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The recent Wikipedia blackout: Best explanation of why you should care, if you read blogs

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You’ll remember Wikipedia English shutting down for a day, and similar gestures.

Here, in “In Case of Emergency, Break the Internet” (January 22, 2012) at The Best Schools blog:

As things stand now, if I were to post all of The Lord of the Rings to my personal blog, Blogger wouldn’t be shut down. My fingers would be incredibly sore from all the typing, and the infringing blog posts would be removed, but Blogger would remain active. With SOPA and PIPA, it’s unclear that sites like Blogger and YouTube would enjoy such protection.

Imagine the crushing liability. Most people in the world barely understand traffic laws; if the continued existence of websites that allow users to post content to them directly depends on the way every single Internet user in the entire world understands American intellectual property law, Facebook’s days are indeed numbered.

Don’t misunderstand. The Internet will die not with a bang, but with a whimper. They may never build a copyright infringement Gulag, but under legislation like SOPA and PIPA the Internet as we know it would simply become too expensive. Google, Yahoo, and the like would have to hire legions of lawyers just to search for copyrighted content. Free services like gmail would cease to be free. Sites we use every day would be non-operational much of the time. Using the Internet for crucial communications would become untenable. Welcome back, fax machines, it’s terrible to see you!

Yup. And don’t think nobody wants this. The Internet moves fast. Some folk would rather the world move at the pace of their present and future regulatory schemes. We understand that the US SOPA and PIPA Internet control legislation are currently on hold, due to growing protest, but the idea won’t die. Why should it?

He who controls the Internet has a shot at controlling the world. It may be a vain hope, but attempts to realize it could prove costly all the same.

See also: In honour of the resistance to SOPA, PIPA, and government interference in the Internet generally …

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