SOPA on Life Support After Web Protests, White House and GOP Rebellion

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SOPA on Life Support After Web Protests, White House and GOP Rebellion

Controversial anti-piracy legislation, already on life support in the House, is now in serious doubt in the Senate, where the confluence of a Republican rump rebellion, White House concerns and a blackout by Wikipedia, Mozilla and other big-name websites is enough to give some senators second thoughts.

Jonathan Allen, Jennifer Martinez and Anna Palmer, Politico

Momentum Builds Against SOPA and PIPA

You might be wondering who turned out the lights. Don’t worry — it’s simply one of the biggest days in the history of the open Internet. Thousands of websites — including Wikipedia, reddit, BoingBoing, — have gone dark to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), bills in the House and Senate that could open the door to widespread censorship online.

Josh Levy,

Why We Go Black

Today’s nationwide protest of Internet blacklist legislation is part of a brewing movement to keep control over the Internet out of the hands of corporations and governments. It’s a struggle that puts Internet users before information gatekeepers. At stake is everyone’s democratic right to information.

Timothy Karr, Huffington Post

Websites Shut Down to Protest Anti-Piracy Bills

Wikipedia, Reddit and Boing Boing are among the popular websites that will be dark today to protest a pair of bills making their way through Congress. Hollywood studios say tougher rules are needed to protect their intellectual property from online piracy. But Silicon Valley companies say the bills would encourage censorship and harm innovation.

Joel Rose, Morning Edition

Web Protests Piracy Bills, and Two Senators Change Course

Internet protests quickly cut into congressional support for anti-Web piracy measures as lawmakers abandoned and rethought their backing for legislation that pitted new media interests against some of the most powerful old-line commercial interests in Washington.

Jonathan Weisman, New York Times

SOPA Will Take Us Back to the Dark Ages

The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, was not written by people who fundamentally misunderstand how the Web works. They understand all too well, and want to change it forever. Behind the almost unreadable — yet truly scary — text of SOPA, and its Senate doppelganger, PIPA, or the Protect Intellectual Property Act, is a desire, likely fueled by powerful media conglomerate backers, to take us all back to the thin-pipe, content-distribution days of 1994 — right before the World Wide Web launched.

Lance Ulanoff, Mashable

SOPA Blackout Spreads Across the Internet

The blackout movement to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act that began with reddit and Wikipedia has spread to many major sites across the Internet, many of which are important examples of Web entities that could be shut down without due process by SOPA-like legislation. Below are some favorites.

Casey Johnston, Ars Technica


Journalism and Beyond

News Anchors’ Monster Truck TV Ad Puts Channel WTSP-TV in Ethical Jam

The appearance of two news anchors from WTSP-TV in a recent commercial for an advertiser — pretending to discuss a study that may not exist — crosses a significant ethical line.

Eric Deggans, Tampa Bay Times

Why Newspapers Often Don’t Call Out Politicians for Lying

At worst, bloggers and magazine writers let their biases hurt the accuracy of their work when they’re empowered to inject judgments into their coverage. But at best, they’re empowered to tell the whole truth. The traditional model of newspaper writing is, at best, limited in that regard. There are reasons, some good and some bad, for those limits, but they’re going to doom newspapers in the end. Why settle for less than the best work when it’s all accessible via the Web?

Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

Texas Tribune Ropes in Funds and Readers Surpasses Expectations

When the Texas Tribune launched in November 2009 as a nonprofit online news organization, it had one mission: to provide comprehensive reporting on politics, public policy and state government. The Tribune’s founders hoped that by 2013 it could raise at least $9 million from corporations, philanthropic foundations, individual donors and more, and perhaps break even on $3 million in revenue. One year shy of that target, the Tribune has more than exceeded those goals.

Emma Bazilian, AdWeek