Internet Blackout Day

As you’ve probably noticed, some of your favorite sites are offline today, as a protest and means of raising consciousness about the Internet-crippling dangers of the SOPA bill currently kicking around the US Congress. While most people are fine with the stated purpose of “stopping piracy,” the bill is poorly-written and is much too vague and broad in its industry-friendly terms, and would allow major media companies to very widely apply copyright law to cripple the operation of websites such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Reddit, and countless others. Including this one.

Should SOPA go into effect, Blizzard’s lawyers could effective end the operations of any fansite, should they wish to. The posting of all Blizzard’s copyrighted images, all fan art (HolyKnight has put together a big list of useful links on his Deviant Art page.), all fan wallpapers, fan fiction, and so on, could be ruled as copyright infringements, and under the draconian anti-fair use provisions of the law, website operators would be required to remove all such material, as well as constantly scanning gallery uploads, video uploads, user blogs, forum comments, and more, to make sure no one tried to post any such material. Worst of all, sites that were deemed repeat offenders could be entirely blocked for anyone in the US, which would greatly inconvenience the surfing of US users, as well as bankrupt most of those sites, due to the loss of the largest user block.

Much more info can be found in the excellent FAQ on Wikipedia. A short quote:

SOPA and PIPA represent two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively. SOPA is short for the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” and PIPA is an acronym for the “Protect IP Act.” (“IP” stands for “intellectual property.”) In short, these bills are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but, in our opinion, they do so in a way that actually infringes free expression while harming the Internet. Detailed information about these bills can be found in the Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT IP Act articles on Wikipedia, which are available during the blackout. GovTrack lets you follow both bills through the legislative process: SOPA on this page, and PIPA on this one. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the public interest in the digital realm, has summarized why these bills are simply unacceptable in a world that values an open, secure, and free Internet.

Like all most multinational media conglomerates, Activision/Blizzard have helped to fund {they did not, though many others such as EA did), though Blizzard PR would appreciate if you didn’t bring that up. (Besides that Bashiok remark, numerous threads on SOPA have been locked or deleted on

Refer to the Wikipedia FAQ for the best ways to get involved and help stop this Internet censorship from becoming a reality.

Update: Another fan tried to start discussion on what SOPA might mean for Diablo III, and got shut down by Bashiok. If you’d like uncensored discussion on this, check the comments to this post, or hit up this forum thread.

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51 thoughts on “Internet Blackout Day

  1. I’ve been actively fighting this since early last year when these bills and their predecessors were in their infancy.

    All of this comes from the corporate greed of American media companies who are completely unable to adapt to the technology and business models of 1995+. We should not be punished because 75-year-old CEOs can’t wrap their brains around the thought of leveraging how we get our media through a series of tubes. And our politicians should not be so strongly influenced by such a moronic, ignorant lobby.

    • Agreed.  Instead of implementing draconian legislature, these 75-year-old throwbacks (mainly movie executives) should use 21st century methods to provide services that actually make money *cue bobby eyes*  Want an example?:
      iTunes has sold 11,000,000,000+ songs and made $600,000,000+ in an era of Napster, Limewire, Bearshare, Kazaa, and BitTorrent.  Amazon MP3 store is also doing well.  It was not radical legislation that led to these impressive profits.  It was providing a service that included a larger number of consumers.  SOPA and PIPA are examples of lobbyists gone wild, and another example of a generation that just wants this internet fad to disappear.

      What are you on about… these guys know exactly what they’re doing… which is why a parody of a Buster Keaton film keeps not falling in the public domain each time it should…
      Perpetual copyright, that’s what the final goal is… which is funny considering all those fairy tales made into cartoons is what got them where they are… and let’s not even mention the Lion King…
      It’s not that they don’t know how to compete, is that they don’t want to put in the effort…

  2. Any proof that activision/blizzard helps fund and support this whole initiative?

    It has been clear that you dont really like the company much, sometimes i even wonder why you “run” this fansite, although i do like it most of all the fansites around…

    • Initial reports listed ATVI amongst the supporters, but googling now I find people retracting that, so I updated the post. I have no doubt that their lawyers would take full advantage of it, should it become law, but they are apparently not amongst the companies bribing Congress to enact it.

      We love blizzard’s games and developers and many things about the company. Unfortunately, Bliz Irvine PR has long been a blight upon the company as a whole. Ask almost anyone who has dealt with them in any other then the most fawning and subservient fashion if you require additional explanation. We’ve posted discussions of those issues here several times in the past.

      • SOPA would affect the bnet forums as much as it would affect any other site with user-generated content (such as reddit or Wikipedia).

        Considering Blizzard hasn’t even used the DMCA to get the MANGOS WoW server emulator (unlike other MMO companies like CCP and TERA) removed from github, the idea that Blizzard’s lawyers would use SOPA to have artwork removed from fansites is completely unfounded.

        Seriously Flux, it is possible to not be sycophantic about Blizzard without sounding like you’re paranoid and delusional.

        • Actually i’m pretty sure Blizzard could pull the plug on any fan sites under current law… the difference is that with SOPA/PIPA instead of them having to prove you’re using copyrighted artwork without permission it would be the other way around, with the site in question having to prove it’s not…
          People bitch about piracy, but the truth is that most of your avatars are copyright infringement… also, fanart, fanfics etc… the rights owners just allow them because pissing of your fan base has proven not to be a good idea.

  3. Bigger question: when you obviously know the consequences of these bills and how it could (and probably would) affect your site personally, why isn’t this site blocked out for the day?
    (funny, my captcha is “walk the walk”.  Very appropriate for my post)

    • What’s the point of blacking out a fansite for a diablo game? Because it gets the traffic of wikipedia? Do you even know why these websites are going dark?

      • To raise awareness to this issue and join in the protest.  Ya know, something this site should probably be interested in doing.  The level of traffic means nothing.

        • Actually the level of traffic does mean something if the entire point is to “raise awareness”. Which isn’t the point. The point is to drive home to lawmakers and politicians that there could be, in reality, pretty dire ramifications if the bill is passed. It isn’t to make sure you know what’s going on, although that’s a by-product, of course.

          The bill represents a massive blow to our freedoms as extended into the digital realm. While there’s nothing in the constitution about wikipedia, the entire action and purpose of the bill is, in a philosophical sense at least, highly unconstitutional and goes against every premise this country was built upon. That’s the point of blacking out a website: to show this in a very opaque manner. 

          All you’re doing is grasping at straws in an attempt to smacktalk a website.

    • People who visit this site are 100% likely to read the post about SOPA, and way more likely to know about it already then folks who use wikipedia or google… and there’s a lot less of us anyway…
      Blocking it would just be symbolic…

  4. I don’t wanna defend Activision/Blizzard here, but I thought I read an article about this a while ago somewhere else where they claimed as well that Activision/Blizzard supported SOPA/PIPA and later had to change this, because it is not true (instead it was EA that supports it).

    So a source to the claim that they support it would be appreciated. Doesn’t sound unlikely, but “Like all multinational media conglomerates, Activision/Blizzard have helped to fund and are big supporters of the initiative” is a quite bold thing to say.

    • Pff … and the second I post this the thread is edited … but at least my memory is still working 😀

  5. Wake up People. I am a big diablo fan, but check out who runs blizzard.
    Blizzard -> Activision -> Vivendi -> General Electric
    Who ist GE. What do they stand for. Why do they produce a Heaven/Hell fight game?

    Dont get me wrong, I am a huge diablo fan, but i started to realize something. Wake up.
    Censorship is the beginning of the end. Check our censorship in the third reich. Check history.

    Love will live forever (and no, i am not sick, just WAKE UP guys.)

    • “Why do they produce a Heaven/Hell fight game?” Not following your logic. Sorry.
      “Love will live forever (and no, i am not sick, just WAKE UP guys.)” In the end we’ll all love Big Brother.

      • You might see it some day. Whole life is about good and evil. In the end of 2012 we will have an awareness fight of good and evil. spriritual. Like now, people begin to realize something. And this will be getting more and more. 
        Blizzard is also a money making machine. For a purpose. It comes from alone. Thats why “the systems” fights it, tries to censore. Tries to fight it by all means. Ron Paul is an example. His rEVOLution campain. LOVE is all you need. Check out most of the lyric of songs. Check Michael Jackson lyrics. His messages, check out Beatles stuff. Its all in there. Enough said, dont want you to think im crazy. I am just aware … You will be too …

        Still looking forward to d3 =)

        • Seriously, what the hell are you talking about? The way you talk (write) sounds like Dr. Mordin Solus, the salarian doctor in Mass Effect 2. Except that he made sense.
          captcha: “i see”. looking at your post, I dont see.

          • If you do not understand what I write, there might be 2 possibilites. Your fault or my fault.
            you just dont understand OR i just dont explain well.
            i am sure we are on the same side.

      • OK you are right. Vivendi is not owned by GE. my mistake, was hard to get the research since wiki is down 😉 
        Since i cant edit the post, I just say it with this one.

  6. Spreading awareness, one nerd at a time!
    It’s only a matter of time before they start taking down Ron Paul videos.

  7. Here’s what Blizzard does. Post Jay Wilson’s article on the front page. When you click it, ta-da, internet black out day! Solid.

  8. someody posted this link and quotes from the pdf over on the runic games forums, kinda long, but really ridiculous amount of spin
    The following is a statement by Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) on the so-called “Blackout Day” protesting anti-piracy legislation:[/quote]

    if its too much to read, then just look at the 3rd paragraph
    what a joke
    Only days after the White House and chief sponsors of the legislation responded to the major concern expressed by opponents and then called for all parties to work cooperatively together, some technology business interests are resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns, rather than coming to the table to find solutions to a problem that all now seem to agree is very real and damaging.

    It is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today. It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users in order to further their corporate interests.

    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. It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this “blackout” to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.

    and Runic’s official stand

  9. sadly most people are too fat and/or lazy to stand up against this.
    We are the generation that lets themselves being kicked in the ass without argueing about it.

    • Most people? Pretty much every website I’ve visited in the last month has bombarded me with anti-SOPA messages. If anything, it’s dogpiling on something that wasn’t going to pass in the first place.

  10. SOPA/PIPA are pure evil, nothing less. The fact that these were even conceived as bills let alone are actually going to a vote just goes to show how pathetic and disgusting this government is becoming. Or rather, I should say the individuals that are allowed to run the government are becoming more and more corrupt. The fundamental government structure itself can be great when the people in power both within and without the government positions are not twisting it to their own ends.
    Sadly, it seems to be only a matter of time before we become a full-on plutarchy… 🙁

    • Meh, they tried stuff like this against the phonograph, blank tapes, DVR… what matters is for people oppose BS like it every time…
      And copyright used to be 14 years + another 14 is you renewed… now it’s 70+…
      Shit’s always been f*cked up…

      • I think that statement would be “Google is too big and powerful to be left in private, unaccountable hands.” They’re already getting the stink eye over their filtering algorithms. Big companies cut deals w/ Google and push smaller companies off the first few pages of search results for goods and services. Seems, I dunno, sketchy.

    • I am surprised that they didn’t at lest add a note/general awareness statement about it as Google owns sites that would be effected by this act.

  11. If you wish to take action at the root of this and all issues, i would support candidates (if you can find any) that support publicly funded elections.  There is no representative government in the US, hasnt been for decades. The highest bidder gets all the favors which is why you see bills like this, rampant deregulation that favors big banks/business (see crash of 2008), media/information controlled by 4-5 mega-corps, etc.  Special interests and their ilk need to be taken out of this republic.  sorry its how i feel.

    • Since when has the rich NOT ruled in the US? The founding fathers were all wealthy landowners and reluctant to give power to the unwashed masses (with the sole exception of Benjamin Franklin). The poor have power in their vote, but most choose to remain ignorant on vital issues (and you hear of idiotic statements like “I vote from my gut” all the time). The US is better off now than at any time in its history (just ask any of the Kentucky miners that were brutally butchered by the police in the 1920s)

      • Right now, your vote means nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  You are simply selecting which corporate sponsor you dislike the least…at best.  Believe them if you want.

  12. Crap like this makes me depressed. These obviously awful bills have a real shot at passing, and what can we do to fight them? Personally, I can “control” three freaking members out of 535 (2 out of 100 senators, 1 out of 435 representatives). I (technically) have NO say over the other 532 morons running around the Capitol, unless I was a carpet bagging SuperPAC who uses massive wads of cash to meddle in somebody else’s backyard. So while my congress critters “do the right thing” and work hard to strike this crap down, I have no control over the rest of the a-holes who have a vote.

  13. Lol at Bash, what a crock of shit. It would take forum admins less than a minute to make an off-topic section for the D3 forums… Hmm, what are their motives? Anyway the Obama administration has already put their boot down on the neck of this particular bill, so I’m not too worried. What I AM worried about is how far it got until it was finally stopped. Can’t believe the internet is on such a precipice…

  14. For anybody who absolutely NEEDS to use wikipedia, and can´t wait for 24 hours, disable JavaScript for in your browser´s options. That allows for normal usage of wikipedia with no restrictions.

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