Welcome to the QA Tech-Tips blog!

Some see things as they are, and ask "Why?"   I dream things that never were, and ask "Why Not".  
Robert F. Kennedy

“Impossible” is only found in the dictionary of a fool.  
Old Chinese Proverb

Friday, January 20, 2012

Are we being Soft SOPA'd?

Friends and followers,

I, normally, deliberately exclude political commentary and opinions here, as I feel that the usual crop of political Horse Hooey isn't relevant to the nature or mission of this blog.

Today, I feel compelled to make an exception to that rule.

The reason for this exception is the SOPA and PIPA acts presently making their way through Congress, as I feel that these bills represent an absolutely intolerable infringement on the very few personal liberties we still enjoy as Americans.

Both, or either one, of these bills would allow government and business leaders to arbitrarily block or limit access to a web site or domain if they claim, rightly or wrongly, that it, (allegedly), "hosts copyrighted content".

Though I also oppose on-line piracy and wanton copyright violation - the broad nature of these bills would allow various entities, (like the infamous RIAA), to shut down web sites for even the fair use of copyrighted works.

Wikipedia periodically includes copyrighted images or materials - in a much lower resolution - when used to illustrate or expand on a legitimate article.  A good example of this is the article entitled "Someday At Christmas" where a low resolution image of the album cover is used to expand upon and illustrate the article in question.  Though clearly a "fair use" under current copyright law, the RIAA and BMI could easily use that, under the provisions of the SOPA and PIP bills, to blank out all of Wikipedia.  Or close down their funding sources, which amounts to the same thing.

One of my own blog articles uses the cover of the August 30th, 2010 issue of Time Magazine in the exact same way, and for exactly the same fair-use purpose.  And my entire blog - if not all of Blogger.com - could be shut down for exactly the same reasons.

Before anyone cries "FOUL!", claiming that my fears are exaggerated and blown totally out of proportion, let me say that my opinion is not based on the rants-and-raves of those web-pundits, those bottom-feeders, who thrive and grow on muckrake journalism.

Instead, I have carefully researched both of these bills, read them in their entirety - cover to cover - thought both long and carefully about what they say, and how what they say can be used, and I have to admit being left with a chill running up and down my spine.

A chill that was only equaled by the first film of the legendary Why We Fight series of films published during WWII.  In it, the Fascist nature and policies of the German and Italian governments is laid bare for all to see.  This chill was caused by the uncanny resemblance of these two Fascist governments to the United States Government of today.  Please follow that link to a YouTube posting of that entire first film.  Watch it well, and fear.

In my own humble opinion, these bills represent Fascist Governance at it's absolute worst, and it would irretrievably damage the free flow of ideas and information that both the Internet, and this fine country of ours, is built upon.  The only thing missing, in my opinion, is a leader with a small mustache, screaming "Sieg Heil!"

This article is, very likely, the all-time record holder for the number of hyperlinks in a single article on my blog. This is deliberate. I want to illustrate, in a way that is easily readable and understandable, the reasons for my opposition to these bills.

I encourage you to follow each of the hyperlinks, view the content, and decide for yourself.

Hopefully, you will join me in opposition to these bills by using this Wikipedia link to contact your Congressmen and Senators.

Please?  The future of the Internet, and possibly even our entire country, may well depend on this.

What say ye?

Jim (JR)


  1. I, too, am against these bills for a variety of reasons, too numerous to list here. But I would love to present the following scenario.

    The bills, although effectively tabled at this point, would demand the support of those who clame to be against "big government." Well, suppose they pass, over the objections of many, many people, over a supposed threatened veto, etc. Wouldn't those bills then be responsible for the creation of more and more government oversight? What new agencies would have to be formed?

    Wouldn't that be hipocracy's finest hour?

  2. Anonymous:

    No, it would NOT be hypocrisy's finest hour. IMHO, that happened when the folks in congress - national, state, AND local claimed that they were "representing their constituents."

    I cannot remember a single time since I was old enough to vote that I actually felt that my voice was being heard.

    The only reason "my" (yea, right!) voice was heard THIS time was because it was drowned out by the forty-billion other voices. And we had heavyweight commercial interests willing to fund this - like Google, etc.

    If you think they listen to us peons, in and of ourselves, you better think again!

    Cynically yours,

    Jim (JR)


Thanks for sharing your thoughts here at the QA Tech-Tips Blog!

This blog will not, repeat NOT, publish comments that contain ANY KIND OF HYPERLINK.

If your comment contains ANY KIND OF HYPERLINK it WILL BE DELETED.

Please read the article at How To Get Comments Approved On This Blog for additional information regarding this rule.

Thank you for understanding.

Jim (JR)