The Register to publish other sites' blacked-out content in SOPA protest
Vulture Central in selfless bid to save the internet
Updated As many Register readers will be aware, websites across the internet have pledged to black out all or part of their content as a protest against the proposed US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
We at the Register applaud these noble acts of self-sacrifice, in which we will see the English-language Wikipedia sort-of blacked out (see below for details of how to get round this) and Wired blacking out its headlines.
However we feel that these protests against ham-fisted attempts by the recording industry and its Washington puppets to muzzle THE ENTIRE INTERWEBS simply do not go far enough. The advocates of SOPA say they will shut down any website guilty of online content piracy: Wikipedia, Wired and the rest say that SOPA could mean any website at all being blocked, and have blocked themselves in protest.
We say NEVER. The Motion Picture Ass. of America and its cohorts shall not get away with this. The Register will demonstrate at once how SOPA could and shall never work, even more effectively than the blackouts, by quite simply copying and re-publishing all the content which has been blacked out - purely and simply as a protest and not in any way in a cynical attempt to profit from the content of many popular websites. Needless to say the websites in question could never condemn our actions as piracy as, erm, they are being carried out in an attempt to prevent the passage of evil anti-piracy - that is, censorship! - legislation. And what's bad for things that are bad for pirates is good for things that are good for the internet. And, what's more, we are striking a blow at the most insidious kind of censorship - self-censorship.
So, without further ado, here are links to all our new webpages, lifting the blackout curtain that the evil drafters of SOPA would hope to impose, indeed have imposed, upon our beloved interwebs:
Updated to Add
Unfortunately there was some kind of legal problem with our brilliant protest scheme, so instead we're bringing you a couple of splendid moments from coverage of the protests. These are real things which we are not making up.
From the Guardian - SOPA Blackout ... LIVE (Summary: 'It's still black')
From Wired - Why We've Censored Wired.com (All the headlines have been blacked out. Except that one. Luckily news aggregators, search engines etc can still read them!)
Does not compute
1. "These stupid protests just like the occupy protests are a waste of time."
2. "Governments will continue to crack down on priacy so the pirates might as well face reality."
3. "SOPA may have been a poorly written attempt to stop piracy..."
You have acknoweleged the problem that the protests are aiming to highlight (3). We are talking about it so (1) is clearly false; without the protests we would not be talking about it.
(2) is your opinion but it's largely irrelevant to the issue here. The protests are not about piracy per se, they're about US.gov using sledgehammer legislation to crack piracy nuts and destroying everything else while they're hammering.
When we've been silenced, our silence will imply consent. What evils come then?
Some reasons to protest:
1. Copyright was originally introduced to balance the interests of the creators and the rest of the population; balance is the important word.
2. Originally copyright lasted for some 5 years, considered enough time for the creator to realise a reasonable return for her/his work. The US Congress, influenced by large payments from MPIAA, has again and again increased the period of copyright to an unconscionable level whenever the copyright in Mickey Mouse was about to run out.
3. The reason why Draconian legislation is "necessary" to enforce the law is, with the ridiculous length of time now reaching towards the 100 year mark, any idea of balance has long gone, and the whole idea of copyright has become contemptible to the normal person.
4. Any law which is widely seen to be unbalanced and unjust will always be disregarded by a large proportion of ordinary people.
5. Breach of copyright has always been and should always be a civil offence.