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Comments about ‘Wikipedia will shut down Wednesday for cyber protest’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 18 2012 9:12 a.m. MST

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Brotherly Kindness
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Good for Wikipedia! Those horrible politicians in Washington who are in the pockets of the music and movie industries instead of serving the true interests of all Americans MUST BE STOPPED!

Mukkake
Salt Lake City, UT

Despite the inconvenience, as I use Wikipedia dozens of times each day, I'm glad that they have taken this action. Too few "average" Americans are aware that these bills exist and the devastating consequences that would result if passed.

Unfortunately, despite the Deseret News' usual diligence in covering government actions it finds overbearing and anti-free market, this is the first article the Deseret News has written on the topic (the bills having been around for several months). There were two AP stories in the past week that were re-posted, but this is the first actual article written by Deseret News staff.

Luckily, as far as I know, none of Utah's Senators or Representatives have support these bills.

DeltaFoxtrot
West Valley, UT

SOPA would create a "war on online piracy" just like we have a "war on drugs." It would result in the expenditure of millions of man hours and billions of dollars in an attempt to control something that can't be controlled.

To continue the comparison... Our jails are full to overflowing with people arrested for drug crimes, yet you can still buy drugs on the streets. For every shipment the govt. stops another ten get through. For every pot crop burned another five go unnoticed.

It is simply too widespread. The manpower and money to enforce it effectively don't exist.

Whoa Nellie
American Fork, UT

Woooo!! does anyone really care? Whatever will we do?

DeltaFoxtrot
West Valley, UT

@Whoa Nellie: For people who use the internet and sites like Wiki or Google as part of their everyday lives and jobs this really matters. A huge amount of commerce is conducted online now, reflected by these companies being worth major bucks. Losing them would certainly put a damper on economic growth.

Schwa
South Jordan, UT

SOPA and PIPA are pieces of legislation that were literally written by lobbyists for the entertainment industry. It upsets me that the language of our laws are often not even drafted by the government as is intended, but instead by special interest groups.

You won't find too many people who think internet piracy is a good thing. However the negative effects of it are wildly overblown by the entertainment industry. There is no way they lose billions every year to it, and there is no way it threatens 19 million American jobs. These statistics are just outright lies. The people saying them are liars.

The best way to combat piracy is to make content readily available at a reasonable price. I happily pay for Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and Spotify subscriptions. I also regularly purchase video games off of Steam. Why? because they are readily available, and reasonably priced. The days of $20 CDs and $30 DVDs are over. Your old business model is dead.

Not many people are aware of this, but the music industry actually settled a class action lawsuit where they were accused of colluding to price fix music CDs. The price for a CD was set artificially high by the industry, trying to gouge the consumer. And they wonder why people were pirating.

The reason SOPA and PIPA are so bad is that the technological weapons given to the entertainment industry have the potential to fundamentally break the way the internet works. It is written by people who do not understand the technology they are attempting to regulate. Leave the tech stuff to the tech guys.

CougarKeith
Roy, UT

I am usually against certain things, but I agree with Wikopedia. Why doesn't the Movie and Music Industry come up with a great idea on how to code music so it can't be transfered? Go back to CD's or something? You can't have your cake and eat it too without some form of piracy going around with technology. Technology is great, but it is also accompanied by EVIL as well! Look at Pornography, there are no "Victims" there either? Look at how "Sex" is used to sell everything today, No Victims there either? Cars, cloths, food, soft drinks, alcohol, it all victimizes people. How one might ask, peer pressure, "The Cool Thing", in dress that victimizes our women! in alcohol it victimizes Children, everyone! Using "Sex" to sell victimizes everyone! It promotes the downgrading of society. Simply look at the Modern Styles for women's dress, Less is more! Look at men's clothing, they are taught to dress like circus clowns, Baggy pants, baggy shirts, crooked hat brims, hanging chains, straps, underwear showing, they look so stupid! Where has the gentleman gone? Women are taught to live like prostitutes without collecting fees! It's discusting! We all should take A Stand!

Brother Chuck Schroeder
A Tropical Paradise USA, FL

Re: DeltaFoxtrot - 10:44 a.m.
A huge amount of commerce is conducted online.

Reply: Just look at the conservatives talk about jobs here, when they all bow down to K Street and Wall Street Corporate sneakiness. Government waste, outright-scams and con-games. All while in back stage secret deals for them only. Perhaps you should get on your knees and thank AlGore for inventing the internet, I say let's tax it to death then, that's one free market we did not touch yet, costing us well needed tax dollars. Then where does all Wikipedia other monies go, in "off shore bank tax safe havens" in secret accounts?. The GOP must of had them trained real good. We the 99 percent are being taxed to death, we are the middleclass. Is that the opposing Koch Brother's GOP/Tea Party ReaganBushClintonBush-villes economic systems of corporate greed capitalism vs capitalist communism where they tax the poor and give to the rich?. Isn't it "funny" how guys like Bush/Cheney made gundles of money $$$ with ownership in LockheedMartin/Halliburton/Standard Oil?. I hate War Profiteers also, talk about Gadiantons. WE HAVE the money to enforce it effectively it does exist.

BH
Tremonton, UT

Wikiwhat? Honestly, it seems that Wikipedia has overestimated their value. While I have used Wikipedia many times, it is no great loss if they shut down permanently tomorrow. All the information is available elsewhere. Besides, considering the open editing structure, Wikipedia is not a respected source.

While SOPA needs a lot more work, something needs to be done to regulate the uncontrolled copyright abuse that is so rampant across the internet. If I publish a book, or distribute a cd, or broadcast a program, that violates copyrights I can be severely fined and even jailed. Yet websites that violate copyright laws seem to continue to do so with impunity. How so? None of us, if we were the copyright owner, would want our work stolen from us.

UtahCentrist
Salt Lake City, UT

@BH - Anyone who claims that Wikipedia isn't a "respected source" of information because it is community edited is just plain wrong. Studies have shown that Wikipedia is as accurate as any other Encyclopedia out there, and given that over the past 3-4 years Wikipedia has been drastically improving their editing policies, it now easily has a better fact-to-error ratio than most publications, newspapers and encyclopedias included. Sure, there were problems when Wikipedia first started, but those problems have been fixed. To dismiss Wikipedia as irrelevant is arrogant foolishness.

As far as SOPA goes, giving the Movie and Recording industries veto power over the DNS system is the worst idea in this history of bad Internet ideas. Giving a self-interested group the power to pull any site offline without any judicial review is an absolute travesty, and our technologically-illiterate Congress Critters need to understand the true implications of what they are debating. My guess is that they don't have the foggiest idea about what they could unleash.

Protecting copyright is very important, and the entertainment industries have many legal tools in their portfolio right now to combat it, like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. To say they are powerless in the face of piracy without SOPA is laughable. Giving them the power to pull the plug on any site, any time, on their own prerogative isn't a step in the right direction. It is a step toward giving Hollywood the right to control our technological future, not to mention our First Amendment rights.

Additionally, how can we as Americans protest the censorship of the Internet in China and Iran if we give that exact same power to Hollywood (of all people)? We can't. It would only legitimize what Iran and China do.

If it takes bold moves by Wikipedia, Google and other tech giants to get the message across, I support it 100%.

UtahCentrist
Salt Lake City, UT

No matter how smart Congress and the Movie Industry Lawyers think they are, there is one thing that is even more certain: Hackers will always be 10 times smarter than them.

This law won't stop piracy, because Hackers and pirates will always come up with new ways to subvert the system. This should just be an accepted fact at this point.

All this law would do is give technological power to people who don't understand it and can not be trusted not to use it without abusing it. The DNS system is key to the workings of the Internet and the only people who should control it are people who actually understand it, not movie studio executives.

It's akin to giving a gun to a toddler and telling them to "play safe." Guns, in the proper hands, can be instruments of protection, but in the wrong hands, all it will reap is destruction and wrongful harm.

Hollywood (and Congress) are the last groups of people to be trusted with the keys to our technological kingdom.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

Down with SOPA.

DeltaFoxtrot
West Valley, UT

@Schwa: You got that right. People pirate entertainment because they believe the price to obtain legitimate copies is too high. I respect artists, actors and musicians for what they do, but they don't make very much money off of DVD and CD sales. Most of that cash goes to the publishers and record companies. These greedy megacorporations have a stranglehold on the entertainment industry, and SOPA/PIPA are their agenda. Lowering prices would be a great way to combat piracy, but who ever said big business did anything logical.

My problem with SOPA and PIPA is that they are a machete to the problem of content management online where a scalpel is really needed. These acts have the potential to change the way the web works globally and mass government censorship by the US would only encourage web companies like YouTube and Facebook to move their operations offshore, taking billions of dollars out of our struggling economy.

DeltaFoxtrot
West Valley, UT

As far as the condemnation of Wikipedia goes, as long as you stay away from politics and popular culture the information Wiki has is generally very accurate. It is a great way for people to educate themselves about history, science, technology and the natural world.

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