Support charity, get puzzles!
Patron Puzzles for Philanthropy

This is not a puzzle.

I don't normally consider myself an activist for things (I associate activism with annoying the crap out of people who disagree with you and making them hate you forever), but this is a rare and notable exception.

The United States Congress is discussing two bills called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PROTECT IP). From my understanding of this bill, as presented by some guy in the United Kingdom(!), if either bill passes, Google could very well be forced to take down Blogger because of the mere potential for people to use it to infringe copyrights, thanks to some very vague definitions of what constitutes a rogue site. This will mark the death of Web 2.0, and more particularly, this will mark the death of my blog. (It will also mark the death of Thomas Snyder's blog and Palmer Mebane's blog, but nobody cares about those, right?) I really hope to learn more about these bills so I can be rational and not irrational, because if these bills are indeed as bad as I hear, then rational people will be better at getting the message out than irrational ones, but if you care about my blog's existence, please learn as much as you can about SOPA and PROTECT IP, act on the information, and encourage others to do the same.

I only discovered Nikoli and became the skilled logicsmith that I am today as a result of reading Zotmeister's blog, which wouldn't have existed without the innovations of Web 2.0. I cannot allow these bills to be passed if they would threaten this freedom of expression.

9 comments

Thomas Snyder said...

I certainly share your views on the danger of SOPA, but I'm not one to speculate too far into the future about how paradigms will shift as innovative individuals always find means of expression. I'm not long for livejournal anyway, so when I start posting on my own publishing site, maybe I won't be a rogue site anymore. You'd be welcome there too.

Grant Fikes said...

Thomas: Just make sure you remove the epic win that is you (out)doing the NYT Ken-Ken. Some evil company could call your first post from that copyright infringement, and block your site forever! :P

Zotmeister said...

Easiest apropos anagram ever:
SOPA = A P.O.S.
But then again,
PRO-SOPA = APROPOS
so what do anagrams know.

I hate getting political as well, but we sort of need to. I think SOPA is a horribly bad idea as it is currently being considered - it is far too abusable, basically empowering the bully. Ultimately, though, I think the worst thing about SOPA is how the threat of it is distracting everybody: the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has already been signed into law. Frankly, the potential loss of freedom of expression doesn't worry me even remotely as much as the loss of freedom of freedom that that has opened the door to.

I agree with what E. D. Kain said a month ago - which incidentally is pretty much the same thing Greg Hill put to print back in 1965: We need to get politicians to stop thinking in terms of order-versus-chaos and start thinking in terms of creation-versus-destruction. It's been all-destruction for far too long. We need more civil-liberty supporters in office, regardless of their left/right ideology. - ZM

Grant Fikes said...

Zotmeister: Intellectual property laws need to exist to encourage creativity, but the problem is that far too often they are abused by rich bullies to maintain a monopoly and milk every last dollar out of their property rather than letting it go into the public domain to encourage derivative creativity. For longer than this blog has been alive, my least favorite abuse of copyright law has been the copyright status of "Happy Birthday to You". >.<

I'll try to read over SOPA and PIPA to verify for myself that these are indeed evil laws and the public isn't just misinterpreting things, but it'd be nice to be told specifically which parts to pay closest attention to.

Anuraag Sahay said...

Activism brings people together.Keep it up.

Grant Fikes said...

Anuraag: As this is a logic puzzle blog, I plan to keep politics and other distractions from logic puzzles to a minimum, especially when they involve political issues where people on opposite sides of the political isle might disagree and spark a nasty debate. I just felt that SOPA and PIPA are a threat to this very blog's existence, making this issue extremely relevant.

prasannaseshadri said...

I agree to that, the post is completely relevant. I'd be extremely displeased if they take down Web 2.0. This bill should not be passed.

Anuraag Sahay said...

Grant,where did i say that the post was not relevant? I was glad you brought the issue up and wrote something.I just showed the positive side of what you called as 'activism'.We are all innovative and
we can find logic paths to realize our intentions of displaying work.
Keep blogging

Grant Fikes said...

Anuraag: I don't think I ever insinuated that anybody thought this post isn't relevant. I'm merely explaining why you probably won't see any posts on divisive issues, like abortion, that aren't relevant to this blog's very specific scope.

Blog Archive