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Posts Tagged: SOPA

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XDA, along with many other sites across the web, went dark on January 18th in protest of two pieces of legislation that, if passed, could dramatically impact the free exchange of information on the internet. We’re excited to report that as a result of the negative backlash against SOPA and PIPA, voting on these two bills has been indefinitely delayed.

Representative Lamar Smith, the Texas Republican who is chairman of the Judiciary Committee, remarked:

After vowing two days ago to move forward, Mr. Smith said in a statement on Friday: “The committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.” But he added, “The House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution.”

This doesn’t mean XDA, or any other site that would be impacted, is out of the woods. SOPA/PIPA is likely to rear its ugly head as a future bill, hopefully one that more specifically targets those that are knowingly committing copyright infringement and the like, and not sites like XDA, Reddit, or Facebook, that act as a medium of exchange for information.

But for now, let’s chalk this up as a win! Thanks again to everyone that participated in our pledge.

Source: NYTimes

XDA is Back; SOPA/PIPA Still a Threat

January 18, 2012   By:

50k

We want to thank all of you for signing our pledge today. We hit 50,000 signatures much faster than expected (actually, we had over 80,000 before eliminating duplicate IPs). We debated staying dark longer, but are keeping our commitment to XDA members to return online at the 50,000 mark.

We know that sites like Wikipedia will continue to raise awareness among the general public. We hope more savvy users–like those on XDA–will continue to be the loudest and most vocal opponents of SOPA and PIPA. We all have the most to lose. Whether you signed our pledge or not, please do contact your local Senator or Representative, or, if you’re not in the US, inform any friends or family you have in the States that might not know about the damaging repercussions of SOPA and PIPA.

XDA continues to look for ways to protest this legislation. If you have any ideas, please PM Svetius.

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XDA is a community built on openness and sharing. It has flourished because of our ability to freely exchange information, ideas, and development. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the Senate and Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the House give copyright holders the ability to more easily shut down sites (with mere accusations and without due process) that *might* be in violation of copyright laws. It was because of GoDaddy’s initial support for this legislation that we moved to another registrar. If you are unfamiliar with the particulars of the bills, read up on them on Wikipedia.

We had a long debate among admins and moderators about the best way XDA can combat this legislation. Several sites (most notably, Reddit) have decided to go dark on January 18th from 8AM to 8PM. A blackout of XDA, a site with users likely already educated on the legislation, seemed a bit like preaching to the choir.

Quite frankly, we don’t think a blackout is enough. We need to motivate XDA members to get involved and help us fight the fight. So– beginning at 8AM ET on January 18th, the xda-developers.com domain WILL go dark. When you come to the site, you will see links to information about SOPA and the damaging impact it will have on the free Internet. Visitors from the United States will also see a link to an online pledge. Users who choose to sign their name to the pledge are agreeing simply to contact their local Senator or Representative (via phone or email) and politely voice their opposition to the bills. Once 50,000 people have made the pledge, XDA will go back up. We will provide links to help you find the contact information for the appropriate member of Congress. We hope we hit 50,000 pledges quickly. If not, we’ll match Reddit (and hopefully many other sites) and return online at 8PM ET.

If you want to get involved (before our “pledge” goes live on the 18th), Reddit has a fantastic list of ways that you can make an impact. We hope that XDA going dark will help spread awareness and action against SOPA / PIPA.

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As many of you may be aware, we here at XDA-Developers occasionally stand in support of our members. All of you feel that you can submit things on the forums, knowing that the information is appreciated, used, and shared. We have members all over the world, and we know that the rules aren’t always the same when it comes to what you are “legally” allowed to do. I think I can speak for a great many by saying that while our unified voices are strong, there is nothing stronger than action. In keeping with that, we have decided to move XDA-Developers away from GoDaddy entirely.

This won’t surprise many. GoDaddy’s original support of the Stop Online Piracy Act, followed by their frankly cowardly flip-flop when that stance showed unpopular was enough for the decision to be clear. If SOPA clears, The very existence of a site like XDA would be at risk. For the record, SOPA would allow:

  • The US Government to selectively censor the web based on requests made by organizations who disapproved of content
  • Deny the owners of a site due process of law by blacklisting a DNS based on just a claim of copyright infringement
  • Force sites like XDA to aggressively monitor and filter all content
  • Hold site owners accountable for everything users post, with consequences like jail time and heavy fines

If SOPA passes, XDA would be forced to switch to a review system, where the forum moderators would have to inspect and approve every post on every subforum. The result would seriously decrease activity on XDA, and it wouldn’t be very long after that we’d likely be forced to close our doors. Obviously this is a “worst case” scenario, but it doesn’t change the fact that this could be a reality if SOPA passes.

Over the next few days, we will be moving all XDA assets away from GoDaddy. In the mean time, we encourage you to head over to the EFF, where they have created a page for how you can do your part to oppose this legislation that would allow the US to firewall content from their own citizens.

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