can cope without Wikipedia for 24 hours if it is for something like this. We should not be bullied.
  39. Today on MLK day! I’m reminded it’s my duty to continuously keep watch over and non-violently fight for our civil rights. Thank you, Wikipedia!  – Maggie Evan
  40. piracy… is a very real economic threat to the creative community. However, the methods by which these acts combat it are heavy-handed and overreaching; like fighting cancer with grenades. I am an artist who is opposed to piracy, and I applaud Wikipedia for this stand.
  41. “Although Wikipedia’s articles are neutral, its existence is not”, the statement is what strongly influenced on me. Thank you, all Wikipedians, for letting them know what is the right thing to do!  – Jerryz Tschin
  42. Doing a blackout to protest against censorship is like shooting random people in the street to protest against the death penalty.  – Björn
  43. Here in New Zealand we have a similar law. The legislation here means that anyone even suspected of disobeying the current piracy laws can have their internet access withdrawn at the ISP level. No burden of proof is required, just a certain number of unsubstantiated complaints from a copywrite holder. I understand and support the protest and hope that everyone can see the requirement to speak out now before things get any worse.  – Matt
  44. No argument is available why it helps or is good for media companies to not have protection. Who cares anyway, it won’t hurt Wikipedia. Or does Wikipedia now plan to host copyright content.
  45. I agree that the blackout is a good idea, but it is a shame that in its statement, Wikipedia/Wikimedia did not also make a strong statement to distance themselves from online piracy. This would have clearly confirmed that, while we do not condone online piracy, that we do want preservation of online freedom.  – Daeld
  46. I fear a world in which someone might be sued for humming a tune or quoting a line from a movie!
  47. The internet… from the very beginning has always seemed to me like a world mind. From my first log on so many years ago I was amazed at the open sharing on so many levels that was available. Year by year it has matured, with more reliable sources of information becoming available… a rich depth of knowledge, experience, and opinions: brilliant and beautiful bits… The entire festival of words, pictures, history, music, and vidography is like one enormous love poem to ourselves… The idea that we would allow anyone to tamper with this or take it from us without a fight is unconscionable.I find the current trend in this legislation to be highly suspect. I think it has much more to do with inserting fingers of control which can then be tightened into an iron grip than it does with the putative problem of piracy. As someone who is trying to make her living as a writer I rely on Wikipedia among other things as resources but I think I can suck it up for one day.  – Marilyn Melnicoe
  48. It is not advocacy to fight for your survival. Everyone is affected by this legislation, within and outside the US… The WWW is at risk of being ‘enclosed’ (removed from shared public ownership)… vested interests assert ownership of large parts [and] remove them from shared possession. We’ve seen this with land, with music, with software (leading to the need for CopyLeft) and now the right to index knowledge… It is certainly about piracy – the theft of public property for personal gain. – Loftwork
  49. I fully support this shutdown. SOPA, PIPA and NDAA… inflict unjust impediments on freedom of the common person, two online and one in “real” life… justified by exaggerated causes that can’t be fought by that legislation
  50. This is an act NOT of politics, but of self-preservation. Please make sure that, when the site comes back up, there is another banner explaining why it was down, for those who missed this message. – LTL
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SOPA – PIPA math: 61% >> 28%
Thursday January 19th 2012, 10:41 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,metrics,wikipedia

Three cheers for participatory democracy! The percentage of stated opposition to SOPA and PIPA in Congress changed dramatically over the past two days, from 28% to 61%. [If you count people who are “leaning No”, by ProPublica’s estimate, this goes up to 69%.]

How many politicians announced they would be co-sponsoring or otherwise outright supporting SOPA/PIPA on Wednesday? By our count: Zero.

Update: Harry Reid releases Dems in the Senate to vote against PIPA if their conscience demands. And Chris Dodd, former Senator and current MPAA Chairman, just called for a summit between Internet and traditional ‘content’ companies, convened by the White House, to reach a compromise. (He hasn’t yet realized that major content companies today are Internet companies.)

We are experiencing the growth of social unity and a certain moral sense across the Web, among people who have found something wonderful, worth defending with all their heart. This is a small piece; it is thrilling to be part of it. I hope you feel it too.

Blackout Wednesday wrapup #3: impact edition
Wednesday January 18th 2012, 11:54 pm
Filed under: %a la mod,chain-gang,metrics,wikipedia

Over a dozen Congressmen have changed or clarified their position on PIPA and SOPA over the course of the past 36 hours, towards opposing the bills.   This includes six senators and two representatives who had previously been co-sponsors or solid supporters of the relevant bill in their chamber.  Many more who formerly were neutral about the bills or leaning towards opposing them, are now calling them “misguided”, saying they will “cause more harm than good”, “harm free speech rights”, “weaken freedom of expression on the Internet”, and would “harm Internet innovation and jobs”.  Most agree that the bills as written “need to be stopped”.  It seems that some of them have looked at the bills with a magnifying glass for the first time.

Senator Boozman summarizes: “Over the past few weeks, the chorus of concerns over Congressional efforts to address online piracy has intensified“.  A week ago it looked like there might be a straight 60-vote approval of PIPA in the Senate; now it is losing suppoters by the hour, and may have a hard time getting majority support; making it unlikely to make it to a vote at all.


Blackout impact

Politico and others suggest that much of this movement was a direct result of the strong online statement made by the EFF, Reddit, Google, Wikipedia, and others – and the protest organized by those groups to express their views to every representative and senator in the country.  Wikipedia produced a ‘find your local representative’ widget, to ensure that we encouraged readers to call their representatives directly; Google simply encouraged signing a petition.

Once the blackout launched, it trended worldwide on Twitter, with hashtags such as #factswithoutwikipedia, #SOPAstrike and #wikipediablackout.  At one point, according to Trendistic, #wikipediablackout was used in 1% of all tweets.  Hotspots claims that SOPA (and #SOPA) has accounted for a quarter-million tweets an hour since then.

The EFF reports that by 5pm, over 250,000 1 million people had contacted their representatives through the EFF blacklist site. Wikipedia reports roughly 160 million people have seen their blackout page, and eight million of those have looked up their elected representatives’ contact information through its tool.  (No word on how many made contact; if there is a dropoff rate similar to the first clickthrough, then that would make another 400,000 contacts.)  Google reports gathering 4.5 million signatures on its petition.


Statements today from members of Congress:

Senators noting their disapproval of PIPA yesterday and today: (those who switched away from previously indicated support are listed in bold)

  1. Mark Begich (D-AK)
    I oppose PIPA…Online piracy needs to be addressed, but the current form of the bill isn’t the proper way to do it.
  2. Roy Blunt (R-MO) @RoyBlunt
    I strongly oppose sanctioning Americans’ right to free speech in any medium, including over the internet. #SOPA #PIPA
  3. John Boozman (R-AR) [facebook]
    Over the past few weeks, the chorus of concerns over Congressional efforts to address online piracy has intensified… I intend to withdraw my support for the Protect IP Act.  I will have my name removed as a co-sponsor of the bill and plan to vote against it
  4. Scott Brown (R-MA) @ScottBrownMA
    I’m going to vote no, the Internet is too important to our economy
  5. Jim DeMint (R-SC) @JimDeMint
    I support intellectual property rights, but I oppose SOPA & PIPA. They’re misguided bills that will cause more harm than good.
  6. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) [thehill] @OrrinHatch
    That’s why I will not only vote against moving the bill forward next week but also remove my cosponsorship of the bill. #utpol #tcot #PIPA
  7. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) [facebook]
    SOPA is the wrong response from the US Congress.  (also now opposes PIPA)
  8. Johanns (R-NE) [ journalstar]
  9. Mark Kirk (R-IL) [kirk]
    Freedom of speech is an inalienable right granted to each and every American, and the Internet has become the primary tool with which we utilize this right… This extreme measure stifles First Amendment rights and Internet innovation.
  10. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) @SenJeffMerkley
    Thanks for all the calls, emails, and tweets. I will be opposing #SOPA and #PIPA. We can’t endanger an open internet.
  11. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) [adn]
    The bill raises serious concerns about our civil liberties. That’s why next week I plan to oppose the current PIPA bill.
  12. Marco Rubio (R-FL) @marcorubio
    After hearing from people with legit concerns, have withdraw support for #PIPA. Let’s take time to do it right. #SOPA

Senators who changed from support, to advocating a delay in voting for revision and reconsideration:

  • Ben Cardin (D-MD)
  • John Cornyn (R-TX) @JohnCornyn
    SOPA: better to get this done right rather than fast and wrong… the potential impact of this legislation is too far-reaching to ram it through Congress.
  • Charles Grassley, (R-AL)
    Since the mark-up, we have increasingly heard from a large number of constituents and other stakeholders with vocal about possible unintended consequences of the proposed legislation, including breaches in cybersecurity, damaging the integrity of the Internet, costly and burdensome litigation, and dilution of First Amendment rights
  • Robert Menendez (D-NJ) @SenatorMenendez
    #NJ: I hear your concerns re: #PIPA loud & clear & share in these concerns. I’m working to ensure critical changes are made to the bill.

House Representatives stating disapproval or opposition: (those switching away from previously indicated support or cosponsorship again in bold, but this was harder to ascertain):

  1. Akin (R-MO)
    Copyrights must be protected, but not at this cost. Open internet and free speech!
  2. Baldwin (D-WI)
    I do not believe it is the responsibility of Internet service providers to become the police of the Internet.
  3. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) @RepGusBilirakis
    Piracy should be prosecuted, but I have deep concerns about SOPA’s effect on free speech rights and am opposed to it in its current form.
  4. Blumenauer (D-OR)
    Rep. Blumenauer’s website joined the blackout for an hour: Today I am joining the millions of Americans who are standing with the world’s most innovative websites against the proposed censorship of PIPA and SOPA
  5. Bruce Braley (D-IA) @BruceBraley
    I’ve heard you. I strongly oppose #SOPA.
  6. Courtney (D-CT)
    SOPA as it exists today… should be scrapped entirely. An axe instead of a scalpel, this bill would unacceptably and fundamentally change the architecture of the internet.
  7. DeFazio (D-OR) [facebook]
    Wikipedia, Craigslist and others are dark today to bring attention to the atrocious SOPA bill that will take away freedom on the internet.
  8. DeGette
    I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to contact me about SOPA… Without serious changes I’m not convinced SOPA effectively solves the issue and am concerned about the implications it would have for online innovation.
  9. Keith Ellison (D-MN) @keithellison
    #SOPA would harm internet innovation and jobs. Better ways to fight piracy.
  10. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) @JeffFortenberry
    I oppose #SOPA–it would disrupt the structural integrity of the internet
  11. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) @JeffFlake
    I oppose #SOPA because I’m concerned it will restrict free speech.
  12. Cory Gardner (R-CO) @repcorygardner
    online piracy is a real issue but we must maintain a free & open internet #opposeSOPA #endpiracynotliberty
  13. Gosar (R-AZ)
  14. Graves (R-GA)
    We’re getting a bunch of questions this morning about the ‘Stop Online Piracy Act.’ I wanted to let you know that I oppose the bill.
  15. Grijalva (D-AZ)
    This legislation has moved beyond protecting legitimate intellectual property rights and is now headed down a path that would let companies decide what you get to view online.
  16. Tim Holden (R-PA)
    An open Internet requires that we find a better approach that is acceptable to all sides. [politicspa]
  17. Holt (D-NJ)
  18. Honda (D-CA) [politico]
    The bills as currently constructed, with overbroad definitions, will do much more harm than good, hurting the very people they are supposed to protect.
  19. Hultgren (R-IL) @RepHultgren
    Given the widespread coverage the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has received, I want to let you know that I oppose it in its current form.
  20. Inhofe (R-OK)
  21. Steve Israel (D-NY) @RepSteveIsrael
    I oppose #SOPA. We must protect innovation without weakening free expression on the Internet.
  22. Darrell Issa (R-CA) @DarrellIssa
    83 Internet pioneers: #SOPA & #PIPA would destroy web #DNS system as we know it. LETTER: #SOPA #stopSOPA #PIPA
  23. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) @RepLynnJenkins
    I do not support SOPA, will fight against any efforts to advance it, and will vote against it if it comes to the floor.
  24. Kinzinger (R-IL) [facebook]
    the way these bills are currently written does not ensure an open and free internet and that is not something I can support.
  25. Latham (R-IA)
    I oppose SOPA or any bill abridging freedom of speech.
  26. Lee (D-CA)
    SOPA in its current form is far too close to internet censorship, something I strongly oppose.
  27. Marchant (R-TX)
  28. Jim Matheson (D-UT) @RepJimMatheson
    Oppose SOPA and PIPA; online piracy is a serious issue, but these bills are not the way to go. Complicated issue
  29. McCotter (R-MI)
  30. McDermott (D-WA) [facebook]
    I’ve heard from many of you about the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA). We need to do something about online piracy, but this bill is not the right way to do it.
  31. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) @PatrickMcHenry
    I oppose #SOPA in its current form and have signed on as an original co-sponsor of the #OPEN Act. Check out
  32. Mike Michaud (D-ME) @RepMikeMichaud
    #SOPA need to be stopped. Speak out and make sure Congress hears you.
  33. Jim Moran (D-VA) @Jim_Moran
    I oppose #SOPA. Keep the internet open.
  34. Nugent (R-FL)
    I’ve gotten a lot of calls from people today urging me to oppose SOPA (or PIPA, as the Senate companion bill is called). I do oppose the bill as it’s currently written.
  35. Pascrell Jr (D-NJ)
  36. Price (D-NC)
    I am opposed to the proposed SOPA bill… Today’s ‘black-out’ campaigns by Google, Wikipedia and other major websites echo the voices of the many constituents I’ve heard from.
  37. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) @chelliepingree
    So many contacting me today outraged with #SOPA and I couldn’t agree more. #mepolitics
  38. David Price (D-NC) @RepDavidEPrice
    Release: Price Opposes #SOPA, Calls on Congress to Protect Open Internet #ncpol
  39. Ben Quayle (R-AZ)  [politico]
  40. Dennis Ross (R-FL) 
    “I believe #SOPA is dead.”
  41. Tim Ryan (D-OH) @RepTimRyan
    Web piracy is a an issue that should be dealt with, but I oppose #SOPA bc it does too much harm to innovation & speech @eff @boingboing
  42. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) @JanSchakowsky
    Thank you all for the many calls today to #StopSOPA! I want you to know that I oppose #SOPA & will vote against it #p2
  43. John Shimkus (R-IL)  @RepShimkus
    We can protect intellection property through anti-piracy legislation w/o censoring free speech or stifling innovation. #SOPA is not the way.
  44. Adam Smith (D-WA) [adamsmith]
    these measures, if enacted, would place unacceptable limitations on the accessibility of online information and content, impose undue burdens on small and innovative websites and applications, and would not be the most effective way to curtail overseas illegal piracy and theft of intellectual property.
  45. Lee Terry (R-NE) []
    SOPA, as currently drafted, isn’t the solution.
  46. Joe Walsh (R-IL) @RepJoeWalsh
    Thank God twitter isn’t blocked today so I can tell you that I refuse to vote for #SOPA. #uncensored #StopSOPA
  47. Yarmuth (D-KY)
    Thanks for your calls and emails this morning. I am opposed to #SOPA.
  48. Yoder (R-KS)

A doff of the hat : Much of this data comes from or was confirmed through ProPublica‘s excellent timeline of public statements by Congressmen about SOPA and PIPA.

Blackout Wednesday website screenshots
Wednesday January 18th 2012, 5:31 pm
Filed under: %a la mod,Blogroll,international,wikipedia

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