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30 Jan 2012 02:23


Tech: Megaupload data could get deleted as soon as next week

  • 3 days until your family photos get deleted source
  • » But only if you used Megaupload to store them. Megaupload wasn’t just a place to share pirated movies; it also served as webspace for people to store their personal documents, pictures, hard drive backups, and the like. But Megaupload didn’t actually own the servers on which its data was stored–they outsourced that two other companies. Now that Megaupload’s been shut down, its assets have been frozen, and so it can’t keep paying the storage centers their fee. So, according to a letter from the US Attorney’s Office, the two data centers could start deleting the data as soon as this Thursday. That would be a shame for many, many people (although it should have been clear from the outset that Megaupload wasn’t the wisest place to back up one’s data). An attorney for Megaupload says he’s “cautiously optimistic” that they’ll be able to keep the data from being erased.

19 Jan 2012 15:32


Politics: Wikipedia’s blackout funnels huge number to look up congresspeople

  • 8 million users looked up their House Rep. by Wikipedia yesterday source
  • » Well, that sure worked: During the “great blackout” yesterday, one of the only things you actually could do with Wikipedia was get the information about your local congressperson, so to lodge a complaint against the SOPA and PIPA legislations that were the order of the day. This stripping down to such a basic, singular function proved to have just the effect Wikipedia had hoped for, as evidenced by the figure above; this surge in popular outcry clearly rattled quite a few on Capitol Hill, as numerous former supporters have changed their tunes.

18 Jan 2012 22:41


Politics: Three reasons understanding SOPA is important

  • one It could empower action against foreign websites which, let alone actively engaging in copyright infringement, merely “facilitate” it. This could place an enormous burden on proprietors for the deeds of their random readers and commenters.
  • two The definition of “facilitate?” Broadly used, “to make easier.” This is very vague, and could have serious unintended effects. For instance, does Youtube make it easier for piracy to occur? Undoubtedly. Should the site itself be liable for that?
  • three Upload a copyrighted song to Youtube that nets big viewership, and you could be in deeper trouble. Each view adds to the amount a plaintiff can accuse you of costing them, racking up heavy charges (this could result in Youtube-based felony convictions). source
  • » A great breakdown: Mashable’s dissection of the entire SOPA bill, in case you haven’t read it, does wonders in terms of clearing up what on its face is a confusing piece of legislation. It’s a solid breakdown that cuts through the legalese.

18 Jan 2012 14:51


Politics: SOPA loses support among congressional sponsors

  • 3 SOPA/PIPA sponsors withdraw support on day of blackout source
  • » Feeling some heat? Of these three co-sponsors of the SOPA or PIPA legislation, Florida Senator Marco Rubio is by far the biggest name. Rubio cited concerns about “a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet.” The other two co-sponsors were Rep. Lee Terry of Nebraska, and Rep. Ben Quayle of Arizona. A Quayle spokesman, Zach Howell, made it clear the Arizona congressman could vote for a reworked bill: “The bill could have some unintended consequences that need to be addressed. Basically it needs more work before he can support it.”

15 Jan 2012 10:05


Tech: SOPA fight leaning towards opponents, as Rupert Murdoch’s feed suggests

  • So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery.
  • Rupert Murdoch • Posting on Twitter yesterday afternoon about the Obama administration’s stance on SOPA, which discouraged the bill in its current form. CNET’s Greg Sandoval says that Murdoch’s reaction is a strong sign that the entertainment industry is starting to lose the battle, with a key provision of PIPA and SOPA — which involved the DNS system — getting removed from both acts. Murdoch, meanwhile, was quick to rip Google for what he perceived as their strong influence on the White House statement: “Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying,” he said on Twitter. On the plus side, at least Rupe isn’t making gambling jokes that could be misinterpretedsource

13 Jan 2012 00:52


Tech: Reddit, Wikipedia want the Internet to imagine a life with SOPA

  • downtime To demonstrate what Internet life might be like with SOPA/PIPA in the mix, Reddit will be shut down on Jan. 18. Instead, users can watch a livestream of a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee meeting on DNS and search engine blocking, where the site’s co-founder, Alexis Ohanian, will offer remarks to Congress.
  • backup Wikipedia co-founder, Jimmy Wales, has expressed his support of Reddit’s move, and may even work with the site, potentially creating a similar shutdown of Wikipedia. With big websites explicitly showing users what a life with SOPA/PIPA is like, could public outrage crop up? And will Google or Facebook join in? source

29 Dec 2011 13:17


Tech: D’Addario founder speaks out against perceived support of SOPA

  • In the last few days, we have seen countless comments on various forms of social media and received many email messages, both pro and con on this issue. While the D’Addario family is committed to protecting its trademarks and family name, that commitment does not take priority over our respect for the U.S. Constitution and our right to free speech under the First Amendment.
  • D’Addario & Company, Inc. founder Jim D’Addario • Discussing his company’s perceived support of SOPA, as a result of having been placed on an alleged list of supporters of the act. D’Addario (which makes great guitar strings that sound really good with Cm7 chords) has dealt with numerous counterfeiting issues in the past (“7 out of 10 sets of D’Addario strings sold in Chinese music stores are fakes!”), and when his company signed onto a list asking for further help in fighting against counterfeiting, his company did not assume the result would be SOPA. We spotted his letter because he cited our defense of the companies on a list distributed by the Chamber of Commerce, but we think  — again — it’s worth pointing out that when D’Addario and other companies signed onto the list, they were asking for something far different than SOPA. Protest with care. source

27 Dec 2011 20:35


Tech: Would Obama veto SOPA? An online debate builds among techies

  • claim AllThingsD’s Arik Hesseldahl claimed in an article Monday that Obama would be likely to veto the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act because the president “likes the internet” and that a decision in favor of SOPA would strongly go against the president’s longstanding net neutrality policy.
  • rebuttal However, TechDirt blogger Mike Masnick, who knows a thing or two about online copyright issues, says that Obama would likely sign it due to his need for election-year money from Hollywood — unless the bill becomes toxic to the touch, which Masnick says hasn’t happened yet. So, who’s right?

23 Dec 2011 20:12


Tech: GoDaddy’s calling departing major customers, begging them to stay

  • I think that the backlash against their support was a lot more swift and severe than they’d anticipated. Their initially glib ‘lol, whatever’ response was replaced by ‘oh god, please stop punching us in the quarterly financial report!’ real fast.
  • Mashable chief architect Chris Heald • Discussing how he received a call from GoDaddy regarding his decision to move 50+ domains to a different service in a boycott of their now-reversed stance on SOPA. Apparently he wasn’t alone. So the real question, then, is whether it’s too late for GoDaddy to get all those customers back. Based on the fact that Heald isn’t budging, and the fact that they called two days before Christmas, signs aren’t looking good for the company. source

22 Dec 2011 23:20


Tech: GoDaddy faces all-out boycott over stated SOPA support

  • Why they support SOPA GoDaddy has been one of the more vocal supporters of SOPA, as a statement they submitted to the House of Representatives makes clear: “As much as some would like to paint a bleak picture, this debate is not about Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley. This debate is about preserving, protecting, and creating American jobs and protecting American consumers from the dangers that they face on-line.”
  • Prone to controversy GoDaddy doesn’t exactly have the most pristine reputation among tech companies (what with its scantily-clad commercials and elephant-hunting CEO), but it hasn’t hurt their service in the past. Why? Quick — name another company that sells domains off the top of your head. Most people probably can’t. That’s what might hurt this boycott amongst mainstream users.
  • An uphill battle? GoDaddy users face a very similar situation to PayPal or Craigslist or Internet Explorer— no matter how controversial, user-unfriendly, or outdated the service may get, the market leader is seated pretty firmly due to years of market recognition and popularity, and it’ll take a lot to shake them. GoDaddy’s offered annoyed users a good reason to move elsewhere, however. But how many will there be? source