Really? You Just Trust That Obama Will Veto SOPA?

Use the links Reddit provides below to educate yourself about SOPA and PIPA and to figure out how to constructively take action to make sure that neither they nor any future versions of them get passed. What’s that? You heard this legislation is dead? The Obama administration said Obama would veto it and it was pulled from the floor by Eric Cantor? I personally find it laughable when people tell me that the bills are dead because Obama promised to veto them. Do you need a list provided to you of all the authoritarian legislation or policies which Obama has promised to veto or to discontinue and only gone on to enact or to continue?

We have a high bar to reach. Congress and the Obama administration depend on corporate interests to fund their campaigns. 9 out of 10 Congressional races in 2008 were won by the candidate with the most money. Why should candidates worry about what you think and not about the businesses which would benefit at the expense of freedom of speech? You need to convince Congresspeople and their potential rivals that you care enough about this issue that you could actually be more devastating to their 2012 election hopes than loss of monetary advantage would be. That sounds like a pretty steep climb. It means we need every American committed to freedom of speech and expression to use whatever resources available to galvanize their fellow citizens and make their Congresspeople and their President fear that SOPA and PIPA are political poison.

When push comes to legislation, Obama and the Congress only care about reelection. Convince them that internet freedom is a non-negotiable precondition of their reelections.


SOPA and PIPA damage reddit.

today we fight back.

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet

Dear reddit,


Today, for 12 hours, goes dark to raise awareness of two bills in congress: H.R.3261 “Stop Online Piracy Act” and S.968 “PROTECT IP”, which could radically change the landscape of the Internet. These bills provide overly broad mechanisms for enforcement of copyright which would restrict innovation and threaten the existence of websites with user-submitted content, such as reddit.Please take today as a day of focus and action to learn about these destructive bills and do what you can to prevent them from becoming reality.

action of the hour educate yourself

Read the bills, review alienth’s discussion, and check out some expert summaries. See where your representatives stand on the bills and where their campaign contributions are coming from.


What is the intent of SOPA/PROTECT IP?

The stated intent of the bills is to provide tools for law enforcement and copyright holders to protect their intellectual property rights.

What’s wrong with protecting copyrights?

Nothing! The devil, as they say, is in the details. PROTECT IP and SOPA will cause too much collateral damage, have a high potential for abuse, and won’t even be that effective at stopping the crimes they target. Read alienth’s examination of where these bills fail.

I’m not in the U.S. Why does this affect me?

Many of the sites that you may use (e.g. Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, etc.) are all affected by this law and will be required to hide offending domains from you.If a non-U.S. site is blocked in the U.S., the site could suffer financially or even be bankrupted by the loss of U.S. traffic and revenue.

What are the differences between PROTECT IP and SOPA?

At a general level, the bills are very similar. SOPA, the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” is from the House of Representatives, while the PROTECT IP Act is from the Senate. Either or both bills may pass a vote in their chamber of congress on their way to becoming law. Both must be defeated to end this threat. There have recently been more detailed explanations in an ELI5 thread and alienth’s blog post.

What about ACTA?

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, is a multi-national agreement with similar goals to the U.S.-only PROTECT IP and SOPA bills. It is criticized for many of the same reasons that PROTECT IP and SOPA are, but is also concerning because it has been drafted in secret. ACTA is not the focus of this blackout but please take the time to learn more about ACTA.

I’m not a U.S. citizen. How can I help?

You can still call or e-mail the U.S. representatives (sponsors of the bills would be a good choice). However, you may want to turn your attention more towards ACTA or other over-zealous copyright bills in your country.

When will reddit be back? What should I do when it comes back?

reddit will return to normal service at 8 PM EST (0100 UTC). While our protest is temporary in nature, PROTECT IP and SOPA are not. Continue to pay attention and join the conversation in /r/SOPA when reddit returns.

More answers

Check out the /r/SOPA Community FAQ.

Learn more

Get Involved


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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.