The History, and Future, of Web Protest

The History, and Future, of Web Protest
This week, many of the web's most popular sites shuttered their doors in protest of SOPA and PIPA, the pair of bills that had been winding their way through congress with the stated intent of fighting piracy and the unfortunate side effect of fundamentally threatening the web. After this concerted outburst of activism from the web community (which even extended to a first-of-its-kind offline protest by the New York Tech Meetup community), the sponsors of the bills have withdrawn their support, many undecided or former supporters of the bills changed their positions and in all, people who love the web are claiming a victory. Hooray! And it's still not too late to express your displeasure to your elected officials if you'd like to make sure they know how you feel.

But. There are a number of unanswered questions about this victory, and some important questions about what it means going forward, not just for web freedom, but for the technology community as a driver of public policy and legislation. We should start, as always with a brief look back.

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Lots of good things came from it

But also a great deal of ignorance over the basis behind any acts, not just SOPA and PIPA in that copright theft is still theft. The way they were going to be implemented and what they could do was very wrong, but some of the sites I saw protesting, webcomics especially were pushing the point that 'we won't be able to post copyrighted materials anymore!'.
Yes? Well you shouldn't be doing it anyway! You don't like it when people resell your content on app's or if they were going to sell t-shirts with your characters on, so why should it be ok for you to post someone elses work on your page and not pay them?

The support for the fight against SOPA and PIPA was great to see, but some people are still missing core issues due to the way the web never clamped down on these seemingly lower level illegal acts. Just because everyone is doing something doesn't make it suddenly legal or ok.

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