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No help from me today: experience NI.com as it would be under SOPA or PIPA

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Imagine if you could not post to ni.com or to LAVA or any other community web site to get help with your technical problems. Imagine if the only way you get tech support is talking specifically to an AE because you didn't have a way to talk to post questions to the rest of the LabVIEW community. Would that impact your ability to get your job done?

 

Wikipedia and many other websites are unavailable today to protest and to educate about the dangers of two bills now being considered by the US Congress: PIPA and SOPA. The Stop Online Piracy Act and the PROTECT IP Act both aim to reduce violations of copyright online. The problem is they do this by attacking First Amendment rights, removing judicial safeguards and placing huge amounts of power in the hands of copyright holders. The net effect of this would be to make it nearly impossible to run sites that allow user-posted content, such as ni.com and LAVA.

 

Under these bills, someone at National Instruments would have to vet every post, check every VI uploaded, and somehow prove to their own satisfaction that the code posted really is clear of any copyright problems because the NI.com web site would be legally liable if anyone in the world complained that their IP had been illegally posted. Even links would have to be vetted to make sure that they didn't point to a site that did not also have this sort of prior review. The whole web site, not just the one offending post, could be blacklisted, without judicial review. The burden of proof would be on ni.com to prove that the content wasn't copyrighted.

 

So today, I won't be answering any questions on LAVA or ni.com, and I am encouraging others to also not post content online (other than SOPA and PIPA discussions). Let today give the experience of a world as we had it before the World Wide Web made knowledge so easy to share. Let it be a call to action because these bills are not some abstract thing off in Washington DC, but legislation that would have a very real impact on the day-to-day operations of anyone doing tech support or relying on a community for help. The SOPA bill has been, for the moment, withdrawn by its authors, but they promise to bring it up later, presumably when the tech community isn't paying so much attention. PIPA is still being considered in the Senate. And although our current president has said he will not support these bills, there's no telling what the next president might do or whether Congress might override a veto.

 

An excellent write up of these two bills is here, written by the Electronic Freedom Foundation:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/01/how-pipa-and-sopa-violate-white-house-principles-supporting-fr...

 

Those of you who are American citizens, please contact your representatives in Congress and ask them to really learn about these bills and their impact.

Message 1 of 13
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Hey,

 

you have my empathy on this topic. I can hardly imagine that a country that states itself as the defender of freedom all over the world bullies its inhabitants with absurd laws like that. Obviously, some still dare to try.

As we call this democracy it is of utter importance to make your voice heard - wikipedia did an impressive job on this. Everyone else can do so aswell.

 

As a non-american all I can say to you: Good luck!

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Message 2 of 13
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See also here

 

I hope this is a wake-up call for those that value their free-speech.

 

Like a wolf creeping in in sheeps clothing, any change that put in place mechanism that could be used to crush free speech should not be ignored.

 

The sheep-skin in this case is a supposed attempt to protect IP. The teeth and claws are the mechanism that will be required to shut-down a site.

 

It is like we are being told "Don't worry about us installing these locks on the doors, we will never use them."

 

I have ordered a book I heard about recently called "How do you Kill  11 Million People?" The answer is "You lie to them." This how the victims of that thingy that happened back in the late 30's went without fighting to their own demise thinking they were being saved.

 

Imagine if those victims of that un-named group would have been able to text their family members after they got off of the trains.

 

Ben

Retired Senior Automation Systems Architect with Data Science Automation LabVIEW Champion Knight of NI and Prepper LinkedIn Profile YouTube Channel
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Accepted by AristosQueue (NI)

To be clear: This is a personal effort of mine. My job description does not actually require posting to the forums -- that's something I do as I have time available because I enjoy it. The AEs and others at NI who monitor the forums will continue to do so today as normal.

Message 4 of 13
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And I just answered someone question before seeing this. I too will avoid posting anything today unrelated to these bills. I went to wikipedia to see the blackout. I entered my zipcode and clicked on contact representatives. There is an online form to contact each of them which I did. Just a simple "I wish to express my sincere opposition to the SOPA and PIPA bills" is all it takes. I encourage everyone to do the same. In case you see this after the wikipedia blackout here is the direct link to the contact page. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:CongressLookup

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LabVIEW 2012


Message 5 of 13
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Just sent an email in to all my senators.  Left a message for them this morning.

 

Is the future of the internet worth 5 minutes of your time today?

 

Message 6 of 13
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Update: LAVA has been blacked out.

Message 7 of 13
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Dissenting opinion.

 

I will respectfully disagree with the form of protest encouraged by others in this thead.  but let me join them on two points I believe I agree on:

 

1) SOPA/PIPA  are outrageous for numerous reasons

2) Each member is totally free to express themself in any civilized manner

 

I am not here to make a political statment but because I choose to support the community.  The 8-ball will spin today.


"Should be" isn't "Is" -Jay
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Message 8 of 13
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@Jeff Bohrer wrote:

Dissenting opinion.

 

I will respectfully disagree with the form of protest encouraged by others in this thead.  but let me join them on two points I believe I agree on:

 

1) SOPA/PIPA  are outrageous for numerous reasons

2) Each member is totally free to express themself in any civilized manner

 

I am not here to make a political statment but because I choose to support the community.  The 8-ball will spin today.


Respectfully of course, the form of protest brought massive attention to these bills. Co-sponsors are reversing their support and I think that it is partially due to the backlash on the Internet. The bills appear to be on life support so the 8-ball may spin tomorrow as well.  I can live without wikipedia and lava for a day. Living without them permanently would be a different story.

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LabVIEW 2012


Message 9 of 13
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@Steve Chandler wrote:

@Jeff Bohrer wrote:

Dissenting opinion.

 

I will respectfully disagree with the form of protest encouraged by others in this thead.  but let me join them on two points I believe I agree on:

 

1) SOPA/PIPA  are outrageous for numerous reasons

2) Each member is totally free to express themself in any civilized manner

 

I am not here to make a political statment but because I choose to support the community.  The 8-ball will spin today.


Respectfully of course, the form of protest brought massive attention to these bills. Co-sponsors are reversing their support and I think that it is partially due to the backlash on the Internet. The bills appear to be on life support so the 8-ball may spin tomorrow as well.  I can live without wikipedia and lava for a day. Living without them permanently would be a different story.


I posted the dissent to assure the protesters that I truely acknowledge the cause and their sacrifice and was not spitting in their faces by non-participation.  Not all members are US citizens.  I chose my path for myself.  Would you prefer that choice to be imposed on me in re the forums? by anyone?

 

My greatest fear is that although the form of protest was immediatly effective, it did for one day what the legislation would do as well.   much like a famous scene from "blazing saddles"  Where the sheriff points his gun at himself an shouts (edited for content) "Stop! or the [american male with african heritage] gets it!"

 

I encourage the protest, I dissagree with the method.


"Should be" isn't "Is" -Jay
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Message 10 of 13
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