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    • CommentAuthorvoloch
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2011
    Presumably this SOPA legislation being discussed in the US congress will allow websites to be shut down if accused of copyright infringement e.g., if a user posts copyrighted material. So, if someone posts a link on MO to a paper (say at an university's server) whose copyright is owned by Springer/Elsevier/etc., there is a danger that MO would be shut down. I don't expect it to be very likely (Youtube would go first :-) ) but you never know. Is there something we can do?

    Call or write your congressperson! (I mean that.)

    • CommentAuthortheo_b
    • CommentTimeDec 16th 2011
    The possible impact of SOPA on the StackExchange network and what one might do about it has been extensively discussed on the meta site of StackOverflow. A blog post that may serve as an introduction to the chaos:

    For more background: The recent issues of the deeplinks blog of the Electronic Frontier Foundation were almost exclusively dedicated to SOPA and PIPA.
    Had to bump this. Wikipedia is going to be blacked out for 24 hours starting beginning midnight of January 18.

    Among many links:

    I would support MO going dark on Wednesday.

    It's a bit late to be saying this, and I'm not enormously well informed; but there it is.


    I would not.

    Going dark seems like a reasonable policy for sites with a big audience and an outreach far beyound academe and intelligentsia. Wikipedia and Google are good examples of that. One day of Wikipedia being offline will have an impact on the outside world. MO going offline would be just useless (press won't write about it, politicians won't have troubles explaining things to their voters, etc.) and a case of preaching to the already converted (I don't think we have any SOPA/PIPA supporters in here). Note that arXiv isn't planning to strike either, and rightly so.


    So ... since SOPA has now been killed, they will still go dark?


    Gerald: yes, as I understand it, on the (reasonable) assumption that MPAA etc. will continue to attempt to have similar laws enacted.