Published on January 22nd, 2012 | by Steven Hodson


Reddit and YCombinator take the war against censorship up a level

While there is nothing wrong with us all congratulating ourselves over the success of forcing Congress to shelve both SOPA and PIPA we would be foolish to think that this is the end of the war, because that is just what the entertainment industry is hoping will happen so they can try again to slide another attempt through their paid for US Congress.

This past week is really nothing more than the opening skirmish of a much larger; and inevitable, battle to come but interestingly enough two big players in the tech world have decide that rather than resting on their laurels it is time to take the fight to those behind things like SOPA and PIPA.

Rather than behaving reactively there is talk starting to percolate through the web about going on the offensive and not like a bunch of disorganized basement dwellers sneaking around behind masks (the common perception not mine). The idea is to move beyond blacking out sites and instead soing something that will really get these corporations attention – their bottom line.

As suggested on a website called The Best Page in the Universe (slightly NSFW language):

Instead of changing your Facebook icon to an anti-SOPA image for a day or two, here’s something you can do that might make a real difference: boycott the companies that supported this legislation. There are too many to boycott all of them effectively, so I propose we pick two or three, hit them, and hit them hard. Punish them for putting their interests above ours.

This idea has been picked up by both Reddit and YCombinator with Reddit; who was a prime instigator of Black Out Wednesday, discussion that suggests in part:

Make [it] look professional instead of like a handful of angry nerds using rage faces and MS paint to call the MPAA [names]. It would be hard to blame piracy when a single studio starts to sink and a boycott announced weeks before said it was going to happen.

Now YCombinator is best known for being a startup incubator and investor so they are suggesting that their funding could be used as an effective weapon:

What’s going to kill movies and TV is what’s already killing them: better ways to entertain people. So the best way to approach this problem is to ask yourself: what are people going to do for fun in 20 years instead of what they do now?

As much fun as the whole Black Out Wednesday thing might have been it is moves like those suggested by Reddit and YCombinator that could have a real effect, and force those in political power to reconsider their backing of the entertainment industry.

via Techie Buzz



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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).

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