Web Titans Contemplate "Nuclear Option" Against SOPA


The beginning of the Great American Firewall?

A tactic used by the Russian government when officials are annoyed by some online publications, human rights organizations, or political opponents is to have the police raid their headquarters to find their computers running versions of Windows for which they do not have a license. Based on this illegal use of software, the police shut them down.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would arguably give a similar power to the U.S. government to censor the internet based on findings that internet service providers are providing unlicensed access to copyrighted material. SOPA has provoked strong pushback from ISPs and users. Now it is rumored that internet titans, Amazon, Google, Twitter, and Facebook are considering a "nuclear blackout" as a way to warn Americans of the danger to internet liberty posed by SOPA. As Charlie Osborne reports at the iGeneration blog:

Wikipedia was the first to consider a blackout of their services, in order to demonstrate what SOPA could potentially do to any website that allowed user-generated content. Now, a number of sites including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon are considering coordinated downtime on their platforms.

Markham Erickson of NetCoalition recently confirmed that the extreme move was "under consideration" by the Internet companies. The director commented:

"This type of thing doesn't happen because companies typically don't want to put their users in that position. The difference is that these bills so fundamentally change the way the Internet works. People need to understand the effect this special-interest legislation will have on those who use the Internet."

The "nuclear option" will cause major Internet service providers to go simultaneously in to the dark in a coordinated effort to show their displeasure at the proposed legislation.

Frankly, I wish more companies and industries would refuse to offer their services as a way to alert their customers to other government efforts to interfere with peaceful commerce. Given sufficient warning to customers, an internet blackout day could generate a magnificent firestorm of public protest against Congress' misconceived effort to rein in internet freedom.

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  1. Now that would be some nice GAMBOL LOCKDOWN!!!

    Congress, am I free to gambol across the Internet?

  2. Do it. Shut the whole damned thing down.

    1. I’m ready.

      *checks helmet strap*

    2. I’m ready. I still have Skyrim.

  3. Kind of like a strike by those that move the world?

    1. +1

  4. an internet blackout day could generate a magnificent firestorm of public protest against Congress’ misconceived effort to rein in internet freedom.

    I give at least even odds the firestorm would be directed at teh EEEVUL CORPORASHUNS!

    1. I’m sure that the lamestream media and the pols would try to steer it that way. They’ll have no trouble tricking most of the left into buying it; some of the right will go for it too since they believe in big government too (as long as the right people run it) and would thus be uneasy at open defiance of the feds.

      1. I thought Google, Facebook and Twitter were the mainstream media these days. At least among internet users.

        Anyone who still depends on network or cable news wouldn’t care about this issue at all.

        1. Anyone who still depends on network or cable news wouldn’t care about this issue at all.

          I think they will. Granted, their reasons would be bogus. It wouldn’t be the interruption of service per se that they would care about; it would be the fact that the EEEVUL CORPORASHUNS dared to challenge our glorious and benevolent government. Why, that sort of thing could be catching!

      2. I know biggovernment.com has a beef with Google (and Ron Paul).

      3. Sadly, you’re probably right. But I don’t see how shutting down features of your own web site constitutes “open defiance” of the Federal government. I’d enjoy seeing the government try to argue that Google, Facebook, and Amazon are public utilities who should schedule their administrative downtime to meet the preferences of Congress.

    2. Not all corporations are EEEVUL, as any Occupyfag with an iPhone will tell you. The blackout should only come from those corporations that produce Stuff White People Like.

  5. I’m wondering if a considerable population anywhere within the territory of the United States is going to grow a metaphorical pair and threaten the federal scrota trying to pull this shit. It has to be big enough to make silencing them impossible.

    Pipe dream?

    1. Such coordination would be deemed terrorist activity and terminated with extreme prejudice.

      1. FEMA camps here we come!

        1. That’s not what “extreme prejudice” means.

          1. How about all the red fortresses in California, for example, unite, declare their separation from the state, and establish the Commonwealth of California, and then threaten violent secession if the federal government doesn’t repeal [a list of laws long enough to wrap the world in 200,000 times over].

            At the very least, it would be fun to watch.

            Pipe dreams, eh?

            1. Who the fuck decided that Republicans were red? I spent a minute trying to figure out why the communists in CA woudl do that.

              1. Red state/red fortress. It’s an exception to the general colloquialism.

              2. Who the fuck decided that Republicans were red?

                Who controls the media narrative?
                Yep. Team Blue. Wouldn’t want to call themselves Team Red because it’s too accurate.

                1. I think it actually started in 2000 when we had to listen to discussions of the general election for a month and everyone got red state/blue state burned into their minds. I think that both Rs and Ds both started identifying with their colors then.

                  1. Correctomundo. Before then, the networks switched out which Team was Red and which was Blue every election. Then it all kind of got nailed down during the Bush/Gore slapfight.

            2. The ‘red fortresses’ in California don’t make any money. I still fail to see why anyone on Reason has any more respect for Republicans than they have for Democrats. It makes about as much idealogical sense as why Republicans think government involvement in your bedroom is appropriate while government involvement in your fiscal life is inappropriate.

              1. Both Ron Paul and Gary Johnson are registered as Republicans. Democrats have no one.

          2. For the orphans they leave behind. Those ‘residential centers’ are known to have nice playgrounds.

    2. The good news is that if it does go through we can simply spam report basically every website online and demonstrate how fucking dumb this law is.

  6. And how would the government spin that?

    Look at these unregulated corporations who can take down the Internet any time they want. We need more power to keep them from doing that.

    I mean, it’s a nice idea, but very likely to backfire.

  7. Going Galt – I love it! The sooner the better.

  8. As much as I like their resistance to SOPA, I would fear that a blackout would make users mad at them, and not the government. But it’s at least worth a try.

    1. I am sure if it ever happens it won’t be a shut down and more of a delay.

      Like a pop up page on google that has a 10 second timer with a message that says “The government want to do this to all your favorite websites…the difference is that it would not be on a timer but would be forever. Say no to a government shut down of the internet. Say no to SOPA”

    2. Which I find to be humorous, in those cases where the service is being provided for free.

      If you’ve ever released free software, I will wager that you’ve found, however counter-intuitive it may initially be, that those who use it for free are generally, and markedly, more demanding, and oftentimes, downright impetuous in their manner. It’s the paying customers who understand that software is less a product, and more of a perpetual ongoing collaboration between the developers and the users. Freeloaders, by definition, have missed that concept.

      1. Yes, I have experienced the demanding nature of people who have gotten software for free or for a low price, and it can be pretty ridiculous, though I disagree that paying customers understand better. Customers who have to pay for your time understand better, because bothering you costs them money. Customers who can pester you for nothing will of course do so constantly, and the best are people who cannot understand the difference between your software and the OS and will pester you when they have a problem completely unrelated to your software, because it’s all the same to them.

        1. Of course, the best are of this form:


          1. Years ago, I had a small company which built custom home PCs for customers. That shit became so painful that I had to give it up, because a customer would buy a computer from you, and then anything–anything–having to do with that computer became your responsibility in their eyes.

            They installed some software and it’s not working? They would call me and demand that I “fix it”. Do something retarded and delete your drivers for a peripheral? My responsibility. And no matter how much you tried to explain that it had nothing whatsoever to do with what I sold them, they don’t want to know because they’ve got no one else.

            This is why there are no more mom & pop computer shops, because the margin is already miniscule, and adding customer service on top of that makes it so only large companies can handle it.

            1. And at this point, anyone with a half a clue can put together their own PC.

              1. But so few people have half a clue…

              2. lol… no way man.

              3. I’ll do better than that. I not only build my own computers but I run Linux. I have never bought anything microsoft and have zero plans in doing so. I have lots of friends that have windows of some kind and are always having trouble with something. Linux rarely gives me any problems. Another thing, no need for a license either. You can download Linux and install it as many times as you like. It doesn’t matter if it is friends, family or complete strangers.

        2. Also, to your point, I should have qualified that it also depends highly on the price point of your offering. In the $1K+ range, I find that you generally get pretty good customers.

          1. “Please to send the code on how to do $SCHOOL_PROJECT right now.”

      2. 0x90, the very same dynamic is on display in our emergency room. The correlation between demanding, defiant, immature patients and Medicaid/nopay patients is very high.

        1. This. I can tell you with about 98% accuracy (total guess, I don’t have actual stats to back up that claim) if an ER patient is on Medicaid by their chief complaint.

          Runny nose and cough = Medicaid

          Compound Fx or deep lac = probably private insurance or self-pay.

  9. Sounds like Atlas is cracking his neck, but he hasn’t decided whether or not to shrug yet.

    1. That’s fine line Progressives are always trying to walk: The line between a burden Atlas will tolerate and a burden Atlas will drop.

  10. I say go for it. In fact, I think they should do one better. Each company should blackout all government computers until the legislation is officially killed. Once millions of federal employees can no longer surf facebook/amazon/google at work, this bill will die quickly.

    1. What government agency uses a private ISP?

  11. This is terrorism! I have a right to use the internet and the things on it. The government needs to force doctors, uh, I mean, websites, to give me their services and comply with the regulations said government sets!

    1. Yeah! And I have a right to a house too! Who cares if I can’t afford it? The government can underwrite my loan.

      Don’t forget education! Those teachers owe me a high quality education for free. In fact, I shouldn’t even have to study.

      1. inorite. This is 2012, and I still have to work to get the things I deserve?

        1. The only thing I should have to work for are golden eggs and achievement points…

  12. Am I the only one that thinks that Google et al. is taking a page from the end of Atlas Shrugged here? I don’t even like Rand, but the similarity is uncanny.

    1. You should have read the other comments.

  13. A tactic used by the Russian government when officials are annoyed by some online publications, human rights organizations, or political opponents is to have the police raid their headquarters to find their computers running versions of Windows for which they do not have a license. Based on this illegal use of software, the police shut them down.

    To which they switched to Ubuntu.

    1. I’m sure the Russian gov’t could still “find out” you were using an illegal copy of Windows.

      1. Maybe they all carry a drop PC?

        1. It’s a 386 running Windows 3.1.

          Can you even get a license for that anymore?

          1. Not once they uploaded lobsters take over.

    1. “and the lion shall lay down with the lamb”

      Prophesy fulfilled!!
      The internet is Heaven on earth!!

  14. It would backfire. Congresscritters won’t like a massive demonstration like that showing the power they currently don’t have over the internet. They would soon get that power one way or another.

    1. $10 says the attorney general is already investigating discussions about this between Google, twitter et al for anti-trust violations.

  15. The deer likes the taste of the yummy kitty. He dreams of being a carnivore.

  16. Oooh, it’s a Corporate Puppet-Handler Smackdown!

    The RIAA, the MPAA, Time-Warner, Sony, and Disney work their government puppets to create SOPA, and the big Internet corporations (Amazon, Google, etc.) try to slip their hands in their own government puppets and fight back!

    I’ll just get a big bucket of fully-licensed popcorn and watch. It’s like Punch and Judy, except they’re wearing expensive suits.

    If SOPA isn’t proof that government now moves its ass only for corporations, I don’t know what is. What’s that, Senator Puppet? We need to bail out Dreamworks and Lucasfilm because they’ve lost so much money on bootleg DVDs? Harumph harumph, on the double, my good man!

    1. It is. Think about it. No entity in the world does more damage to Republicans than Hollywood. Yet, with a little cash lots of Republican law makers are willing to do their bidding. Republicans should be behind this bill. Fuck Hollywood. Their going broke is a feature not a bug. Instead they are doing their bidding because they will do anything for a buck.

    2. I have to agree with you. It’s telling that the two most egregious pieces of legislation in recent memory are 1) giving the president the power to kill American citizens without trial, and 2) destroying the freedom of the internet for Hollywood’s sake.

      Those are the things that are important to Congress: giving the government unlimited power, and pleasing the entities that have them bought and paid for.

      1. How can you forget me and my older brother SARBOX?

    3. I can’t complain about that. Stable government is all about keeping competing factions at each others’ throats. Google may be my ally today and my opponent tomorrow. They operate out of self-interest, like everyone else.

  17. I would love when all the TV radio and print news organizations would also have to shut down…exposing in blinding detail how 90% of their crap is cut and pasted direct from the internet.

    1. No more youtube clips on CNN? GASP!

  18. It’s the only way to be sure.

  19. MARTA cop charged with child molestation

    A MARTA police officer has been charged with child molestation and child exploitation, DeKalb police said Thursday.

    Willie Clarence Lee Jr., 46, was arrested Jan. 4, two days after a babysitter found “disturbing” text messages and a pornographic image on the phone of a 14-year-old DeKalb girl, police said in a press release.

    Investigators believe Lee, who used to date a family member of the girl, has abused the girl during a 5-year period.

    The Clayon County Police Department assisted DeKalb in the investigation.

    MARTA has placed Lee on administrative leave.

    And nothing else happened.


    1. In a just universe, the last lin would be, “The girl’s father tracked down Mr. Lee and gave his sorry ass the thrashing of his life.”

      1. …tied him to a MARTA track and let the train do the work.

      2. Sexually abusing a child = administrative leave?

        Steve Smith should have been a cop.

        1. Sexually abusing a child = administrative leave?

          Hey, as far as we know, that leave is without pay!

        2. Arrested for a crime=guilty of said crime?

          Res Publica Americana should have been a Cardassian.

    2. I’m pretty sure administrative = paid.

      Diddle a kid, get a vacation! Woot!

  20. Mozilla has an anti-SOPA thing going too, for anyone who’s interested:


    I never sign stuff like that (not that I matter as I can’t vote) but I did sign this one as this sucks so immensely. They don’t email spam you too bad and you get alerts when there’s some (usually easy) action you can take. I really hope government assholes don’t ruin our beloved internet.

    1. See my link above. The internet must be destroyed.

      1. The cuteness burns my jaded heart like soft, cuddly acid.

        Oh, and I just emailed my senators for the first time in my life to ask them to vote no on this shit. How will they know I’m a dirty furriner whose opinions don’t matter? (Well, maybe because my goddamn ingrained politeness didn’t permit me to go beyond ‘strongly worded’ in expressing my contempt for them and basically everything they have done in their wretched lives.)

        1. When I’m pissed off at politicians, I usually just buy guns or gun accessories. It does the same amount of good as writing strongly worded letters, but at least I get to have more gun-smell in my house.

          1. That could get expensive.

            On a related note, I think I’m about due for a new gun.

            1. I just wasted some money putting a folding stock on my AR-180. It’s now much cooler. Money well wasted.

            2. I have so many rail mounts on my jumped up M1A that you could run a passenger train on it. I’m thinking I need a flashlight mount.

              It already has a retractable stock. Although trying to shoot a .308 without a good shoulder weld is pretty pointless. I’m told.

          2. When I lived in Tallahassee it was a hobby of mine to call my local representative’s (Allen Boyd) office at least twice a week to suggest ways he could improve his job performance.

            One of my favorites was the time I pointed out that Tallahassee Community College offered a course on the US Constitution, and I even offered to cover Mr. Boyd’s tuition.

        2. This is why people should have to show a state ID in order to contact Senators. Illegals like you deserve no voice.

    2. Why can’t you vote? Because you’re a conscientous objector? Or because you’re a woman?

      P.S. Good for Mozilla, and this would’ve mattered if it were still 2007.

      1. Non-citizen. But I like to let people guess in case they think I’m some kind of dangerous felon.

        1. Fry: What party do you belong to, Bender?

          Bender: I’m not allowed to vote.

          Fry: ‘Cause you’re a robot?

          Bender: No, convicted felon.

      2. Because she’s a Morlock. Or maybe Canadian, I always mix those up.

      3. Dagny is from Canuckistan.

      4. She’s a maple-sucking puckslapper.

        1. You would think a highly trained mole like her would have renounced her citizenship already. But maybe she is doing that because she knows that that is what we would expect her to do.

          Very sneaky.

        2. You’re a mint julep-guzzling jockey fucker. (What? Next time maybe you should come from a state that does something other than the Derby.)

          1. There’s always basketball

  21. I am definitely taking a sick day on blackout day. Can’t work with my exobrain turned off.

    1. Junky!!!1

      1. No, you don’t understand. At this point in my career as a coder, I can’t actually write code anymore, I just remember how to google the bits I need when I need them. I would be literally unable to work if I had to remember how to actually code.

        1. This is true. “Oh shit, what was the exact syntax for a SELECT INTO statement again”? Or “why is this fucking LINQ GroupBy statement making the Intellisense scream at me?”

          Without internet, I’d be fucked.

          1. What was that flag I need to set to make ffmpeg work, again?

    1. “Sorry I’m late!”

      Let us hope to god that doesn’t mean you are pregnant.

  22. Well, I’ll reserve judgment until I hear what Rage Against the Machine, Michael Moore and Henry Rollins have to say about all this SOPA stuff.

    Oh, so, uh, speaking of persons who make money from denouncing the very things that support them (I won’t use the “H” word), yeah, I know it’s kind of Off-Topic, but….

    I hear Ron Paul earned about a million bucks from his various newsletters, you know, the ones he never wrote or read. Is that true? Not that it matters, of course, because when you poop gold nuggets (non FDIC-insured, mind you), you poop gold nuggets! I mean, who cares, right? Next we’re going to New Hampshire, then South Carolina, then….. Yaaaooow!

    1. I refer all comment readers to this for a definition of non-sequitur.

      1. He’s a Santorum fan. In both senses of the word.

    2. You kind of had me going with the point about various Hollywood douches. But I can’t figure what the hell Ron Paul’s newsletters have to do with this.

    3. Not enough non-proper noun capitalization, no bracket. Gentleman’s C.

      1. Linking Ron Paul with Howard Dean was a nice touch, though. C+

  23. I’ve already disconnected my Internet.

  24. Unfortunately I have to take a nuanced but dissenting opinion. SOPA is certainly government overreach (user uploaded content should not create liabilities for the hosting company if they are attempting to control piracy in good faith). But contrary to many here at Reason, I do believe copyrighted materials deserve legal protection.

    Look, just because a store places merchandise outside of their theft detectors and that merchandise is easy to shoplift doesn’t mean stealing that merchandise isn’t a violation of the owners’ rights.

    Likewise just because film or music content can be easily uploaded and downloaded doesn’t mean distributing someone else’s content that they put labor and capital into isn’t a form of theft. Sure, it may be minor, but many people are trying to make their livings off that content. “Going Galt” could be musicians, actors, producers, etc. stopping production of music and film to protest piracy and theft of their content by freeloaders.

    But if, as I do, you believe it’s the role of the government to protect individuals from theft, enabling torts against the users who upload the content illegally would be justified, and I think content owners should be able to subpoena the hosting companies to get information about these users and file lawsuits against the users.

    Torts would be preferable to censorship and criminal charges for enforcement, and there needs to be a clarification as to what counts as “piracy” – for instance, I don’t think low-quality streaming-only content is in the same ballpark as carbon-copy torrents for download.

    As one of those “content creators” I like my stuff being streamed (for promotion) but not downloaded (costing me a sale). I’d suggest copyright owners stream more content, copy-protect their physical materials if possible, build mutual relationships with hosting companies and sue illegal torrent uploaders.

    1. Maybe your business model just isn’t viable anymore? Maybe the internet has made selling content alone no longer viable?

      Take music for instance. It wasn’t always possible to make millions writing music. In the 17th and 18th Century you went to work for a Cathedral (see Bach) or a rich person (see Mozart) and wrote and performed music for them. Musicians and writers were working class artisans. It wasn’t until the publishing business arose that writers and musicians got rich. Why does that have to exist forever?

      You can make a living writing or making music without selling books and CDS. You perform live. you have a website and sell advertising on the site. Will you be a gazzillionaire? No. But you will make a living.

      From my perspective, I care that art get made. I don’t care if the artist gets rich. And if the price of making sure artists get rich is the government controlling the internet, nothing personal against artists, but no thanks.

      1. It’s certainly true that many musicians make their living off live shows while barely earning anything from record sales. In fact, this has long been the traditional major label model, where they make 6 cents a record or some miniscule number.

        I’m both a musician and a record label owner who would continue to make and produce music if I never made a single cent from it. One could argue enjoyment of making music should be enough, and could rightly point out that it’s easier to market and sell music for independent musicians than ever before. The ease of streaming and distribution generates buzz that sells records and MP3s. Many people feel guilty about torrenting someone else’s hard work, as they should.

        Still, other people don’t have the right to steal and distribute it without my permission, or to profit from replicating the content without compensating me. I put my labor and hard-earned capital into its creation, like any other tangible product’s creator or seller.

        You bring up Mozart and Beethoven – they had sponsors who compensated them fairly for their content and performance. They had publishers that compensated them and their estate for performances of their materials.

        Is it justifiable for one person to buy one copy of my CD, sell torrents or copies of it for a fraction of my cost (or give them away for nothing), start a superior tribute band with the exact same name to perform my songs verbatim without compensating me for my talent, labor, trademark and capital? Say I make $6 or whatever from the CD sale and he makes millions, puts me out of business because he can provide the same content cheaper than I can because he had no costs to produce the original content itself. Do I have cause for a tort?

        Either there’s non-tangible content as property or there isn’t. If I can, by law, claim royalties on content streamed or downloaded that I own the copyright to, I should be able to claim damages from those who stream or download content without my permission. If non-tangible property doesn’t exist, then piracy is affirmed as a right and content producers would have no incentive to produce, market and distribute any product.

        Affirming piracy as a right would be a slippery slope that would logically cross over into tangible property and other natural rights, since the line of morality becomes vague and subjective.

        1. “I’m both a musician and a record label owner”

          Who apparently can’t see past his own self interest when he’s fundamentally wrong.

          1. Insult, not an argument.

        2. “Still, other people don’t have the right to steal”

          Agreed, they have no right to physically obtain your copies.

          However, since downloading isn’t stealing, I fail to see how that’s relevant to this discussion.

          By the way, you’ll never get to do that. You can try all you like, but you will never get to shove your remixed, self-serving definition of “theft” and “stealing” down our throats without being corrected on your mistake.

          So knock it off.

          1. What is the difference between the physical and digital copies? Both required equivalent capital and labor to produce the content if not the physical manufacture.

            Claiming that the content in one is my property and the other is not, especially when the law agrees with me that the latter is (and gives me the right to collect royalties from distributions and replications of my content), requires a stronger argument than “you’re wrong.”

          2. “downloading isn’t stealing”

            This is just incorrect. It’s newspeak. Legally AND ethically.

        3. “It’s certainly blah blah rent seeking blah blah and subjective.”

          Next time just save us all a boring, logically deficient justification of your untenable position.

          1. Insult, not an argument.

        4. I’d put it this way. The person doing the stealing isn’t the person downloading, it’s the person who uploaded the content without your permission in the first place.

          To use you bike analogy, it’s more like, you didn’t just leave you bike unlocked outside, you loaned it to a friend who left it unlocked in the community access yellowbike rack.

          Alternatively, suppose you give a bag of money to a friend under a license that he not distribute, and he proceeds to go out to the town square and toss handfulls of gold coins around the park. Surely you cannot blame individuals for picking up the money that is lying on the ground, even if they know (on some level) that it was stolen.

          Or maybe another example, closer ot the rapid replicatibility of digital content. Suppose you have a patented see stock. Someone buys the seed under an agreement not to grow a crop and save the seed and the sell it to others (common enough for GMO crops). He does it anyway. Do you arrest the guy selling the seed, or the guy who buys it from him?

          1. I’m not really for torts against the downloaders/streamers or uninvolved site hosts, just the content uploaders (and even then, only really when they make the content available for download – not interested in prosecuting streamers, which does not transfer “ownership” of the content to the viewee). The downloaders are not necessarily responsible to know that the content provider was or wasn’t me, the owner, and can operate under the good faith assumption that the content uploaders are following the law and the site rules.

            If Bob uploads my software to download.com without my permission and it is downloaded a million times, I have the right to claim damages from Bob equivalent to lost sales of some percentage decided by a jury (assumption that many of the downloaders would not have purchased the software had it not been provided for free.) Whether he profited or not from the upload, he caused damages to my company via his illegal distribution of my content, which he has either been explicitly warned about on the packaging was illegal and/or agreed to a user service contract not to do so.

            1. Speaking of which, perhaps music and film producers should somehow change their technology to make the purchaser agree to a contract not to illegally distribute the music/film content prior to use. In this sense, torts against illegal uploaders become breach of contract cases that are clearer to adjudicate. I do think there are certainly free market solutions to the problem that don’t involve government internet crackdowns.

    2. But contrary to many here at Reason, I do believe copyrighted materials deserve legal protection.

      Me, too. But SOPA is like protecting people against burglary by giving cops RPGs and Warthogs.

      1. SOPA is like arresting a petty thief’s landlord who owns the garage the thief stored the stolen goods in, and who likely wouldn’t have known the goods existed in the garage and were stolen. And then seizing the house via asset forfeiture without a trial.

    3. “just because film or music content can be easily uploaded and downloaded doesn’t mean distributing someone else’s content that they put labor and capital into isn’t a form of theft. ”

      Sadly for you, that’s is pretty much exactly what it means.

      Your side has had this argument with my side for years, and you lose every single time.

      1. So by your logic a $3000 bike left insufficiently secured outside a store is fair game to steal – because it’s easy to do so? If I leave my door open, do you have the right to come inside and help yourself to whatever you want?

        If stealing should be legal on the basis that it’s easy to do, you’ve opened a can of worms that leaves individual rights open to highly subjective interpretation.

        1. You keep repeating the same fallacy. By Nope’s logic, someone could come and make a copy of a $3000 bike and keep the copy, and it would not amount to theft. Because it’s not theft. Because the original bike is still there. It has nothing to do with how easy it is.

  25. I suggest a government blackout day where they refuse to offer any of their “services” for a day…

    1. But they’ll count it as “administrative leave” so they continue to get paid.

  26. How’s this for a real nuclear option: Google, et al., announce that they will cease all contributions to the Obama Re-Election Fund unless and until he vetoes SOPA.

    1. Whereupon Google, et al. discover that they are being audited by the IRS and investigated for anti-trust violations.

  27. I’d totally support the downtime… but it better include a message that it was caused by the Obama Administration and SOPA. Maybe they’d also consider protesting the even more dangerous NDAA (passed on New Year’s Eve so you wouldn’t notice)?

  28. Out of curiosity, what are the chances that SOPA will pass?

    Holding ISPs responsible for content distributed by other people’s websites seems like an insane thing to try to do.

    Might this bill not be one of the “bring back the draft” exercises that perennially crops up whenever the US is engaged in a military conflict? Some rhetorical exercise that stands no chance of getting out of committee?

  29. If my ISP blacks out, I’d better not have to pay for that time.

  30. This sounds like political speech by big corporations to me, and everybody knows how evil that is.

  31. OK wow, these guys really know what the deal is. Wow.


  32. “”Frankly, I wish more companies and industries would refuse to offer their services as a way to alert their customers to other government efforts to interfere with peaceful commerce.””

    Me too. I’ve been waiting for the day tobacco companies stop selling to vendors in states that grossly over taxes their product.

  33. I’m sure these web sites will not protest long. They rely on ad revenue.

  34. Boy oh Boy, go after it guys, pull a John Galt on the Government Regulators, and then maybe we all can get together and throw all the rascals out of office and replace them with real honest-to-goodness AMERICANS who will follow the Constitution!

  35. Forget a blackout. Any pols that support this nonsense should be ostracized by the net. Revoke their facebook accounts. Block there websites in search engines. Why should the rest of us suffer?

  36. Perhaps artists will begin to self-promote/self-publish without the need of major record labels. Perhaps it is time the entertainment monoliths were torn down to make way for user driven content rather than whatever old familiar recipe the current industry uses to make a few dollars. These companies don’t promote the artist, they promote a product, as a result the artist is immaterial. It’s time that model goes away.

  37. Rupert “Hack a dead girl’s cell phone” Murdoch tweeted that he likes Romney. This implies Romney supports SOPA. So what say you, super consultant?

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