The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: January 18 – SOPA Opposed with Internet Blackouts

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If you went to Google today, you’d see a large black box urging visitors to contact their Congressional leaders. If you tried to access Wikipedia, you’d be out of luck. The inspiration for these “today in history” blurbs originates with Wikipedia, providing an outline and then resources for further information. Popular blog sites like Reddit, BoingBoing and the Cheezburger Network have also posted prominent protests. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is a bipartisan bill (H.R. 3261) introduced in the US House of Representatives by Lamar Smith (R-TX). The bill expands the ability of US law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual and counterfeit goods. The proposed bill would allow copyright holder to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement (Google has cited YouTube as an example  of a site that would be shut down immediately if this law were to go into effect). Depending on who requests the court orders, the actions could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators such as PayPal from doing business with the allegedly infringing network, barring search engines from linking to such sites, and requiring Internet service providers to block access to such sites. Unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content would be a crime, with a prison sentence. The bill also gives immunity to Internet services that voluntarily take action against websites dedicated to infringement, while making liable for damages any copyright holder who knowingly misrepresents that a website is dedicated to infringement. Proponents aim to crack down on piracy, but opponents say it overreaches, and violates the first amendment. The Senate vote is scheduled for January 24.

Click here to read the bill

It’s Wednesday, January 18

Gather a team of six to compete in Saturday’s Trivia Night benefiting Project Hope No-Kill Humane Society. Doors open at 6:30 for registration, and play starts at 7PM at Grace Episcopal Church in Paducah. It’s $15 per player. Request a registration form by calling 217-7781.

Western Baptist Hospital offers a free grandparenting class providing updated information, safety tips, and a refresher on how to care for grandchildren. The class meets tomorrow night at five in the Atrium Classroom of Doctors Office Building 2. To register, call 575-2229.

The Ballard County Chamber of Commerce invites the public to their first annual open house tomorrow night at their new location next to the farmer’s market in La Center. Visit with directors, see the new office, enjoy refreshments, and register for door prizes from 3:30 to 6:30. For more information, call Executive Director Beth Hunt at 665-8277.

Find the text of this datebook on The Front Blog at wkms.org. Thanks!

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Written by Matt Markgraf

January 18, 2012 at 11:38 am

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