Anti-SOPA Pressure Begins to Pay Off

The massive public protest against the U.S. bill SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, has begun to pay off with promises to remove the domain name blocking provisions, delay committee votes, and an official White House position that opposes parts of the bill. A web protest is planned for Wednesday. This blog will join the protest by going dark for the day.

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  1. strunk&white says:

    I think you mean pay off, not payoff – otherwise you’re implying anti-SOPA activists are bribing officials. But maybe that is what you mean.

    When is this blog not dark?

  2. John, have you noticed yourself becoming more and more cynical in your old age?

    BTW, refer to the 4th definition of Webster’s dictionary or the appropriate definition in this context.

    So I guess now the English language joins copyright as one of those subjects you know less than you think you do.

  3. strunk&white says:

    Oh Darryl,

    Not sure who you think you’re talking to, but how embarrassing for you that:

    a) you had to look up ‘payoff’ in the dictionary; and

    b) you still got it wrong.

    Nouns, verbs, language, knowledge, etc. These things are important. Maybe not for pirates and free culture gurus, but for the rest of society.

  4. a) So then you are saying that if I did not provide a dictionary reference you would have taken my word for its definition. That’s good to know.

    b) Your problem then is with Geist using a noun as a verb. All this shows is that amongst other things, you are a linguistic prude who probably would have similarly chastised Shakespeare in his day. (Not that I am making any comparison between Geist an Shakespeare but should only the literary greats be allowed such liberties with our language?)

    So now you’re a cynic and a prude. Anything else you want to add to that old man?

    BTW, speaking of embarrassment, is that the reason that your latest blog entry didn’t even provide a link to the subject which you were criticizing? Couldn’t stand to have your friends read you pathetic attempt of trying to defend your position in an argument.

  5. strunk&white says:


    If you insist on using “which” instead of “that” – incorrectly, by the way – at least put a comma in front of it so people have a chance of understanding you. The proper construction would be:

    “didn’t even provide a link to the subject that you were criticizing.”

    Better still, no qualifier is necessary:

    “the subject you were criticizing.”

    Now, if you’re very fond of sounding grandiose, which you seem to be, you could do something like this:

    “the subject, which you were criticizing, was not even linked to.” Of course, then it suffers from passivity. I’m afraid the sentence following is impossible to rescue. Who is “you pathetic attempt”?

    I’m sure you’re correct that Dr. Geist intended to use a noun instead of a verb, and that it was a bold stylistic decision on his part – a rebellious strike against the linguistic prudes of the world!

    That’s probably why he just made the correction.

  6. Well John, it appears, as usual, that you don’t actually have anything substantive or related to the issue to contribute. I guess we can all rest easy knowing that the rest of us can argue about the actual issues, and you will always be there to correct the spelling and typos for us. Oh joy.


  7. And who’s paying off who exactly. John when is the creative industry going to learn that they can’t, won’t and are not going to win by undermining democratic values. They’ve failed in almost every attempt, quite interesting. Maybe money spent on lobbying against democratic values would be better spent on the creators, and creating jobs through adapting.

    ESA Spends Big Bucks on PIPA-Related Lobbying:

  8. strunk&white says:

    I can’t even begin to help the sentence construction in that last comment. When did we lose the question mark as a part of our punctuation repertoire?

  9. News Corp’s chairman and chief executive officer had this to say on SOPA’s fading lustre…

    “So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters…”

    I find it ironic that an industry who has spent so much on lobbying efforts and direct contributions to politicians would have the audacity to make such a comment.

    It is true though that there is an ongoing transfer of power (economic, influence) from Hollywood to Silicon Valley. The digital economy had become a bigger driver than the ‘celluloid’ and the push from the lesser is to retain its control through last ditch legislative locks.

    It is unfortunate though that behaviour from the new economic players has not always been in accordance with their motto [Google ‘Do no evil’]. But then power inherently has that effect.

    The recognition from the White House that tampering with the fundamentals of the internet for the benefit of the incumbent creative industries is a bad idea, shows they have realized where the future of innovation and economic drivers resides.

    As the entrenched players battle it out, I hope for the emergence of platforms where creators can use the new tools provided by the digital revolution to grow and prosper. It will take diligence by all to make sure that , once again, the spoils of success go not to the few who hold the tether but rather to those who do work.

  10. Darryl should just give up.

  11. “Darryl should just give up.”

    Indeed. I must say, that it was my hope, many years ago now, to engage people such as Mr. Degan so that I would better understand the position of the strong-copyright lobby, and that some of their members could also gain some understanding of the minimalist perspective.

    I did have one very productive email exchanges once (only once) and I believe the other writer gained as much from me as I did from him. We ended up agreeing to disagree, but we did come away with a better understanding of our positions. I believe this was probably John’s original desire as well, but sadly his position has hardened, even becoming more extreme since then, and his frustration has reduced him to closing his website and trolling on this one.

    It is a pity, because the real conversation I would like to have with him regards the term of copyright. (Appropriate length, its administration, and how to deal with any issues that result from it.) He has not made his position clear on this subject despite assertions to the contrary, and I’m sure the result of an earnest conversation on the subject would be illuminating.

    @Crockett, the problem is that the US political system is inherently corrupt. Democracy there is dead. It is a plutocracy forcing Goggle and other to play the same lobby game. It is either that or role over and capitulate to those that do play the game. It is a situation which has only gotten worse with the massive concentration of wealth, and the recent Citizens United v. FEC decision. I don’t see it getting better any time soon.

  12. strunk&white says:

    Not sure, but I think you mean “Mr. Degen.”

    I would guess the first step to engaging with someone to better understand his position is taking the time to know what that person’s name is.

    As well, I just checked Mr. Degen’s website. Not only is it NOT closed, it seems to accept comments without problem. Funny that someone would accuse Mr. Degen of closing his website on a thread dedicated to intentionally “going dark.” So much for “understanding” anything.