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Internet on Strike Against SOPA / PIPA

I never discussed it with Doug Smith, the owner here at Mobility Digest, but as you can see this site isn’t on strike. Personally I think it should be and pretty much any tech related site like this should be as this affects us quite a bit. One of the interesting things and not widely publicized about SOPA and PIPA is the linking and by that I mean the linking to other sites. Under the new bills or laws this site could be shut down or blocked because of a link. Tech sites like Mobility Digest link to other sites, we get a lot of our new from other sites, it’s just the nature of the beast as it were. There’s a lot to cover in these bills and the blog at Reddit has a nice explanation of it all here: if you want to read more. Anyway, back to the linking, tech sites link back and forth and according to these bills or laws it would be our responsibility to make sure all of the sites that we link to, then all of the sites that they link to, then all of the sites that they link to, then all of the sites that they link to…. and it just goes on and on pretty much indefinitely as far as who’s linking to who or what. The point is there could be millions of them and before we posted a link to anything we’d have to check all of them because if even one was related to suspected pirated material then this site would be done and blocked.

All three of my sites that I own are ‘on strike’ visit them and you are redirected to the SOPA Strike page to write congress now.

I’m not a political minded person and a lot of this has got nothing to do with politics really I think, it’s just plain common sense and it seems our government lacks common sense overall. (but then we know that already don’t we? they’ve proven it time and time again)

If we weren’t to link to other sites then what would we post about? We’d go back to being a site about not much really. I’m sure a lot of you come to us for news about new accessories and apps coming out. I wouldn’t linked to the sites because it would be too much work to check everything. It doesn’t even have to be the site that links, some spammer could leave a comment linking to pirated software and it could get missed and that would be reason to be blocked. There’s just too much involved for a simple link, we would spend all of our time researching the links.

A prime example is XDA, (XDA is dark today) we get a lot of news from them and let’s face it some of the stuff they do isn’t exactly legal, or ok, it falls into more of a gray area. They help us get the most out of our devices by hacking, cooking and circumventing things. Some companies take offense to that and can claim it’s piracy or theft of intellectual property by reverse engineering. One simple complaint and the site is blocked and that means we are too because we linked to them. They don’t even have to necessarily prove it, they just have to file a complaint and the site is blocked. Sure we have laws about letting us free our phones but that doesn’t mean much if a company decides to file a false complaint, the site gets blocked without proof and then those that link to it get blocked as well. They could have linked to a site five years ago that in turn linked to something that it wasn’t supposed to, they get blocked then we do as well because we linked to them. See the pattern there, we’re only ‘guilty’ or linking to a site but we get punished for it and it doesn’t matter if we knew or they knew about it. As domain or site owners they expect us to police ourselves and the millions of other sites that we may link to by way of other links.

Facilitation: Another example would be the software that we link to. I like to post free stuff, I think we all like free stuff right? Well those giveaways that I posted a few weeks ago that were for blu-ray ripping software, that could be called Facilitation under the language of the bills and we’d be guilty because we were essentially teaching someone how to rip a blu-ray disc.  No we’re not showing them how but we are linking to something that will allow people to do it and learn how to do it. So we’d be guilty and we’d be done for.

You get the idea I hope, it’s just not a good thing at all, and it needs to be stopped.

I could go on and on but I just felt I needed to post something about all of this. If you want to keep the internet the way it is then do something about it. Write congress and tell them no.

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