The Day The Internet Stopped

The Day The Internet Stopped
Jason Swaby

See our piece on how Anonymous attacked Hollywood here.

Get ready guys. Jan. 18 might become known in the future as the day the Internet went dark.

Several websites, including L.A.'s own Boing Boing, are vowing to go offline Wednesday to protest Congress' consideration of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would require websites to sever ties and links to those known to have violated copyright laws.

Even Facebook and Google are rumored to be taking part in "Stop SOPA Day," but ...

" ... that's just crazy," a Google insider told the Daily Beast: Google could stand to lose $80 million if it shut down for just a day.

Here's how Boing Boing describes SOPA (via LA Observed):

Boing Boing could never co-exist with a SOPA world: we could not ever link to another website unless we were sure that no links to anything that infringes copyright appeared on that site.

... If we failed to take this precaution, our finances could be frozen, our ad broker forced to pull ads from our site, and depending on which version of the bill goes to the vote, our domains confiscated, and, because our server is in Canada, our IP address would be added to a US-wide blacklist that every ISP in the country would be required to censor.

SOPA and its companion measure the Protect Intellectual Property Act have been spearheaded by L.A.'s own movie industry, which can't seem to find more creative ways to force you to pay for its fine fare.

The legislation has been widely criticized as draconian by tech titans ranging from Google to Craigslist. [Added: Wikipedia is planning an English-language blackout, too].

Lucky for us the administration of President Obama indicated over the weekend that it opposes the "central elements" of both bills, in the words of The New York Times.

Them's calming words to those of us for whom links and traded traffic online comprise digital lifeblood. But keep in mind that this is election season and Hollywood is a deep well of campaign cash for Obama.

He'll have to face Hollywood's most powerful suits, hands out once again, before November. We wonder if he'll shrug and smile or make a deal.

Likewise, will celebrities and so-called creatives in Hollywood stand against the arm-twisting of their studio overlords and declare that SOPA is B.S?

This is turning out to be quite an L.A. story.

[@dennisjromero / / @LAWeeklyNews]

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