Archive for January 24th, 2012

The Day the Internet Fought Back

Last week’s Wikipedia-led blackout in protest of U.S. copyright legislation called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is being hailed by some as the Internet Spring, the day that millions fought back against restrictive legislative proposals that posed a serious threat to an open Internet. The protests were derided by critics as a gimmick, but my weekly technology law column (Toronto Star version, homepage version) notes it is hard to see how the SOPA protest can be fairly characterized as anything other than a stunning success. Wikipedia reports that 162 million people viewed its blackout page during the 24-hour protest period. By comparison, the most-watched television program of 2011, the Super Bowl, attracted 111 million viewers.

More impressive were the number of people who took action. Eight million Wikipedia visitors looked up contact information for their elected representatives, seven million people signed a Google petition, and Engine Advocacy reported that it was completing 2,000 phone calls per second to local members of Congress.

The protest launched a political earthquake as previously supportive politicians raced for the exits. According to ProPublica, the day before the protest, 80 members of Congress supported the legislation and 31 opposed. Two days later, there were only 63 supporters and 122 opposed.

The SOPA protest ranks as the largest online action to date, but it was foreshadowed by similar developments around the world.

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January 24, 2012 74 comments Columns

The Day the Internet Fought Back

starsopa Appeared in the Toronto Star on January 22, 2012 as The Day the Internet Fought Back Last week’s Wikipedia-led blackout in protest of U.S. copyright legislation called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is being hailed by some as the Internet Spring, the day that millions fought back against […]

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January 24, 2012 Comments are Disabled Columns Archive

Meganomics

Joe Karaganis has a must-read post on the piracy figures involving Megaupload, as he persuasively argues that the profitability of piracy on cloud storage sites is massively overstated.

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January 24, 2012 1 comment Must Reads

CIRA Proposes Changes to IDN Plan

CIRA has launched a new round of consultations on its amended plans to introduce Internationalized Domain Names.  The new process will signficantly restrict the number of new domains as the dot-ca administrative agency is now proposing that the holder of a particular domain name would have the exclusive right to […]

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January 24, 2012 2 comments Must Reads

The TPP Impact on New Zealand’s Public Domain

Gareth Hughes, a New Zealand Green Party MP, has posted on the impact of extending the term of copyright in New Zealand from life plus 50 years to life plus 70 years as demanded by the Trans Pacific Partnership. Hughes calls attention to many leading NZ works that would be […]

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January 24, 2012 1 comment Must Reads