| |

The Internet says no to SOPA and PIPA

Yesterday, a large portion of the Internet rose up against two horrible bills making their way through Congress. These bills, SOPA in the House and Protect IP Act or PIPA in the Senate, would fundamentally change the nature of the Internet in misguided attempts at stamping out copyright infringement. Many websites voluntarily went dark for the day to show the public what things could well look like if these bills become law. Wikipedia, Craig’s List, Google, the Internet Archive, Reddit, Tumblr all participated, educating users and encouraging them to contact their congress people. Physical protests happened in San Francisco and New York where many lolcat fans, entrepreneurs, reddit users and first time activists turned out to lodge their opposition.

I grabbed my Z1U and ran down to City Hall here in San Francisco to catch up with the happenings. Several notable Internet people showed and spoke out about SOPA/PIPA including Craig Newmark, Caterina Fake, Ron Conway, MC Hammer, Brewster Kahle, and Elizabeth Stark. I recorded some of the soapbox action and grabbed some interviews asking two questions.

The first question, What is the worst part of SOPA and PIPA to you?

The second question, How will SOPA and PIPA affect your organization?

Interviewees: Jonathan Nelson, Sam Stoller, Caterina Fake, Tantek Çelik, Adina Levine, Seth Schoen, Rick Prelinger, Jen O’Neal, Jessica, Anders Nelson and Kim Dowd.

| | | |

Epic Win in SF

Irina and I went down and covered the Anonymous protests of Scientology in San Francisco. This was only one of dozens or hundreds held simultaneously around the world on Feb. 10th. Not much mainstream media coverage which is fine because our coverage rules, obviously.


ClubFed Launches

My good friend Sparky Rose has just launched ClubFed, his live “call-in” Internet show and vlog. For those that don’t know, Sparky got busted by the DEA for running one of the largest medical marijuana operations in California. What he was doing was legal under state and local laws, but of course the feds have their own ideas about medical pot. Sparky’s currently awaiting sentencing and it’s looking likely he’ll do time in federal prison. Until then, he’s hosting a weekly live show on Ustream.tv where he will talk about his case, medical marijuana legal issues, and answer your questions. Tune in on Saturday and Sunday nights at 8PM (PST). Archives of previous shows are also on his Ustream page. Every Thursday, Sparky will publish an edited video combining highlights from the live show and his own opinions. Here’s his primer.

Sparky is one of my closest friends and it sucks to see him caught up in the government’s ridiculously hypocritical war against medical marijuana. The federal government is at odds with at least 12 states who have legalized marijuana for medical use in some form or another. Consider making a donation to the Marijuana Policy Project or Drug Policy Alliance to help bring the federal government in line with reality. Or consider donating to Sparky directly. He still has legal costs and has set up a fund for his dog Oscar’s care, in the event he does do time.

Happy Buy Nothing Day!

The tryptophan’s keeping you lazy anyway, so why bother going out? You’ve got tons of turkey leftovers to chomp on and that pumpkin pie isn’t going to eat itself. Do yourself a favor, stay in and celebrate Buy Nothing Day today.

| | |

Last Chance to Save Internet Radio


Some bad news today in the fight to save Internet radio. Turns out the courts denied the stay of the royalty rate increases set by the Copyright Royalty Board. If this stands, all Internet radio stations will be out of business as of this Sunday, July 15th. Read Rusty’s analysis of the situation and then PLEASE CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN TODAY! SERIOUSLY! This is huge and grassroots action is critical to get Congress to act.

| | |

Josh Wolf owns Colbert

Friend and fellow video blogger Josh Wolf, who had 7 months of his life taken from him by the federal government, made a stellar appearance on the Colbert Report last night. Josh was solidly on his game, even catching Colbert off guard a couple of times. It’s rare to see both Thomas Paine and Charles Manson invoked in an interview, but it all makes complete sense. You gotta watch!