Look, if the alleged “President” of the United States wants to distract from COVID-19 by changing the subject who am I to argue? Gives me something more fun to write about. And to make many comments about the stupidity of the alleged leader of the free world and how he has no understanding about internet law. Right up my alley!
Sometimes you have have a lot to write about and sometimes you have nothing to write about. This is one of those times. So let’s write about all of it. And none of it.
On Monday this week the U.S. Supreme Court came down with their decision in the case of Elonis v. United States, which is all about a terrible rap lyricist threatening to kill or hurt a bunch of people on Facebook. Let’s take a look at the decision and see if it has any implications for Canada (spoiler alert – it does not! It’s U.S. law!).
I rarely write about U.S. internet legal developments around here. But sometimes, the facts of a U.S. case are just too interesting to ignore. Once such recent case caught my eye. If you’ve read the headline of this post, you know what I mean. And there is a Canadian connection to the facts, so that’s something.
Yesterday there was a huge ruling in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California. Now normally we don’t write about U.S. internet law around here, but since the decision affects our favourite Canadian pirate, Gary Fung of isoHunt, we’re gonna make an exception. Especially because isoHunt is fucked.
When this site along with tons of others went dark yesterday, we just assumed nothing would happen and today we would all get on with our lives. Well fuck me. This protest thing actually worked. Not that SOPA and PIPA have been withdrawn or anything, but a whole bunch of congressmen and senators withdrew their support for their respective bills. That group includes Senators Marco Rubio and Orrin Hatch, who were actually co-sponsors of PIPA, and Congressman Lee Terry who co-sponsored SOPA. Wow. And just as important, the day of protest rose awareness of the bills across the internet and mainstream media alike. I’m almost giddy today at the whole thing.
While the political fallout was great, from a fun point of view without a doubt the highlight of the day was #FactsWithoutWikipedia on Twitter. Absolute brilliant job, Twitterverse. Even yours truly got in on the act. Stupid hilarity like that is what the internet was made for.
Good job all around, internet!
The internet is a-protesting! Tomorrow, many many important sites will go black to protest the SOPA and PIPA legislation in front of the House and Senate respectively. This blog will join them, leaving all three of my readers in the dark, so to speak. Why should a Canadian protest American legislation you ask? Damn good question. Read this. If you don’t want to read all of that, the simple fact is that the American legislation will have extra-territorial effects. That’s a fancy way of saying that any Canadian site with a .com address could be targeted. Like this one.
Fight the power. Fade to black. See you on Thursday.
Outstanding detective work from the gang over at Torrentfreak, who have discovered that there is online pirating going on in the U.S. House of Representatives. The same House of Representatives that is currently getting ready to pass SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. I’ll explain the details of this delicious pile of irony after the jump.