Today, a large number of websites are going dark for 24 hours in protest against two bills which are up in Congress. These bills, allegedly aimed at curbing piracy, are the result of a clueless entertainment industry which was notably slothlike in dealing with the digital era, being too concerned with making as much money as possible as quickly as possible without spending any to protect its copyrighted materials.
I, too, am concerned with this, since it has eaten away at my ability to make a living, mostly indirectly. But the way the industry is dealing with this, by attempting to enact large-scale censorship and punitive measures against ISPs, is so ham-fisted and, ultimately, destructive to what the Internet is and has been, that it deserves as much resistance as possible.
I'm not blacking out this site today. Part of the reason is that I'm in France, and most of this wouldn't affect me if it passes. France has its own silly Internet censorship problems, mostly related to torrent downloading. The other part of the reason is kind of embarrassing: I got the code to do it, but I just spent 30 minutes digging around the guts of this blog and can't find the place where Blogger has stashed the raw HTML.
You can sign Google's petition here, and read about this all over the place. I signed the petition, and I figure that's better than the symbolic action of blocking out this site for a day. Now it's your turn.
10 months ago