Stop #SOPA

Yes, it is OUR problem. This law will affect everybody (not only American citizens)
Spread the word

(below, parts of a must read article by Jeff Jarvis)

We are the lobbyists now

The internet has helped untold publics to form. Yesterday, the internet became a public.

Or rather, millions of people who care about internet freedom used the net to organize and defend it against efforts to control and harm it.

The SOPA-PIPA blackout got attention in media that previously all but ignored the issue, whether out of conflict of interest or negligence.
In the discussion about the movement yesterday, I heard someone in Washington quoted, saying that these geeks should hire lobbyists like everyone else.
No, we’re all lobbyists now, and that’s just as it should be. This movement didn’t need influence peddlers. It didn’t need political commercials. It didn’t need media. It needed only citizens who give a shit. Democracy.

I’m delighted that the discussion rose to the level of principles, a discussion I’ve argued has to take place if we, the internet public, are to protect our tool of publicness.

There’s much more going on under this battle: the disruption of media business models, a fundamental change in our view of the value of content, the undercutting of institutions’ power, the lowering of national boundaries. But for now, never mind that and concentrate on what was born yesterday: a political movement, a movement whose cause is freedom.

What else can this movement do? Can it elect candidates? Should it? Or should it continue to hold politicians’ feet to the fire? I don’t think I want to see the formation of an internet party. I don’t want this movement to mimic the way power used to be traded. I don’t want it to become an institution. I also don’t think it’s possible. I prefer to see it continuing to mimic #OccupyWallStreet , organizing without organizations (pace Shirky), discerning through interaction its principles and goals.

After yesterday, the powerful are on warning that a public can rise up out of nowhere to protest and pressure, to fight and win.


  1. Tomasz says:


    An appeal to all those who do not want ACTA

    As you know our freedom – not only in the Net – is endangered. And now we are told, that the American Congress refused to proceed with SOPA and PIPA. Nor is it going to ratify ACTA.
    Nevertheless the Administration goes on putting pressure on the other States to introduce ACTA all over the world. For example: The US Embassy in Warsaw phoned the Polish Government office demanding the names of the Members of Parliament who voted on the Committee session against proceeding with ACTA!
    We are not going to allow to limit the freedom in the colonies (as some of the Americans treat the rest of the globe) while the Americans themselves are still free in this domain.
    Let us fight for our freedom.
    If the White House proceeds promoting ACTA, the KNP proposes to begin a trade boycott of the American goods.
    Therefore we herein found the International Committee for Freedom of Operating with Information. The purpose of the ICFOI is to limit the protection of patents and the authors’ rights to a sensible extent. To achieve this goal we will propagate the idea of boycotting the American goods, also to a sensible extent.
    The details will be established and promoted in the world by volunteers. All organizations determined to help us are asked to subscribe via e-mail:
    [email protected]
    and join to the ICFOI. If somebody wants to help organize actions against ACTA is asked to subscribe here:
    – putting as Re: the name of her/his country and town (in that order).
    If somebody wants to support us promoting our materials, is kindly asked to send her/his address onto:
    [email protected]”‹u
    putting as Re number of addresses she/he can forward our news to.
    A luta continua! We shall win because our cause is just!

    Józefów, January 30th 2012

    Janusz Korwin-Mikke

    (Sir Korwin-Mikke is the most popular Polish blogger with 50 mlns entries in five years. )

    1. Peter Goldberg says:

      Please, do not take a notice of Mr Janusz Korwin-Mikke’s ridiculous appeal. Mr Janusz Korwin-Mikke apparently tries to settle himself much higher on the political ladder by “stinging” American businessmen and government with his nonsense boycott, but of course he is wasting his time. Luckily, I do not need to explain that American products have nothing to do with ACTA – American people already understand it very well that things like collective responsibility are relevant maybe in Eastern Europe, but not in America, the country with good liberal traditions. Mr Janusz Korwin-Mikke is constantly using American products such as YouTube or Google, and by doing so he exposes himself to the hypocrisy accusations.
      He grew up in communist times and his spoiled mentality cannot comprehend the fact that there is no such thing as “nationality” in free trade or business. He seems to forget that US government fascist tendencies are not an American shoe-maker’s fault (nor American shoes’ fault).
      I wish you, American people, all the best and will try to encourage people in Poland to buy American products happily (if they are good, of course).

      Long live McDonald’s!


  2. Michel says:

    And yet, ACTA has just been accepted by the EU and many other countries. A treary with possibly greater implications to the internet as SOPA and PIPA had.

    I agree with your thoughts on the movement to freedom. Mimicking power structures and hoping for a different result from the same level of thinking is hopeless. Freedom should be lived and shared in freedom, not within the constructs of dying paradigms.

  3. Sandy Rondón Cedeño says:

    Always great, Paulo.

  4. Sandy Rondón Cedeño says:


  5. Keith says:

    Senate and House slow PIPA/SOPA votes, but promise it’s just a delay

  6. Cristina B. says:

    I’m not fond of internet, but what I believe is that someone is trying to stop an Energy; the Energy of reading, writing, changing opinions in a peaceful way.
    I remind to those people that stopping the natural flowing of energy is wrong and unuseful.
    Everytime someone tried to stop Energy, or capture it; Energy showed them that is impossible.
    I’m very sad about that, and I’m thinking about the millions of people that during our last world’s war gave their lives for our freedom.
    They sacrifices should be respected.

  7. Arto Hutto says:

    SOPA means sweep/trash in Swedish. So let us sweep this trash SOPA away =;O)

  8. Hi,

    I am actually what the former country of ultimate freedom and free enterprise wants to do to the world…I am also wondering if the principles of freedom and democracy are only valid as long as the interests of those in political and economical power today and in the past remain untouched. The problem is that many people – individuals and companies, not only Hollywood companies – throughout the world are afraid of the internet or they don’t understand it and its power. That’s why governments have an easy time censoring it because many people will embrace censorship of the internet.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Be blessed


  9. Keith says:

    Greed-driven Hollywood must be a rare example of an industry that treats its customers and potential customers as criminals.

    I find it offensive to buy a DVD and then be forced to watch a video that tells me I am a criminal.

    No, snatching a purse or handbag or a smash and grab raid, is not the same as copying a DVD. In the first case is is clearly theft, someone has been deprived of their property, in the latter, no one had been deprived of their property.

    The irony is that if I had a pirate DVD, it would not have at the beginning the compulsive video that implies that I am a criminal for possessing a legitimate copy.

    I find it offensive, have laptop will travel, but Hollywood puts regional encoding on its DVDs to stop them being played outside the region.

    The irony is that it is simple enough to bypass, simply download AnyDVD or DVDFab Passkey and it sits in the background and removes the regional encoding, I can then watch at my leisure wherever I happen to be, any DVD from anywhere in the world.

    If I borrow a DVD, I copy it so I can watch it when I get around to it.

    I find it offensive when a student in the UK is facing extradition to the USA at the behest of Hollywood for having a website which directed visitors to where they might find free downloads. He himself was not supplying free downloads. What he did is not even a criminal offence in the UK! He faces 10 years in prison if extradited to the USA.

    Now Hollywood is wanting to control the internet.

    Hollywood is not losing massive amounts of money from piracy. We have all noticed it is an industry on its knees, though it deserves to be.

    Hollywood makes its money from bums on seats in cinemas, TV rights for those endless repeats on TV. Money made from DVD and Blu-ray sales is cream on the cake.

    You cannot equate blank DVD sales with loss of business. Sony has its fingers in both sales, likes to have its cake and eat it.

    We here a lot of bleating about loss of creative talent, artists in garrets working for a pittance. If they are only getting a pittance it is because Hollywood keeps for itself to large a slice of the cake.

    Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho found he sold more books when pirate copies were made available for free download.

    Hollywood, in dark corners with corrupt politicians up for sale, thought they could control the Internet through SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act). Users thought otherwise, as did many of the big internet players.

    Yesterday many internet sites went black. Many internet junkies like Paulo Coelho, refused to use internet for 24 hours.

    The result has been almost instantaneous. US politicians are reeling from the public backlash. many, who supported SOPA, who were even sponsors, have suddenly found it is not a hot potato they wish to be caught holding.

    We do not have to jump to corporate lobbyists. We can bring Hollywood to its knees. How about a worldwide boycott of Hollywood, no going to the cinema to watch their rubbish films, no buying their DVDs?

    1. Marie-Christine says:

      The idea of Entertainment at Home was well thought whoever had the idea had a grand vision that’s for sure – spending, spending, spending. – Unreal. When a single person purchases a DVD it cost more than going to the movies. How often do you watch that same movie?
      I don’t believe there should be a monopoly on artists .there are a lot of talents in every country and they should be allowed to participate and to give a wider view of the whole spectrum.

  10. Brave_soul says:

    I couldn’t save my Yahoo profile with this title
    “Information Age Not”
    It says my title infringe with terms and conditions.

    Hmmmm, can anyone tell where is the copyright problem with my title. :I

  11. Keith says:

    Basically we are up against the greed of Hollywood and the corrupt politicians they buy. It is about time we hammered them where it hurt.

    How about a mass boycott of cinema and DVDs.

    That would soon bring Hollywood to its knees if we cut off its cash flow.

  12. Keith says:

    Supreme Court Bashes Public Domain (TechDirt)

    “The ruling is ridiculously depressing. The Justices basically just
    keep repeating the mantra they first set forth in Eldred, that as long
    as Congress says it’s okay — and that the “fair use” and the
    “idea/expression” dichotomy remain — all is just dandy. They also
    claim that since the very first copyright law took works from the
    public domain and gave them copyright protection, clearly there’s
    nothing wrong with removing works from the public domain. This
    decision reinforces why the Eldred decision was a complete disaster,
    and just keeps getting worse.”

  13. Keith says:

    Battling Internet Censorship: The Long War

    There’s a lot of understandable enthusiasm about today’s array of
    anti-SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), anti-PIPA (Protect IP Act)
    demonstrations and protests.

    But there’s a real risk as well. When the big home page banners come
    down, and the site “blackouts” are lifted, the urge for the vast
    majority of Internet users to return to “business as usual” will be
    very strong.

    Perhaps you’ve signed an online petition or tried to call your
    Congressman or Senator today, and you’ve probably already heard that
    DNS blocking provisions (at least for the moment, pending “further
    study”) were announced as being pulled from SOPA and PIPA several days

    So you might be tempted to assume that the battle is over, the war is
    won, and that — as Maxwell Smart used to say — “Once again the
    forces of niceness and goodness have triumphed over the forces of evil
    and rottenness.”

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    In fact, the forces arrayed in favor of Internet censorship are not
    only powerful and well funded, but are in this game for the very long
    haul indeed. A day of demonstrations to them, as annoying as they may
    be to these censorship proponents in the very short run, are in the
    final analysis more like a single human lifetime compared against the

    PIPA is coming up for an important vote shortly, and word is that SOPA
    will likely reemerge (with its horrific search engine censorship
    provisions intact) next month.

    Even if there are further delays and changes, it is inconceivable that
    pro-censorship forces, given the depths of their economic beliefs and
    disdain for Internet free speech, will ever give up.

    Like zombies rising repeatedly in an old horror movie, they will keep
    pouring money into Congress and be continually working on strategies
    to remake the Internet in their own images.

    This may involve SOPA and PIPA. It will likely also involve new
    legislation down the line that hasn’t even yet been introduced, some
    standalone, some possibly buried in other bills. Censorship arguments
    will expand to include law enforcement wish lists, “protect the
    children” arguments, and every other pro-censorship stakeholder wish
    list that you can imagine.

    The battle against Internet censorship is literally a war without end.
    Pro-censorship alliances will shift and change over time, the names of
    involved legislation may be different, but the overall thrust will
    stay essentially the same, and the trend will always be toward more
    censorship, not less.

    All of this is true even if we ignore the possibility of a horrific
    triggering event like a terrorist attack that enables vast new
    knee-jerk civil liberties crackdowns.

    We must be prepared to battle censorship on the Internet as a matter
    of our everyday lives. That means a continual presence in Washington
    and other capitals around the world, not just collectively but in
    terms of constant long-term campaigns of individually written letters
    and direct phone calls to our own elected officials — both among the
    most effective techniques — short of suitcases full of cash.
    Educational campaigns explaining why the battles against Internet
    censorship are so crucial must continue on our sites, and in our other
    personal and professional communications as well, every single day.

    We cannot be complacent. These efforts to preserve free speech on the
    Net can never end, or we will all lose one of the Internet’s most
    important wonders, and our civil rights — both off and on the
    Internet — will be snuffed out like a candle in the darkness, with
    only a waft of digital smoke left behind as a memory of what might
    have been.

    Today’s anti-censorship demonstrations were but the first sounding of
    the bugle, the first loud call to arms.

    The war to protect free speech and fight censorship on the Internet is
    guaranteed to long outlive us all.

    Lauren Weinstein

  14. Keith says:

    Posted by Michael Moore on twitter @MMFlint
    Members of Congress still in shock over yesterday’s massive internet protest. I’ve never seen a demonstration have an impact this quickly.

  15. Keith says:

    Earlier post by Michael Moore @MMFlint
    13 Senators have flipped their position on the bills in the past 24 hrs. But, sadly, most Dems are still for it

  16. Keith says:

    Posted by Michael Moore on twitter @MMFlint
    UPDATE: Now it’s 19 Senators (including some of the bill’s co-sponsors) who have flipped and will oppose the internet censorship bills.

  17. Marie-Christine says:

    Oui. C’est NOTRE probleme. Cette Loi concerne tout le monde (pas seulement les Americains). Repandez le mot.
    Ci-dessous – un article par Jeff Jarvis que tout le monde doit lire.

    Nous sommes les Lobbyistes (les groupes de pression) maintenant.

    L’Internet a aide a former un nombre incalculable de gens, Hier l’Internet s’est converti en Public.

    Ou plutot des millions de personnes qui se soucient de la liberte de l’Internet ont utilise le net pour s’organiser et le defendre contre les efforts pour le controler et l’endommager.

    La censure de SOPA-PIPA a attire l’attention dans les medias qui avaient auparavant pratiquement tous ignores la question -, soit parce qu’il y avait un conflit d’interet ou par negligence –
    Hier, dans la discussion sur le mouvement j’ai entendu quelqu’un a Washington allege – disant que ces mecs devraient engager des lobbyistes comme tout le monde.
    Non, nous sommes tous des lobbyistes (groupes de pression) maintenant et c’est exactement comme cela devrait etre. Ce mouvement n’a pas besoin de propagateurs d’influence.Il n’a pas besoin des publicites politiques. Il n’a pas besoin de media. Seulement besoin de citoyens qui ne s’en foutent pas. La democratie.

    Je suis ravi que la discussion s’est eleve au niveau des principes, une discussion que j’ai defendu doit prendre place si nous, le public de l’Internet devons proteger notre outil de publicite.

    Il y a beaucoup a faire pour cette cause, la perturbation des modeles de business des medias, un changement fondamental dans notre facon de voir la valeur du contenu. – l’amoindrissement du pouvoir des institutions, la menace des frontieres nationales – Mais pour l’instant ne nous en soucions pas et concentrons nous sur ce qui etait ne hier : un mouvement politique, un mouvement dont la cause est la liberte.

    Que peut faire de plus ce mouvement? Peut-il elire des candidats? Le devrait-il? Ou devrait-il continuer de maintenir les politiciens les pieds dans le feu? Je n’aimerais pas voir la creation d’un Parti Internet. Je ne veux pas que ce mouvement imite le pouvoir dont on avait l’habitude de negotier autrefois. Je ne veux pas qu’il devienne une institution. Je ne crois pas que cela soit possible. Je prefere le voir continuer a imiter # Occuper Wall Street , organiser sans les organisations (pace Shirky) par l’interaction de ses principes et ses objectifs.

    Apres hier, les puissants sont prevenus qu’un Public peut se soulever comme par enchantement, pour protester et faire pression pour se battre et gagner.

  18. Prinie says:

    I was made aware of this yesterday when I went to look up something on Wikipedia and saw that they were doing a blackout for this!

    Thank you for posting this! If I can find a petition, I’ll sign it.

  19. Olta Canka says:

    Here we go again. Finally there’s a free space where everybody can benefit and make good use of it, and there goes the: “How to get Money and Power out of it?”
    It can’t go on like this forever. Free Internet must keep being the free space it used to be.
    It is not the first time we hear about a “cure” invented by the same hand who invented “the disease”. People can’t be fooled forever.

  20. Nicolas Benitez says:

    Hi Paulo i am a ecuadorian kid … excuse me dont want follow you… i want meet you… chat with you if this is possible… really i need your help(experience) =( … my dream is safe the world

  21. Pilar says:

    ¿Pueden traducirlo al español?

    1. Paulo Coelho says:

      utiliza la bandera en la barra lateral

  22. Kealan says:

    Buy now… pay later (pay 1000 fold later).

  23. achi says:

    so do i. say no to SOPA-PIPA!!

  24. Heimo Kruschinski says:

    I see exactly the same way! Something like this, contains the germ of censorship in itself. And that’s what will happen. Just as the data retention in the EU to be used for sure. All this serves only to our security. Against terrorism and piracy. A touching story. I’m not sure, to make everything available free of charge, for people who have enough money. At least as long as there is money. Unfortunately I can not even go into a store and take everything for free. Perhaps the film industry, music industry thinks about a reasonable system. However, this is an illusion. Since we can wait a long time. Why easy if it works well complicated?

    I wish you all a wonderful day

  25. Elizabeth says:

    Totally true and if you want to help you can sign here a petition:

    Maybe there are more places, this is the only one I know.

    Thanks Paulo.