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Web Blackouts Inspire the Jerkiest Responses From SOPA Proponents

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FLAK CATS
DailyFeed

In protest of the draconian bills Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), major players on the web have voiced their opposition to the potentially dangerous laws -- either through an altered logo or a full-fledged shutdown.

In a meaningful doodle, Google (GOOG) has "censored" its own logo with a black banner covering all but the lower curve of its second G, as well as including a link explaining how flawed the two bills are. Twitpic, 4chan, Wordpress, and Wired have also shown their solidarity with slightly censored versions of their sites, but Wikipedia, Mozilla, Boing Boing, Reddit, and Fark have gone completely black in protest -- mimicking what an online life would be like should a government act shut them down.

While the majority of tweets I've read support the move and the message being touted, SOPA and PIPA proponents have responded with the jerkiest reactions imaginable.

Since both bills would allow copyright holders (i.e. power-hungry media conglomerates) to indiscriminately shut down websites without due process -- under the guise of protecting copyright holders from piracy, of course -- it's in the best interest of major media companies and organizations to see these bills passed. Although AOL (AOL) and Yahoo (YHOO) have come out against the bills, several members of the Business Software Alliance -- which implicitly champions SOPA -- have remained silent or in direct support. However, companies like Microsoft (MSFT), Apple (AAPL), Sony (SNE), and EA (ERTS) have removed their names from the list of supporters.

But one SOPA proponent who remains unwavering is News Corp (NWS) chief and right-wing Aussie curmudgeon Rupert Murdoch, who has taken to Twitter to angrily decry the web blackout.

"So Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters who threaten all software creators with piracy, plain thievery," says one.

"Piracy leader is Google who streams movies free, sells advts around them. No wonder pouring millions into lobbying," reads another.

Murdoch adds, "Nonsense argument about danger to Internet. How about Google, others blocking porn, hate speech, etc? Internet hurt?"

And adjusting his foil hat, he writes, "Seems blogosphere has succeeded in terrorizing many senators and congressmen who previously committed. Politicians all the same."

Of course, where would major media companies who advocate sweeping censorship to crush piracy be without the MPAA and RIAA?

In response to the SOPA protests, MPAA chairman Chris Dodd called the blackouts "an abuse of power" as well as "dangerous and troubling" -- accurately describing the specific shade of black the kettle bears.

Dodd goes on to say, "[A] so-called 'blackout' is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals." Adding, "[It's] a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms the serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests."

Remember now, he's talking about the opponents to SOPA and PIPA.

And not wanting to miss out on all the fun, RIAA senior vice president Jonathan Lamy chimed in on the Wikipedia blackout. "After Wikipedia blackrout [sp], somewhere, a student today is doing original research and getting his/her facts straight. Perish the thought." But apparently not receiving the type of cheers and guffaws he thought he'd get for mocking a serious issue of which many feel he's on the wrong side, Lamy has deleted the tweet.

Given the public's strong opposition to SOPA, these supporters are only digging themselves deeper into the public's contempt by whining about not having enough power.

Quite a feat, considering how we already felt about Murdoch, the MPAA, and the RIAA.

(See also: Apple, Microsoft Support That Awful Online Censorship Act and iPhone Can't Match Android's Versatility, Says Steve Wozniak)

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