The Wild Hunt Stands in Solidarity With the SOPA/PIPA Blackout

The Wild Hunt Stands in Solidarity With the SOPA/PIPA Blackout January 17, 2012

While my hosts here at aren’t participating in the SOPA/PIPA blackout initiative, I will refrain from posting news today until 8pm (PST), January 18th, in solidarity with this cause. Here’s some information on why.


What is SOPA?

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, H.R. 3261) is on the surface a bill that attempts to curb online piracy. Sadly, the proposed way it goes about doing this would devastate the online economy and the overall freedom of the web. It would particularly affect sites with heavy user generated content. Sites like Youtube, Reddit, Twitter, and others may cease to exist in their current form if this bill is passed.

What is PIPA?

The Protect IP Act (PIPA, S. 968) is SOPA’s twin in the Senate. Under current DMCA law, if a user uploads a copyrighted movie to sites like Youtube, the site isn’t held accountable so long as they provide a way to report user infringement. The user who uploaded the movie is held accountable for their actions, not the site. PIPA would change that – it would place the blame on the site itself, and would also provide a way for copyright holders to seize the site’s domain in extreme circumstances.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation laid out four excellent points as to why the bills are not only dangerous, but are also not effective for what they are trying to accomplish:

  • The blacklist bills are expensive. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that PIPA alone would cost the taxpayers at least $47 million over 5 years, and could cost the private sector many times more. Those costs would be carried mostly by the tech industry, hampering growth and innovation.
  • The blacklist bills silence legitimate speech. Rightsholders, ISPs, or the government could shut down sites with accusations of infringement, and without real due process.
  • The blacklist bills are bad for the architecture of the Internet. But don’t take our word for it: see the open letters that dozens of the Internet’s concerned creators have submitted to Congress about the impact the bills would have on the security of the web.
  • The blacklist bills won’t stop online piracy. The tools these bills would grant rightsholders are like chainsaws in an operating room: they do a lot of damage, and they aren’t very effective in the first place. The filtering methods might dissuade casual users, but they would be trivial for dedicated and technically savvy users to circumvent.


The Wild Hunt supports a free Internet, and so should you! More on this here, and here.

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16 responses to “The Wild Hunt Stands in Solidarity With the SOPA/PIPA Blackout”

  1. For the life of me, I cannot get the SOPA blackout script to work on my Blogger. If anyone participating w/Blogger knows exactly where in the HTML I need to place it, your help would be greatly appreciated. I got the last SOPA protest banner to work, but this script only gives me errors. :/

  2. So let me get this correct. PIPA makes it so a site can have their domain seized by a copyright holder? I see a whole new form of internet piracy being born in that. All you have to do is simply upload your own copyrighted content to a website you don’t own via a hijacked internet connection, lije a hotel wireless connection, and then launch a lawsuit against the site for their domain…. AND MAYBE CASH. Imagine the extortion opportunities in setting website owners up and then telling them for a nominal fee, you’ll not sue them and take their site.

  3. Thank you, Jason. This is a very well written explanation of why we have to stop this terrible legislation. I’ve shared it on my FB.

  4. Gotta love our government , trying to fix a minor problem with a big , nasty friggin sledge hammer , when a small tap would do . This screwed up legislation needs to be stopped , way to go Jason .

  5. There are other ways of looking at this issue. Jason Lanier has an Op Ed in today’s NY Times that questions the current groupthink driving the opposition to SOPA: He makes a lot of sense and I urge everyone involved to read it. I’m not saying he’s “right,” only that there is a rational position on this issue that needs to be considered.

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