back to article Mozilla stirs netizens against US anti-piracy law

Mozilla is rallying netizens to take action against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), otherwise known as the internet blacklist legislation. Mozilla's urging people to spread the word about the damage SOPA - better known as known as H.R.3261 - could cause to the internet and free speech. As well as its Protect the …


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  1. Anonymous Cowerd

    am I missing something?

    It was signed by Google, AOL, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo! and Zynga.

    Why single out Mozilla?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: am I missing something?

      Moz's anti-SOPA site is just one of the SOPA articles we've published this week.


    2. Ammaross Danan


      Because Mozilla made their "welcome to Firefox" start page display info about this Act.

      In other news, what will Tankspot do without Project Marmot???

  2. Mectron

    jail the real criminals

    The solutionto this whole problem is the shutdown of the two of the most dangerous terrorist organisation in the know universe: MPAA/RISAA. they are the root of the problem. The MPAA/RIAA have destroyed the live of more amercians then any terrorist group and world war ever did COMBINED.

    The MPAA for exemble break the law on a hourly basis. enough to send every to work there to jail for live.

    The MPAA/RIAA NEED TO BE SHUTDOWN and they piracy will then be viewed for what it really is a mere annoyance that have ZERO impact on sales.

    1. Ru

      Ageing Troll Is Decrepit

      Good work on ratcheting up the poor spelling and hyperbole another step, though. Most dangerous terrorists in the universe, eh? Who'd have thought.

    2. Turtle


      Look, you *need* to take your meds, understand? Unless you want them to put you, well, you know.

  3. Conrad Longmore


    I've grown to like the DMCA over the years, especially because it formalizes a very reasonable takedown process for copyrighted material. Yes, it can be abused.. but if you are a small-scale content provider without deep pockets, then it can be a godsend. Non-US citizens can also file DMCA complaints if the service provider is in the US.

    Every system gets abused, and the DMCA is certainly one of those. But SOPA is nuts.

  4. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I suspect this is all to little, too late. For once I really, really, hope I'm wrong.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    would it not be easier to....

    put up a firewall around the USA and block out all the rest of the world from it, so all the nasty criminal activity wont be accessed by all the innocent impressionable Americans???

    actually it would be a really good idea, along with a full trade embargo and communications blackout.

    the crazy yanks could then be free to destroy themselves and their morally impoverished economy without taking out the rest of the world with them...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The US has no democracy while the entire legislature is in the back pocket of corporates. Unfortunately, this means that neither does the rest of the world.

  7. (AMPC) Anonymous and mostly paranoid coward

    If it looks and smells like censorship, it probably is.

    At first read, it looks like another bunch of headline-seeking politicos who will try, once again, to shut the barn door after the horse has bolted. In fact, it is much worse.

    The most interesting thing is the very marked extra-territorial character of the proposed bill (I guess "foreign-infringing sites" will become the 21st century's version of "yellow devils", "Godless reds" or "Fifth Column").

    Under DCMA, sites hosted within a US Jurisdiction could be "taken down" for various infrîngments. In theory that was OK, but in practice it probably just moved any serious infringers somewhere else. A similar phenomenon occurred when drug-trafficking was more or less squelched within Columbia by the local military and American money. The drug barons simply relocated northwards to Mexico (where they could benefit from NAFTA and be much closer to their main market).

    But under DCMA, sites outside of a US Jurisdiction cannot be directly shut down by US authorities (no jurisdiction, you see). So this leaves only one other way to stop these naughty web sites. You must filter them so that users within a US Jurisdiction can no longer access their evil content.

    Well IANAL, but this sounds an awful lot like what the Chinese and other freedom-loving goverments do whenever someone's expressed opinions that displease them. Personally, I think this is a real, alive and kicking, loudly-quacking, gold-plated attempt at net censorship. I would argue that It is being proposed by a self-absorbed, misguided nanny state that now thinks it knows what is best for its inmates (and some corporate interest groups).

    This bill will never prevent any dedicated wikileaks whistle-blower or downloader from doing his thing for very long (the obvious focus of this idiotic legislative proposal) but it could allow the Attorney General to seek a court injunction against ISPs, domain name holders, telcos (and possibly many others) and force them to restrict any incoming traffic that they the government (for and by the people) cannot touch themselves (i.e. they will take sites down logically instead of physically). In a single swoop, every netizen can be presumed guilty of thought crime. A site that sometimes criticizes public officials (like this one) and then maybe links you to sites that MIGHT have infringed somebody's copyright (like You Tube) can now either be prosecuted or banned from Amerikan distribution. I don't really want to see a take-down notice on the Register or any other web site I visit, but apparently some people think that is what it will take to improve record sales.

    So NO, I don't like the sound of this at all. It will breed an entire new category of cyber-criminals. The new cyber criminals will be all the many netizens who now must find better and easier ways to work around this law after deserting the soon-to-be shuttered You-Tubes and other fellow traveller web sites in their deperate quest to watch rock videos and old Star-trek episodes for free.

    American legislators should not be wasting their energy protecting companies with out-dated business models that can't or won't accept a new wired world (with all of its warts and growing pains). This new world holds a lot of promise for the future (and some sorely needed creative destruction). The US legislators would be better off spending money laying fiber everywhere and letting the cyber chips fall where they may. Then people might stop occupying Wall Street and start building businesses again.

    1. Charles 9

      But that's what they WANT.

      They WANT to control your lives. This is 1984 through the back door, and since the "monied powers" hold all the aces, there's very little you can do about it. Even the Occupy movements are starting to be trumped by sheer force. Barring an unprecedented uprising or riot (which may just be quelled by the National Guard--remember Kent State), all the protesting in the world is going to do is suck savings accounts dry (since the protesters are not working).

      The ballot? Already rigged. No honest candidate will even get a toe in the proverbial door. All an election does now, to paraphrase a certain British comic book artist, is to determine who's going to screw us next.

      In the worst case, there may even be a few deep down who would WELCOME a natural disaster removing a chunk of the American population: less rabble to clean up, after all. Their answer to anyone complaining would be, "Curl up somewhere and DIE already."

      So unless there's some miraculous enlightenment somewhere, about the only way the USA won't get flushed down the crapper is (ironically) some form of absolute ruler coming along and saying, "OK, this is what we're gonna do, and we're doing it NOW!" It has to be something with absolute force or the status quo will find a way to blunt it.

  8. Daniel B.

    Google should follow suit

    Make a Google doodle saying "SOPA Act - Applying Chinese Censorship in America, Act NOW!" or something like that would wake up public conciousness on a large segment of the population and would bring public opinion against this crap bill.

    As it stands, only the tech bubbles know about it. It has to be known by the American public before the MAFIAA breaks the intertubez!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SOPA means "stick", in Turkish.

    Very apt name. As in, carrot and the stick. Without the carrot.

    Also,"showing someone a "sopa"" means threatening (to beat) that someone.

  10. Eddy Ito

    Wow, draconian is being kind

    Who would have called that? I feel Eric Schmidt is not only right but understating it a bit.

    May I point to SOPA Sec. 201: "Streaming of Copyrighted Works in Violation of Criminal Law" which states: "(a) CRIMINAL INFRINGEMENT. (1) IN GENERAL.-Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed- (A) for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain;"

    Granted section 2319 of title 18 ranges from a fine to a decade in the clink or both but being a potential felony, does anyone want to bet their voting and other citizen rights on whether "private financial gain" means not having to spend $12.99 to watch 62 seconds of the DVD? Before you answer, may I point out section 101 of title 17: "The term “financial gain” includes receipt, or expectation of receipt, of anything of value, including the receipt of other copyrighted works."

    In short, you watched it, you lose, expect to hear the sound of jackboots on your doorstep at 3:45 in the morning... oh, and half an ice day.

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