1. 2012

    Letters to Congress

    I sent the following messages to my Congressional representatives today:

    • To Bob Casey (D-PA), who currently supports PIPA

      I’m writing to say that as a constituent, I strongly oppose the PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA), S. 968. While I understand the need to protect intellectual property rights, PIPA would remove essential checks on the enforcement of such rights, and would place too much power in the hands of copyright owners. I urge Senator Casey to reconsider his support for this bill, and specifically to vote against the upcoming cloture motion.

      (unfortunately I forgot to adjust this to account for the fact that the cloture vote has been postponed)

    • To Pat Toomey (R-PA), who currently opposes PIPA

      I’m writing to say that as a constituent, I strongly oppose the PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA), S. 968. I just wanted to express my thanks to Senator Toomey for understanding the dangers of this legislation and publicly opposing it.

    • To Glenn Thompson (R-PA), who is undecided

      I’m writing to say that as a constituent, I strongly oppose the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), H.R. 3261. While I understand the need to protect intellectual property rights, SOPA would remove essential checks on the enforcement …

  2. 2012

    Black-and-whiteout, the new site design

    While I had my SOPA protest page up, I realized that a minimalistic color scheme actually looked pretty decent. Accordingly, and in recognition of the fact that SOPA and PIPA are still looming threats, I’m changing my whole site to a black and white color scheme until both bills are defeated. I might even keep the design after that, just for the fun of it.

    If you’re a repeat visitor, I suggest doing a hard refresh or clearing your browser cache entirely, so that you can see the updated stylesheets.

  3. 2012

    Senator Ron Wyden gets it

    Ron Wyden, senator from Oregon, released a very insightful letter yesterday in support of the SOPA blackout.

    Protect IP (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) are a step towards a different kind of Internet. They are a step towards an Internet in which those with money and lawyers and access to power have a greater voice than those who don’t. They are a step towards an Internet in which online innovators need lawyers as much or more than they need good ideas. And they are a step towards a world in which Americans have less of a voice to argue for a free and open Internet around the world.

    See the full letter on Sen. Wyden’s site.

  4. 2012

    PROTECT-IP: the source

    Yesterday, I made a post about the PROTECT-IP Act, explaining in some detail why it’s such a dangerous proposition. But if you’re like me, maybe you’re tired of hearing second-hand arguments. You’re not scared of a little legalese, and you want to check out the original source, Senate resolution 968 itself. Well, great! That’s what this blog is really (or at least tries to be) about, and that’s what I’m going to do in this post.

    I have two goals here. For one thing, I’m trying to correct some of the misinformation that may be floating around on the web about PIPA. But I also want to make the point that laws aren’t as scary as you might think. When you take a good, close look at them, it’s not that hard to understand what is being said — sure, not well enough to argue them in court (unless you’re a lawyer), but you can get a pretty decent sense of what is and isn’t allowed.

    This comes with two standard disclaimers:

    1. I am strongly opposed to PIPA (and SOPA). This post is an attempt to convince others to …
  5. 2012

    Update on the fight against SOPA and PIPA

    I’ve written a couple of posts about SOPA and PIPA, the copyright legislation currently making its way through Congress, and the widespread efforts to stop it. There’s some good news on that front: these pieces of legislation have been attracting increasing amounts of media attention lately, and Congress is beginning to respond. The DNS blocking provisions of the bill have been pulled (for now, at least), removing a threat to one of the foundations of the internet, and over in the Senate, influential senators are asking for a vote on PIPA (the PROTECT-IP Act) to be postponed so the bill can be further reviewed and possibly amended. Additionally, the White House has issued an official response to two petitions calling for President Obama to veto any of this legislation that does pass through Congress, and while he hasn’t promised to do so, it does show that the administration is at least thinking about the implications this legislation would have for free expression online.

    But the war against SOPA and PIPA is not over yet, in part because a lot of people just don’t know all this is happening. To raise awareness, Reddit will be proceeding with …