Going on Strike

 

Along with Wikipedia and other sites, this blog will go on strike on the 18th of January, 2012. We will be closed starting 13:00 UTC (also known as 1 pm Greenwich Mean Time – that’s 8 am Eastern Standard Time for you Americans). We should be back 12 hours later.

Congress has decided to shelve the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) until a more compliant president is elected. But we need to let them know now that this bill sucks, along with its evil partner, the Protect IP Act or PIPA. That’s what the internet strike is about.

My homepage will be on strike too—in fact, it started today! Yours can easily do the same: just copy my homepage onto yours and adjust it to taste.

(By the way, the official version of the “strike” webpage is flawed because it uses relative links that don’t work when you copy it to your own site. I fixed those in my version.)

12 Responses to Going on Strike

  1. Verne says:

    this ought to be interesting.

  2. This strike means I’m less behind on the myriad of blog articles you’re forcing me to write!

  3. Walter Blackstock says:

    Let’s not forget HR3699: “The Research Works Act, also known as H.R. 3699, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives at the 112th United States Congress on December 16, 2011, by Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA) and co-sponsored by Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY). The bill contains provisions to prohibit open access mandates for federally funded research and effectively revert the NIH’s Public Access Policy that allows taxpayer-funded research to be freely accessible online.” (Wikipedia)

    • John Baez says:

      Indeed, on Google+ we’re also busy complaining about that! These days the political life of an American intellectual is like bailing water out of a sinking rowboat.

      WordPress has made it easy to go on strike – we’ll see if it works, but starting at 1 pm UTC (also known as 1 pm Greenwich Mean Time, or 8 am EST) on the 18th you should see a strike notice here instead of the usual blog.

  4. simplicio says:

    This strike made a lot more sense back before they shelved the law.

    (or maybe I’m just bitter because my effective IQ will drop ten points when wikipedia goes dark)

    • John Baez says:

      They have not shelved the Protect IP Act or PIPA, which is the evil partner SOPA. And they—the US Congress—need to hear from people before they realize that internet freedom has a constituency. While you’re taking a break from using Wikipedia, email your congresspeople so we don’t need to do this again!

  5. John Huerta says:

    Your site appears to be 403 forbidden. Perhaps you need to fix some permissions?

  6. John Baez says:

    We’re back! For some reason the WordPress “strike” software didn’t seem to turn on at 8 am EST, so I waited a while, lost patience, then switched the blog to “privately accessible only” and went to sleep (it being night here in Singapore). When I woke up it turned out the strike software was working. But now the strike is over.

    And it seems to have done some good:

    • Jonathan Weisman, In fight over piracy bills, new economy rises against old, New York Times, 18 January 2012.

    • Hayley Tsukayama and Sarah Halzack, Senators drop support of piracy bill after protests, Washington Post, 19 January 2012.

    Chris Dodd, the chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, fulminated:

    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 […]

    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.

    But this is a good sign, actually: people recognize that he’s living in another reality, and he’s being taken to task for it.

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