The OPEN Act as an experiment in digital democracy
January 18th, 2012
05:34 PM ET

The OPEN Act as an experiment in digital democracy

By John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN) - With all the buzz about SOPA and PIPA you may have missed another important acronym: OPEN.

The OPEN Act is being touted by its sponsor as the moderate alternative to those other two anti-piracy bills, which are causing all kinds of controversy in U.S. Congress and on the Internet. Sites from Wikipedia to Google and - you're on the Internet, you've already seen all this - were protesting those other two bills by blacking out or altering their sites on Wednesday.

The reason I bring up the OPEN Act is not because it's a stellar piece of legislation. It may or may not be. But what it definitely represents is a new way of thinking about the legislative process - a Wiki-ed out, crowdsourced, digitized version of bill writing.

(Full disclosure: CNN's parent company, Time Warner, is among the industry supporters of SOPA).

The main thing that makes the OPEN Act different is its presentation. The full text of the proposed bill is available at an easy-to-use website, KeepTheWebOpen.com. And, most important, people who go to that website can annotate the bill with comments and suggestions for its author, much like they would a Wikipedia document. There's a field where you can submit your e-mail address to receive updates about changes to the bill and its path through the maze that is our legislative process.

GOOD Magazine argues in a recent post that this online presentation is a revolution in participatory democracy:

The site functions like a combination of Wikipedia and any familiar commenting system: Click a sentence in the bill and add your changes. Though ultimate authorship will fall to (Darrell) Issa, user markups and comments are expected to make their way to the draft presented to the congressional committee. Whether or not the bill makes any headway in Congress, the hands-on drafting of the OPEN Act offers a glimpse of the future of constituent engagement and legislative sausage-making.

Maybe that doesn't sound crazy-innovative. But it's way different from the norm.

If you want to read the text of PIPA, the Senate's anti-piracy bill, you would go to a legislation search site called THOMAS, which is part of the Library of Congress. Same for SOPA. Sure, you can find the text of the bills on that site, but multiple versions are often listed and it's hard to tell which amendments have been included or rejected. Further, there's no way to leave a comment in the text of the bill. It's not even clear where you would send a comment, unless you look up the author of those bills and then go to their individual websites, find their contact information etc etc. You get the point. It's harder.

The OPEN Act's website makes the democratic process just a bit easier - encouraging more input from citizens. So far, more than 150 people have annotated or commented on the proposed bill text, which isn't a huge number but is significant. And there are features that allow visitors to read and comment on SOPA and PIPA, too.

As GOOD notes, several other governments have experimented with crowdsourced democracy. Texas tried it on the issue of "payday lending," as the Texas Tribune writes. Iceland tried to crowdsource its constitution, says The Guardian.

The online software that powers the OPEN Act's website - called "Madison" - could be used again.

Salon writer Nancy Scola says the Wikipedia for legislation is already having an impact on how informed the public is.

 ... During the Judiciary Committee’s markup of the bill in late December, Keep the Web Open streamed the hearing feed and paired it with a Twitter stream of commentary from folks watching along at home. Issa’s office later reported that, on the first day of markup, there were some 138,000 instances of people watching the proceedings coming from the U.S. alone.

Sure, the Wikipedia blackout and the Google porn-like black bars are getting lots of chatter online this week. But the lasting impact of the SOPA/PIPA debate may not be the protest or even the legislation up for debate.

It could be a new process for letting the public shape legislation.

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Filed under: Innovation • Politics • Tech
soundoff (258 Responses)
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    February 16, 2014 at 8:39 am | Reply
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    The seoclerks.com is useful for

    December 18, 2013 at 6:47 am | Reply
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    The seoclerks.com web site allows The OPEN Act feature it allows the people ideas and suggestions for society

    December 18, 2013 at 6:41 am | Reply
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  24. Allan Shore

    Nice piece. And something like what I have been arguing for some time. Our RIghts of Privacy were really developed to protect business practices; people and businesses had to feel confident that they could be able to make money from their creative ideas. Now that we realize that this is insufficient and that we all click away our rights regularly via User Agreements, we should have a national open source creation project for our national Rights of Participation. Someone (preferably with an empowerment and progressive outlook, IMHO!) should outline what these rights might be, and the rest of us could edit and suggest alternatives until we have a generally agreed upon set of core rights for what it means to be connected to others and the digital universe. Perhaps just the lesson would be enough to make for a new idea of democarcy, and I know that it would make the heads of conservatives explode!

    Good article.

    January 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  25. Lagos

    The united states is not, and never has been a democracy. The concept of people that don't understand our government providing direct input on legislation is even more scary than these people voting.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:04 pm | Reply
    • Ryan

      Exactly. The US is a Democratic Republic, not a democracy. They are completely different.

      January 23, 2012 at 6:48 am | Reply
      • cheeka

        Care to explain the difference between a democracy and a democratic republic?

        January 23, 2012 at 9:17 am |
    • Rick Clark

      I hope Cheeka gets an answer. The difference is great and the significance of that difference is that a Democratic Republic ought to be able to act more swiftly... until the two party system plugged up our collective legislative colon.

      January 26, 2012 at 2:37 am | Reply
    • LizPiper

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      February 13, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
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  26. blucorsair

    IMHO,most of you are missing avery basic point about SOPA, PIPA and so called "crowd bills!" The socialist have been pushing for an IP. address tracking system for years in order to implement a state sales tax collection agency so that they can maintain their beloved social programs! Further more, they can catalog antagonistic opponents of bills that they may otherwise want to force through congress much like they did with Obamacare. Confidentiality is vital to a free society trying to prevent the vestieges of a tyranny that would potentially eliminate its opposition much like Hitler, Stalin and Mao did, only under the guise of the internet! Confidentiality is crucial for a free and politically open society! I ask you, ..."do you actually trust the government?"

    January 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • MG.

      You have made a very valid point! More than half of large corps. and the overwhelming majority of small businesses and the american people are against this citing that it will hurt sales. One thing is for certain, if Obama and organizations like CNN are for this, then I am definitely against it!

      January 22, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
      • ZS

        Can't you (and collective you) decide what you are and aren't against? Does it really take a corporation liking something for you not to like it? Lets look at both sides. If bills of congress would be offered suggestions by the common citizen then it would fill a void that our system of government is missing: OUR PEOPLE. (like when did the American people decide they want to take action against online piracy?) On the other hand there are too many people uneducated in how to handle this responsibility responsibly.

        February 2, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Random

      It was previously posted that the United States is not, and never has been a democracy. This is correct and this is due in grate part because of the Electoral College. Some say the U.S. is no longer a free country. It never was. Thin incorporation controversy is proof. For if the bill of rights does not apply to the states of the union, there are no guaranteed rights. Our country did previously have courtesy. Rather making something illegal for everyone (drugs), people were punished for their actions. Rather than ticketing people for not warring a seat belt, they were given the option to risk their life for comfort. People were for the most part left to seek their happiness if they did not affect others from doing the same. With the advent of government assistance, society gave up its right to be free from government interference. Society lost the freedom because the government has an invested interest in preserving its investment in the societies welfare. You also lost you right to change your mind during the civil war because states rights were abolished with the right to succeed from the union. (Pleas forgive any spelling or grammatical errors)

      January 23, 2012 at 5:51 am | Reply
  27. Art

    "Full disclosure: CNN's parent company, Time Warner, is among the industry supporters of SOPA."

    Which tells you that this report is filtered.

    It also sounds like a silly piece of advertising.

    January 21, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  28. Ed

    If you've ever read the highly educated, intellectual comments that frequently follow articles on CNN, you can see the futility of this sort of proposal.

    January 21, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Reply
  29. What about

    I wonder how they expect to speak for the millions, billions of independent artist out there, those who understand how the internet works, allows and provides free downloads of their creative outputs, and are not products of big industries and labels. This is all about big industry trying to find a way to make money off of everyone including artist that are not apart of their "business" by further restricting THE, YOU, ME, audience to the "chosen few" (you can insert what's on the tip of your tongue here). People are not interested in paying 16$+ for some crap artist, or 38$+ for a crap movie rebuilt from the same plot crap as the last, with cost of every mainstream product continually raising in cost (your pay check not) with these "underground" artist still remaining with decent prices will still having to compete for a little space with the BIG (and I mean big) money hungry artist (business men/women).

    For artist though I do understand not at the expense of people like the owners of Megaupload who knowingly made profits off of their backs. It makes you wonder how people get away with selling used music CDs and DVDs though. You can't put a price on art. They are not losing much of anything to piracy, if anything EVERYBODY is ganging a larger audience than any one has ever had since the age of internet.

    There's a lot of things that need to be sorting out first outside of the internet before they starting ignorantly messing with it with they industrial age mind sets in a whole other world.

    January 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      The industry does not want the small artist to succeed. It only wants to engineer and create their own stable of artists. This is why music on the radio is crap and you keep hearing The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, Lady GaGa, etc., over and over. Big business has stifled art.

      Regarding, CDs and DVDs. This will be the thing of the past as the industry is already wanting rid of thiese. They will gain control$$ by avenues such as apple beaming movies to us digitally as they are starting to do in some theatres. Don't worry though, they always shoot themselves in the foot as thoughtful people demand creativity and ingenuity.

      Let greedy corporations ruin the internet, then maybe people will start supporting their local artists again. I much rather go out to support local plays and bands than go to a movie which sometimes cost just as much.

      January 21, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • Anonymous

      Well said. I think that the Government gives too much power to those who have the money to support them or "bribe" them. If we think that we have any power over the government by protesting, you are wrong. The lobbyists were given all the power to completely influence the government.

      January 23, 2012 at 7:47 am | Reply
  30. MaskedNobody

    We should let anonymous write our bills.

    January 21, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
    • Scott P

      Information and knowledge is free and should remain that way, however until we have an effective way to monitor and police the internet and prevent copyright infringements we must keep things constant and hope resulting damges are minimal.

      January 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
      • john

        I would have to disagree a little. I think "knowledge" is not free and has always been protected from the masses. If it were free, it wouldn't be so damn expensive to go to an Ivy league college. Then comes along the computer and allows us a certain amount of "free access" to knowledge and the people "in the know" get very nervous. They see the leveling of the playing field they have been dominating for so long. So they come out with bills to control the internet to protect their turf. Sorry guys, you might delay the inevitable but the controllers of the internet will be the people who best understand how to use it to their advantage.

        January 21, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
      • nah

        j: "They see the leveling of the playing field they have been dominating for so long. So they come out with bills to control the internet to protect their turf."

        Uh..what?

        Trying to protect your property is hardly trying to "keep" the playing field unlevel.

        January 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  31. anonymous

    Companies should adapt to the changing world. Work with the internet. The internet is a library composed of media and literature and should not be destroyed.

    January 21, 2012 at 8:47 am | Reply
  32. Avi

    We are not China, a Communistic country, or the Middle East. We should have access to whatever websites we desire and that's that. If the government has a problem with it, they can blame the founding fathers for the Bill of Rights

    January 21, 2012 at 4:39 am | Reply
  33. John

    STOP TRYING TO MESS WITH THE INTERNET.... ITS FINE THE WAY IT IS!!!! boo hoo if the top #1 are missing out in more money out of our pockets

    January 21, 2012 at 2:30 am | Reply
    • nah

      john: "STOP TRYING TO MESS WITH THE INTERNET.... ITS FINE THE WAY IT IS!!!! boo hoo if the top #1 are missing out in more money out of our pockets"

      Oh, right. Boo hoo them. They have money, therefore you should be allowed to take their property and use it for your own benefit without compensating them.

      You're smart.

      January 21, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  34. OrangeW3dge

    Yes, the Internet is not just the United States. and the United States is not the World. Get over yourselves...you do not rule the universe, even though you think you should.
    Now,,, using the Internet to discuss governmental actions is a natural, why didn't they think of that sooner? Try accepting comments in more languages than just English and you may come up with some usable ideas to deal with you problems. Just remember, the laws you pass only apply to your country...

    January 21, 2012 at 1:25 am | Reply
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  35. Sorry Dude

    Internet is a free domain and cannot be policed. The fact that people are trying is appalling.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  36. CP

    they cnt shut down the internet cause tht is literally shutting down almost everything we have they need to do more research

    January 20, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  37. Kody

    It's good to see Congress starting to embrace this concept. I'm working on a project that is similar called Directing Democracy, only our Wiki-bill will do something similar to help the middle class. Check it out: http://www.indiegogo.com/Directing-Democracy.

    January 20, 2012 at 10:19 am | Reply
  38. catmomof17

    Can't be a bigger FAIL than the jerks we elected....hummmm....maybe we should outsource canidate nominations! Might be a stellar improvement!

    January 20, 2012 at 9:28 am | Reply
  39. Tekctrl

    Great idea! Too bad that our legislators (democrat And republican) and special interests Don't Want the public involved or providing commentary. It's a whole lot easier to tell the public "We're the experts. We know what you need even better than you do. Trust us, we'll take care of you" and then enact legislation by and for special interests. "Whatever is good for is good for America, so we're actually taking care of you!" (whether you want it or not) is the theme at the capitol building.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:23 am | Reply
  40. Kurtus

    SOPA and PIPA are attempts by the music and movie industries to retain their profits by forcing others (mainly the Internet) to deal their problem, when these industries can deal with these themselves.

    Bootlegs from China, in theater video recordings from other than America combine to make up to 68% of their losses, not the internet. The music and film industries can develope their own safeguards with technology innovations, education of theater staff or by dubbing voices to the language they release to which limits the bootlegs appeal. (You will never see an english speaker buy or download a bootleg movie in the Chinese language). They decided the best course of action is to invest their money in politicians, which also gives them access in the future for what they want, instead of investing in more solid answers.

    The Internet belongs to the worlds public, good or bad, it is freedom pure ands simple. It is up to the worlds public to decided by their actions, surfing habits and access choices what is acceptable or not on their internet. All this just makes me think of a car manufacturer who builds a car with safety problems, but decides to get the government to create a new law to ban their vehicle driven in a way where these problems show up. Is this a better answer to the problem instead of spending the money to fix the problems. How stupid do they think we are! NO TO SOPA! NO TO PIPA! There are better answers then this!

    January 20, 2012 at 5:01 am | Reply
    • nah

      kurtus: "SOPA and PIPA are attempts by the music and movie industries to retain their profits by forcing others (mainly the Internet) to deal their problem, when these industries can deal with these themselves."

      Not really.

      Considering it allows them to seek injunctions against third parties on the internet who facilitate piracy, it seems SOPA's really just giving them another tool they can use to protect their property.

      Or did you not read the bill?

      Yeah. You didn't read the bill.

      January 21, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply
      • Kurtus

        DO you get it Nah? I am not saying they do not have the right to protect their property, but when your bucket has a hole in it, is it better to repair the bucket, or try to enforce ownership over the water as it drains into the gutter. Guess to enforce onership as long as you do not have to pay for the enforcement. That is what I am saying.
        Why should our government get involved and add this cost to what it is doing, when the music and movie industries have invested in such a cheap bucket!
        Their unwillingness to deal with this from their end leaves one to question, if some of this so called piracy be call ENTRAPMENT sence these industsries do so little to stop it. Calling someone a thief because he picked up the $100 bill you placed on the sidewalk is stupidity, especially when all you did for a years was to say "No one better pick that up!"

        January 22, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  41. KeithTexas

    We already crowd source writing bills. The only difference now is that the crowd is put together by lobbyists and it depends on how much money you have to determine how much you get to write.

    January 19, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  42. Damion Houston

    I still think when Sopa or Pipa winds up taken over there aint going to be anything we are going to be able to do cause they will censor what you say and are able to do on the internet. (Freedom) of speech will be gone there so then they'll think they can take it away from us other ways too I dont trust the things any of the goverment affiliated programs do. Big Corprate Liars that just want money and they'll give up theyre Freedom, and there Mothers and Daughters for Money...

    January 19, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  43. FedUp2

    What about demographics? Won't really poor people be pushed out and the majority of legislation be ruled over by a majority of rich white geeks?

    January 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Reply
    • Sam

      Who cares? Honestly, selective demographics is a GOOD thing: that way the bill is written by the people who care about it, and know about it, the most. Not to be insensitive, but the poor probably aren't caring about internet piracy that much

      January 19, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
      • Pat Davis

        The poor should care the most if free sources like Wikipedia aren't available. Only people who can pay for it get to learn.

        January 19, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
      • Dan

        Isn't that what already happens? Those that have the most money have the most access, and the most speech. They also have the most interest, and take advantage of the diffuse public. I suppose that this flattens the barriers to entry, as opposed to the current system where the price of access is over $100k. There are also libraries and other areas where people can / should be granted access.

        January 19, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
      • Don

        Sam how about the woman I talked to on the internet that was handicapped and confined in her bed . Her source of entertainment was downloading a movie off the internet to enjoy while laying in her bed .
        Later she recieves an email she will probably be sued by a lawyer hired by the entertainment industry . Here a multi billion dollar industry gets their high paid lawyer to trample on a handicapped ladywho was just amusing herself on what should be a free internet to access as was agreed by congress when the internet was first evolved . So the poor are attacked on the internet by these billionaires greedy for more money . This is kind of lop sided that the lady used the internet for free in her use of the internet but the entertainment industry uses the internet in quest of their billions thus making their envolvement by charging money on what is a free internet and have the audacity to sue others using it freely . I szy to vanquish the entertainment industry from using the internet to sell their wares since they are at war with the community within the internet to sue them and even hiring hackers to do their will on the internet . Not to mention trying to control congress in attempting more greed for controlling the public.
        The movies loaded off the internet are mostly inferior to purchased dvds and often lead to purchasing dvds someone would'nt have puchased withiut first seeing it but entertainment emlpoyees con the public as they did with special chips in our entainment electronics for their benifit of controlling what you do at home

        January 20, 2012 at 8:26 pm |
      • chris1102

        No Sam, the poor should not be left out. As citizens they should have a voice in definining legislation just as much as the uber wealthy. BTW – poor does not mean uneducated or unable to make a contribution . I know of many people who make 6 figures and are clueless and many who make under 25k who are aware. I would like to believe that you're concerned about the demographic that cannot afford or does not have internet access in their locale. However even in the birth of the United States there were those that wanted to limit voting to landholders and business owners under the assumption that the "rest" of the citizens were too uneducated to make the "correct" choices. PS. My grandmother had a masters in education 10 yrs before women "recieved" the right to vote.

        January 20, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Mike

      If someone who is too poor to have internet at their home wants to give input, they can always go to a public library most of them have free internet access now a days. Also I think this is the first time I have seen the term "Rich White Geeks" used, give me a break, most real techies are not rich and are people of all different backgrounds in my experience as a techie. I don't think you understand the whole internet revolution thing.

      January 19, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
    • jona

      Oh yeah.. 'cause everyone know only white people have any money or technological interests! Thanks for that stupid statement bozo

      January 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Reply
    • whiteoak

      The rich white guys already write the legislation, FedUp2. That's part of the problem. Putting the legislative process out in the open and giving the commoners a voice in shaping it...that's an exciting idea!

      January 19, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
    • Brannon

      Yeah, 'cause everyone who's not rich, white, and a geek is all: "what's this newfangled internet thing? I can't even access a computer, I just got electricity like four years ago." Nice job stereotyping.

      Also, who do you think writes legislation right now? Have you ever watched C-Span? It's mostly rich, white people; at least if they were geeks, they'd be smart.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
  44. Donna Barr

    The article actually uses the term "citizen" instead of "consumer." If you're not completely infuriated every time somebody calls you a "consumer" instead of a citizen or customer, you haven't been paying attention.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  45. yosuysgygwy

    goverment is gay

    January 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply
    • Darlene

      Muriness1 on December 28, 2008 THANK YOU!! People rehtar throw their past in their face when they are CLEARLY Improving and growing every day

      February 21, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  46. PSC

    Oh and being forced to vote for people don't want but parties determine for us and if you're not with the parties your not in.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
    • Lou C

      Look at Buddy Roemer. He is running for President on the Republican ticket. and he brings a different economic message. Alas, no one knows him. Buddy can't get past the Media Moguls or Republican thugs. Pity.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Jeremy

      This is bogus. All us Americans have the right to what we look up in our URL. The government is going to have a bunch of Americans knocking on their door.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:06 pm | Reply
    • Oussema

      dinmeo niya sa akin paano palabasin ang blade ng cutter at kung paano i-lock ang doorknob na parang nabuhay na something something for dummies. nakakatawa siya actually, bukod sa nakakainsulto. hahaha.

      February 19, 2012 at 8:45 am | Reply
  47. PSC

    GREAT IDEA! Even better how about giving everyone a voter number for privacy and now start allowing people to vote on the bills in congress, so for the hundreds of millions of unheard voices can actually determine our fate like it was meant to be since. Since gerrymandering and the electorial college have taken away our voting rights.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      Don't we already have "Voter ID Numbers"? I think they are called our Social Security Numbers?

      January 19, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Reply
    • Auth

      I couldn't get the email link for the May Elders Shop Notes to loondwad the file properly and I was unable to get the file to loondwad from your web archive. Are you able to email me a copy of the PDF file? Thanks very much.Dana Young732 Ashley Lane NEThompson, ND 58278

      March 19, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  48. ken

    There is nothing that politicians or media outlets fear more than people having open access, uncensored access to the truth! If people knew Obama's contribution to Illionois Policy, Obama would more likely be in jail than in the White House!

    January 19, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  49. Paul Sagi

    I'm happy to see this news. On November 23, 2011 I proposed just such a thing to several people, by email. How long has the website been in existence as of today, January 19, 2012? Hopefully crowdsourcing laws by the people those laws will affect will result in better laws.

    January 19, 2012 at 9:26 am | Reply
  50. Dan Jones

    The only ones to blame for bad company policies is bad consumers. We the consumers need to stop being irresponsible. If these entertainment companies insist on abusing us and our rights then we need to stop supporting them. If we refused to go see the latest movie, let alone buy it, for the next six months they will get the message. But to them and the so called "stars" we are just mindless sheep to be fleeced. It is time to remind them that there fame and their wealth are not the product of their genius, but of the devotion of their fans. They can complain of theft all they want, but in the end they are reaping incredible profits from the momentum of the fan base created in part by illegal file sharing. It is all about image. For every star or producer who is famous there are a thousand more just as talented but who have yet to find a following. But the greed and arrogance of these who are complaining is foolishly aimed at punishing the very people who have given them everything. It may be time to pull down some idols.

    January 19, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply
    • Jennifer

      Agreed. Good comment.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • Hexdragon

      Good freakin' luck.... i know people who get physically sick if they miss their favorite show... There are more sheep then free minds

      January 20, 2012 at 10:40 am | Reply
    • Mr. Durden

      Excellent comment, Dan. We have more power then the Hollywood Industry does, or any industry in that fact. We protect their lifestyle.

      Now imagine if everyone woke up and realized that?

      January 24, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  51. Conrad Shull

    I believe they did this sort of thing in China once, although without the benefit of today's technology. It was called the Red Guard.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
  52. Conrad Shull

    Crowdsourcing Democracy. I believe that already has a name. It's called mob rule.

    January 19, 2012 at 8:57 am | Reply
    • jona

      exactly.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  53. don

    crowded elevator smell different to midget

    January 19, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
  54. JM

    It's too bad you don't give credit to Rep Darrell Issa specifically. I realize he's a gun-toting Republican and it goes against the media narrative that Republicans are for freedom, openess and democracy, but I think he specifically deserves credit for devloping this review process for his bill. Instead, you focus on "the website". Nowhere in this article do you mention that Rep Darrell Issa is a Republican Congressman from California. In fact, his name is only mentioned in a quote, with no context or affiliation. I'm sure if it was a Democrat your readers would be given all that information so they knew exactly who was responsible for protescting their interests.

    January 19, 2012 at 7:57 am | Reply
    • Sean

      Everyone already knows Republicans are for freedom, “openess” and democracy. As long as you are a white (non-gay) Christian that is.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:33 am | Reply
      • AJ

        Sean, you're right. The stereotype you assume fully excuses CNN's selective and biased omission.

        January 19, 2012 at 8:46 am |
      • Sean

        @ AJ
        If it is a stereotype then I’m not as.suming it. I also made no point in excusing anything CCN has or hasn’t done. But I will address that point. CNN is accused of bias by every side. Democrat, Republican, black, white, Jew, Palestinian, ect ect. Simply put people with no perspective accuse them of bias if they post ANYTHING that does not go along with their personal views. A great example is the opinion section. Most tend to miss the disclaimer.

        Does CNN show bias on some stories? Absolutely, but it is the bias of the author not CNN. This pattern is obvious if you read here daily as the ‘bias’ shifts from one group to the other. CNN isn’t picking on, you’ve earn your reputation all on our own.

        >I’m a moderate independent. Nice try.

        January 19, 2012 at 9:26 am |
    • unretired05

      CNN content from "Lawmakers Withdraw Support" story -
      "One member of Congress, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, who opposes the bills, said the unprecedented blackouts had "turned the tide against a backroom lobbying effort by interests that aren't used to being told no."

      Issa is pushing for consideration of his own plan, the OPEN Act, addressing the matter. (OPEN Act: An experiment in digital democracy)"

      January 19, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
    • tim

      it should be noted that 15 republicans and 15 democrats sponsored SOPA, therefore it is both parties' fault

      January 19, 2012 at 11:26 am | Reply
  55. OccupyYourMammy

    OCCUPY THE INTERWEBZ!

    January 19, 2012 at 7:33 am | Reply
  56. tha Truth

    why have they taken the http off the address bars...they have taken down the security of the web

    January 19, 2012 at 4:51 am | Reply
    • Wow

      http isn't secure; https is (note the s).

      And the browsers are still using the http protocol, it's just not hip to say it.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  57. a slozomby

    anything is better than the garbage the mpaa and riaa handed congress in pipa/sopa

    January 19, 2012 at 3:53 am | Reply
    • Admiral Akbar

      Don't fall into this trap. The OPEN Act is a terrible bill – just less terrible than SOPA/PIPA. They launched the REALLY bad bills to make OPEN seem reasonable in comparison. This is a bad bill.

      January 20, 2012 at 5:00 am | Reply
  58. rexedie

    it was just a matter of time... they want to stop free assembly (actual human gatherings) .....and eventually any form of free expression.....
    look at the results of the internet's use and part in so many of the recent government overthrows in foreign countries..."
    once they can isolate people from any form of real communication or information.... the police state can begin to be implemented.....

    January 19, 2012 at 3:06 am | Reply
    • meg

      This is utter nonsense. Believe it or not, people assembled before the internet age. True, the internet may facilitate organizing people together, but if the internet shut down tomorrow, it would not mean a "police state." I disagree with the breadth of SOPA and PIPA, but let's be reasonable here.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
      • Mhammad

        By :RE: But from looking at the graph it looks like SEA is reivoercng Nope. You are not in recovery when things are getting worse. A slower decline rate is still declining and this is no recovery. If you are sick and are getting sicker you are not in recovery even if you were getting sicker faster yesterday. Recovery, temporary or permanent starts when you stop getting sicker at least in the world prior to the financial meltdown, now everything is being spun to fool the common man to part from his money to help support a bankers new yacht.slowing the rate of decline in home prices is a good thing. there is no doubt about it. just like on the way up the slowing rate of increasing home prices was a bad sign.remember when house prices were going to settle to a more normal single-digit rate?

        August 22, 2012 at 2:06 am |
  59. Technocrat2

    We should totally do this and get rid of all physical people's representatives. it is not like they are doing a better job anyway? Crowd soruce all government functions.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:21 am | Reply
  60. Zunigaistheman

    This censorship thing shouldn't happen. I mean, this is the USA, not China. We have the right to view stuff on the Internet. I understand the concerns of SOPA/PIPA, but if they censor stuff online, what will be left online to view? TONS of sites could totally disappear. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, Bing, or even Instant Messaging sites. Doing this will do nothing but cause a LOT of grief among U.S. citizens who use the Internet to watch videos, get news, or even talk to friends.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:15 am | Reply
    • Aya

      dtluua on January 21, 2011 Zumbarose: the lavalava's u can get from the islands or order them online but u can also go to the fabric store and get any tropical floral print fabric.

      February 22, 2012 at 12:26 am | Reply
  61. tired of CNN

    enough said

    January 19, 2012 at 2:04 am | Reply
  62. sevvie7

    You know, this kind of garbage is what makes America the laughing stock of the world. Clueless geezers who don't know Internet from Ethernet think they can make decisions about the internet infrastructure. This is one of the reasons I think of America as a big old, rusty, gas-guzzling, 1970s clunker, and Congress is the engine of the clunker–sludged up, cracked block, misfires, anything that could go wrong with an engine.

    January 19, 2012 at 2:00 am | Reply
    • Whydidn'tyouuseyournativetongue?

      Yet, unless you know American English you have trouble communicating with the rest of the intelligent world. Hmm, quite a conundrum.

      January 19, 2012 at 2:10 am | Reply
      • a slozomby

        the queens english works just fine.

        January 19, 2012 at 3:54 am |
    • Sean

      @ sevvie7
      I agree, but one should also consider this outcome in the same context. If anything this shows the up and coming generation of Americans is more akin to a fully customizable Scion. (with an apple logo sticker)

      @ a slozomby
      I think you meant.

      The Queen’s English works just fine.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:39 am | Reply
  63. JB

    CNN's parent company supports internet censorship?

    Looks like I'm never visiting this site again.

    Bye CNN.

    January 19, 2012 at 1:58 am | Reply
    • NoMoreForMe

      I stopped reading after I read that, I'm never visiting CNN again either. What sort of news company would support something like this. Not one I'll ever read again.

      January 19, 2012 at 3:45 am | Reply
      • Toto

        I pretty much stopped reading the article then also. I always figured that CNN's parent company, in addition to the other News outlets, were in cahoots with these POS of legislation...This confirms it. CNN is in the same category as ole Ralphy Murdoch.

        January 19, 2012 at 4:33 am |
  64. George

    This looks like an excuse to block wiki leaks! Stop the videos of the military killing civilians and children!

    January 19, 2012 at 12:51 am | Reply
    • tired of CNN

      yeah stop the military from killing people!

      January 19, 2012 at 2:05 am | Reply
  65. George

    Basically ... the media companies can not get millions of people to buy their product because the price is too high so they want to restrict access to content. Some of the content .... will be programing from other countries that is offered at a lower price! The programs where created in other countries and protected in the other country but the US company want to charge a crazy price to access it!

    January 19, 2012 at 12:50 am | Reply
  66. jimmy cracorn

    I love this idea. Maybe now we might have a chance of competing with lobbyists. Probably not but you never know.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:23 am | Reply
    • yo

      y

      January 19, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  67. Bryan

    Congress is making a grave error in trying to mess with the internet. It should be consulting with the people who created the internet (i.e. computer nerds and small-business innovators), rather than looking at things from the outside, making rash suppositions about how to improve it, and then rushing it through the house.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:21 am | Reply
    • George

      Basically they are trying to push out small business here too!

      January 19, 2012 at 12:23 am | Reply
    • 123jb

      You do realize the internet was created by DARPA right? Well back then ARPA. It was a joint venture between ARPA and several large schools. They created a network for sharing data, expiriment findings, and communication. From there it became known as ARPANET and then the internet. With the eventual addition of graphical browsers, not just text based.

      January 19, 2012 at 8:17 am | Reply
  68. ted_idea

    These congressmen combined with businessmen don't understand the internet techology. They can push policy, but that's not realistic in a technology standpoint. 1st,for those who impose and propose should pay the costs filtering the content. it won't be fair imposing a costs to search engine company. 2nd, even the black list policy is in placed, Search Engine sites outside of US won't have any impact, therefore it's useless to spend $blllions, with no results. Under performing IDEA. isn't it? Someone / congress should be recalled / fired for under performing. Just like we as employees.

    January 19, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
  69. Maksim

    if there will be no sites than why do I need to pay for Internet? – my bill for internet is $60 – than I will stop paying it!!!

    January 18, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Reply
  70. concerned in cleveland

    Asinine. No way.

    January 18, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  71. Rod C. Venger

    So now we're going to let the mob decide how to write legislation? Wonderful idea. OWS writing bills would gut the US economy in about 3 weeks.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Reply
    • Hojo

      why would you say something just to say it? obviously you didn't read a single word of the article, either that or your reading comprehension skills are nonexistent. People are writing these bills, they are still being written by lawmakers, just now people have the opportunity to have their voices heard and thoughts considered when new laws are being drafted. It's not like Congress is going to start accepting bills from homeless people or pot smoking hippies. Good lord, be a bit more premature why don't you...

      January 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Reply
    • Gerhard Langguth

      Sorry Charlie but that is BS. All we Libertarians are doing is cutting off the gravy train and Super Spin anti-PAC zones like Rush the Idiot and his Facshiek News Network buddies at Foxy.gov. CNN and daTED turn coat may be a bit better but their coverage of Ron Paul wasn't any better 4 years ago. We ask WHY do we need dot.Gov in the first place. Then back off just enough to allow folks like you some breathing room. Peace and TOLERANCE are like Love/Hate or Freedom/PersonalResponsAbility. All just heads/tails of the same Golden coins of Liberty.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:11 pm | Reply
    • Yoyo

      @Rod, are you really that stupid as to how democracy SHOULD work? Would you simply have people you don't share opinions with making laws for you? It is about the masses moron.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Reply
      • Bob Dudezilla

        This isn't a democracy. Watch the name-calling.

        January 19, 2012 at 12:14 am |
      • Sean

        @Yoyo
        OO look out! You made the Bob angry… Bob SMASH!

        @Bob Dudezilla
        de•moc•ra•cy
        noun, plural -cies.
        1. government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.

        January 19, 2012 at 8:45 am |
    • glsword

      Folks CHILL and watch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPR3GlpQQJA then just wait. Joining is optional and unnecessary. Thats called Freedom. BTW: this dude is an Engineer with ADHD. He quit the grind and now creates videos like this that give ANYTHING Sony does on Amer/Brit/Aust...S all Got Talent. Remember Susan Boyle. It took the Main Stream Media (ie CNN, Fox ... CNBnotSEE) weeks to discover her. And that only happened after she had 35 MILLION views on you tube. Look, listen THINK and only then speak. You know daGov says See Something, Say Something! Thats good. Lets just insert the words Think, Feel and Understand in the middle. Peace, Joy, Love. We are ToBE are we not.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:54 pm | Reply
      • Junior

        mmkastheien3 on September 29, 2009 I agree! If they just garaged it, it would still be new. The people who thought of this should have been buried in the tomb along with the car, what a bunch of idiots!

        February 21, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  72. Joshua

    OBAMA WILL PAY MY BILLS. THE STATE PROVIDES. THE STATE CREATES JOBS FOR ME. THEY WILL PROVIDE ALL. I WILL VOTE FOR THE STATE.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Reply
    • DEADFLY

      ONCE I GET THE GOVERNMENT HEALTH CARE I'LL QUIT MY JOB LIKE YOU.. MAYBE WE CAN FISH TOGETHER.
      AFTER I GO DOWN TO HAVE MY MORTGAGE PAID OFF BY THAT GOVERNMENT OFFICE...
      AND GET MY CHECK FOR THAT TANK OF GAS.....

      January 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Reply
      • Wladimir

        Hmm, I attempted to vote for #20, but the Share link did not cfroinm my vote, or take me to another page I did not see another option on which to click in order to submit my vote Perhaps I am doing something wrong? Great work Stacy <3 all of these images

        March 20, 2012 at 1:33 am |
    • Ken

      Well corporate America sure has heck doesn't take care of us.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Reply
      • DEADFLY

        DIDN'T YOU GET YOUR CHECK DUDE? WHICH CORPORATION ARE YOU WITH.. MAYBE YOU SHOULD CHANGE CORPORATIONS...YOURS PROBABLY LOST A BUNCH WHEN THE STOCK MARKET TOOK A CRAP. TOO BAD DUDE.

        January 18, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
      • Ken

        OOPs. I meant "sure AS heck"

        January 18, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
      • Marc

        Ken, You are supposed to take care of you.

        January 19, 2012 at 12:08 am |
      • Sean

        @Marc
        Tell that to everyone who’s lost their pension. Tell that to everyone that has been laid off because of “cut backs” (out sourcing) while CEOs making millions and the corporation reports record profits

        January 19, 2012 at 8:49 am |
  73. Cirrus Threads

    Down with Censorship! Show your disgust with SOPA with a $12 shirt from Cirrus Threads...or you can just trust the government to do whats best... http://cirrusthreads.bigcartel.com/product/the-cirrus-sopa

    January 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Reply
  74. Robin Smith

    While we are at it...Let's crowdsource my company's 7,000 agents to perform the work of Congress, staff and Fed. WeGoLook typically dispatches agents on behalf of individuals to perform nationwide custom tasking and onsite verification of items (eBay), properties and online dates. But I'm thinking we utilize our cloud labor for tapping into the power of the crowd!

    January 18, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • Fred

      Neopetshelpur on November 7, 2011 Someone msegaesd me telling me they got too many random events guys, so please don't go crazy with the generator.. they only got a warning tho no ban

      February 19, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
  75. Terry

    Really, if they really want to protect their media there are some more simple methods. For example, stop making it more complicated to purchase a song than pirate it. Sometimes the licensing nightmare is annoying enough for people that they'd rather just pirate it and save them the time trying to learn why they could sync it to their iPod and not their Sansa MP3 player.

    Another example being some older PC games. Requiring the CD to run for some of the games that copied everything to your HDD anyway was just annoying to the point where people would download the cracks even though they own the game legally just so they didn't have to have their CD spinning loudly or remember to put it in.

    Long story short, they could reduce piracy a LOT if they'd spend less time on trying to pass bills and more time thinking of more creative forms of DRM that are less intrusive and don't make people feel like they might as well pirate their media since the pirated one doesn't keep you from copying to your computer for personal use etc. Sure it's easier to pirate it when you can, but at least you're not going to consider pirating because you can't since there are plenty of people who have no problem with purchasing something they could have pirated, but chose not to on occasion because they wanted the movie for their video mp3 player etc.

    Maybe if companies listened to the annoyances of their customers instead of trying to tell them they can't copy their media for personal use because someone else decided to share it illegally. The whole "Your brother made a mess, so now you can't play with the paint." thing tends to not make a customer feel very appreciated.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:29 pm | Reply
    • Kat

      Yes this exactly. Also, they need to address asinine region restrictions. I moved from the US to Canada and now I have no more Pandora service. The selection of streaming movies on Netflix is severely restricted. I got annoyed. What did I do? With about a half hour of research I'd got around all the barriers (legally in fact, via IP tunneling through a server I have set up in the US), and now still get what want. However, not everyone is so savvy, and we shouldn't have to jump through hoops to access stuff we are perfectly willing to pay for. Content creators need to think of the entire world as a single market. Release everything globally everywhere at once, and maybe have tiered pricing for different geographic regions (I.e people in Bangladesh just can't pay the same for media as someone in Iceland). If Hollywood put in the same amount of money they've spent lobbying Congress for SOPA into digital delivery and rights management for a global market, they would have solved the piracy problem by now AND be rolling in new revenue streams AND the public would be happy. It's like no one in Hollywood has a functioning brain.

      January 20, 2012 at 1:05 am | Reply
  76. Joshua

    I WOULD CERTAINLY TRUST IT IF WERE WRITTEN BY A DEMOCRAT... THEY ONLY HAVE MY BEST INTEREST IN MIND.

    GOVERNMENT OWNS ALL. OBEY. THEY LOVE YOU. THEY WILL WRITE YOU A CHECK FOR $100,000 ALL PRAISE THE GLORIOUS STATE.

    OBAMA WILL SAVE US ALL, HE WILL PAY MY BILLS.

    January 18, 2012 at 10:25 pm | Reply
    • Patriot 1

      You sir are a the reason our country is a laughing stock of the world.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • DEADFLY

      HERE HERE ! YOU ARE FINALLY SEEING THE LIGHT......

      January 18, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply
      • DEADFLY

        OKAY, PATRIOT OR JOSHUA... WHICH ONE OF YOU ARE OFFERING THE FREE SARCASM.....MY SARCASM WAS FOR JOSHUA'S THOUGHTS.. AND YOU'RE WELCOME....CAN ANYONE GUESS WHICH WAY HE REALLY LEANS. HUH HUH?

        January 18, 2012 at 10:37 pm |
  77. laserles

    Wikipedia...the Database of Human Knowledge...Righteous Crusader for Freedom of Speech and Expression...Wikipedia is however... Closed to Discovery.

    The so-called open minded database of humanity trash-binned a discovery of Incredible Global Significance...Petro Photoglyphs or photo inscribed stones. Wikipedia denies the existence or definition of what will be understood as 1st Contact.

    Wikipedia is everybody in the year 1491...WRONG! And today is 2012...the New 1492. Wikipedia...so much knowledge...so much skepticism too!

    Think-About-It...laserles...impactoptics-dot-com

    January 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Reply
    • Anthony

      In 1491 knowledge the world was round was fairly pervasive. That's a common misconception. Columbus's calculations were different in that he believed the earth was much smaller then everyone else, and thus you could sail to east india in a reasonable time frame. Columbus's calculations were wrong, not right, and he nearly died for it.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:51 pm | Reply
    • Some dude

      I am sorry that the media has not done enough work on your belief of ancient – whatever they are, but Wikipedia has guidelines for what is and isn't on their website. These guidelines usually include sourced information. Get a newspaper article published on your discovery, have some scientist write a paper in a journal about it, and Wikipedia will include it. I'm a pretty big follower of the paranormal, and have never heard of this phenomenon. Get some exposure for it a broder sense than a few self published websites and Wikipedia will allow it to be posted. They have pages about crop circles, UFOs, Chemtrails, and countless other things that present both sides of the argument. Sadly your argument is invalid. Though you may believe wikipedia to be hiding something, there really just isn't anything important being said about these rocks yet. Sorry bud, but they're awesome... You're not.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:07 pm | Reply
      • Lisandro

        Mulugeta Posted on Dear Sir/Madami am interested to have a chcane on free scholarship, i have bachlor degree(BA) with the study of Sociology and social Anthropology in july 18,2010, i am from East Africa/Ethiopia, i am eager to have scholarship on social sceince field. for contact use my email address, with many thanksMulugeta

        July 21, 2012 at 2:31 am |
  78. kidwith8mmmauser

    the article headline reads "crowdsourcing the bill writing process"

    this is another name for a VERY GOOD IDEA. called DIRECT DEMOCRACY.

    lets get rid of congress. the point of representation, supposedly, is to protect the minority from the majority.

    these days, EVERYONE in the U.S. is in the minority, LET US REPRESENT OURSELVES.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Reply
    • Scott

      Direct democracy equals tyranny. Freedom of speech, religion, etc. are protected by the rule of law. Direct democracy destroys individual rights. No thanks.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Reply
      • Pete

        You make a good point about direct democracy, but there needs to be some middle ground between representative and direct democracies. Representative democracy does not always work and it needs some transparency.

        Someone can make the same argument about wikipedia where any article can be edited by the masses, and therefore it is prone to hate speech, misinformation and defamation. However the website still works with a minimum of tyranny and chaos.

        January 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
      • kidwith8mmmauser

        basically what you're saying is that americans are too dumb to vote in their own best interest. somehow politicians will do a better job of representing Americans than Americans would do of representing themselves.

        IF THATS THE CASE, SCOTT.. WHY EVEN VOTE IN THE FIRST PLACE? IF WERE TOO DUMB TO KNOW WHAT WE NEED, HOW COULD WE EVER PICK THE RIGHT POLITICIAN????

        January 18, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • kidwith8mmmauser

      YOUR STATEMENT

      "Direct democracy is tyranny" is a non-sequiter, and follows no logical sense, and is not based on any facts whatsoever.

      The only true direct democracy that has ever existed was in rome, and people debated in an open forum, and their culture lasted much longer than ours will.

      January 18, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Reply
      • Mojoman

        Um....Rome was a republic....representational democracy....ring a bell? Perhaps you are thinking Greece?

        January 19, 2012 at 12:28 am |
      • tim

        I concer with Mojoman, it was athens not Rome which was a direct democracy. Roman government did have a directly democratic component, but there was the senate...

        January 19, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • mj

      Uh, not a good idea. Direct democracy is NOT a good system because it's essentially mob rule. Representatives, theoretically, are better because they spend more time working with the issues they debate. Look what happened in California with direct democracy, voters authorized to borrow billions for a high speed rail boondoggle that is now estimated to cost $80 billion. Keep in mind the state has around a $10 to $20 billion deficit. QUALIFIED legislators are better equipped to write good public policy, not the average Joe.

      January 19, 2012 at 12:50 am | Reply
      • Sean

        @mj
        Expect… the representatives aren’t doing that. They being courted by lobbyists and pressured by corporations and other politicians who helped get them elected. Your theory is nice but the reality is not. Disagree if you will but history and the daily news support my argument

        See the Supreme Court ruling on Anti-Discrimination laws and Churches. You are not allowed to discriminate “unless you are a church”. (we are talking employees)

        January 19, 2012 at 8:58 am |
      • Sean

        CNN where is my edit button!?
        Except* are*

        January 19, 2012 at 9:00 am |
  79. ƒιяєѕтaя912

    Get rid of SOPA and PIPA. Peroid.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:36 pm | Reply
    • DEADFLY

      MY WIFE HAD A PEROID ONCE.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  80. Sara

    All of these bills are alike in that they are written by big money corporate interests, mainly the entertainment industry. They will be voted into legislation by old men (and a few women), most of whom only understand the basics of the internet. The supposed goal is to stop pirating, but the only real thing these bills will accomplish is limiting the rights of the majority (be it stopping people from accessing un-biased news coverage, stopping people from forming peaceful protests, etc), and making the internet a less safe place. I am not an anarchist, and I am part of the dwindling middle class. Even I know that when huge corporations are pressuring lawmakers so emphatically into voting in a piece of legislation, chances are I will lose something and win nothing.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  81. hi

    my friend asked me about pipa and i thought she meant pippa middleton XD

    January 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  82. George

    We don't need any new legislation to increase costs ... just leave it alone and stop destroying a good thing! The recording industry is already destroyed the lives of hundreds of college student that will not finish college because they sued them into starvation ... these kids will not have a future! Destroying a life for one mistake is not the society I want!

    January 18, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  83. DEADFLY

    IT IS OBVIOUS THAT CENSORSHIP OF THE INTERNET COULD STOP PIRATING OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL IN SOME INSTANCES, THE INDIVIDUAL FREEDOMS OF PERSONS TO USE THE INTERNET CANNOT BE SACRIFICED FOR THE SAKE OF MERE EFFICIENCY. THE FAILURE OF THE PRODUCERS OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL TO CREATE A SECURE PRODUCT IS NOT A SUFFICIENT REASON TO STIFLE THE FREEDOM AND PRODUCTIVITY OF A FREE PEOPLE SIMPLY BECAUSE THE CAPACITY TO PIRATE COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL EXISTS. THIS BILL SHOULD BE LABELED "MINORITY REPORT". BUT THEN AGAIN I'M SURE THE DEMOCRATS KNOW WHAT IS BEST FOR US.. IF WE ALL SHUT UP AND IGNORE THIS MAYBE IT WILL JUST GO AWAY... LIKE NANCY PELOSI'S TEETH....

    January 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
    • Sara

      I wouldn't say anything about Nancy Pelosi. She is one of a handful of Senators who does not support these bills.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Reply
      • DEADFLY

        UNFORTUNATELY SHE'S A DEMOCRAT.. GUILT BY ASSOCIATION....

        January 18, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
      • DEADFLY

        BESIDES, DO YOU REALLY TRUST HER ON THIS ONE...LET'S SEE..... GET BACK TO ME ON THAT ONE...
        IT'S LIKE HER STATEMENT ON THE OBAMACARE.. THIS BILL IS ABOUT FREEDOM. IF YOU WANT TO BE A PAINTER OR A MUSICIAN OR WHATEVER YOU CAN AND STILL HAVE INSURANCE.. YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT BEING JOB LOCKED... REALLY? I CAN'T WAIT TO BE JOB UNLOCKED... I'M SURE YOU ARE...AND I'M SURE SHE WILL MAKE A THOUGHTFUL DECISION....I WILL SLEEP WAY BETTER TONIGHT KNOWING SHE'S IN CHARGE....

        January 18, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
      • DEADFLY

        CAN ANYONE TELL ME WHO DRAFTED THIS BILL.. A DEMOCRAT OR A REPUBLICAN.. JUST TELL ME THAT..
        DON'T BEAT ME UP ON ANYTHING ELSE... JUST WHO THE HECK DRAFTED THIS PIECE OF CRAP..
        ANYONE GOT THE GUTS TO SAY......

        January 18, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
      • Derski

        Senator Leahy from vermont is the name I most often see associated with SOPA, even though I thought that was the house version, maybe he's PIPA. Regardless, he may be a democrat but the bill enjoys bi-partisan support. Don't make this into more partisan BS. Both sides are wrong and both sides are right about this because they both have people who hate it and love it.

        January 19, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • Sara

      Oh, and this is probably the only thing that both Democrats and Republican's agree (or disagree) on. It is a completely, 100% non-partisan issue. If you look at the list of supporters and non-supporters, both lists are varied and comprised of both Democrats and Republicans. You should pick another issue if you want to make some biased political statement.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Reply
      • DEADFLY

        SORRY, REPUBLICANS SUCK TOO...YOU GOT ME THERE...

        January 18, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Sara

      "The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as House Bill 3261 or H.R. 3261, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, by House Judiciary Committee Chair Representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of 12 initial co-sponsors." – Wiki

      January 18, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
      • DEADFLY

        Like most others in Congress, Senator Patrick Leahy is no progressive. He voted to fund imperial wars, regressive Obamacare, Wall Street-friendly financial reform, and other pro-business measures, including agribusiness-empowering bills, harming small farmers and consumers.

        Now he's at it again. On September 20, he introduced S. 3804: Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), "A bill to combat online infringement, and for other purposes." Referred to committee, it awaits further action. In fact, it needs a dagger thrust in its heart to kill it. HE'S A DEMOCRAT.... THIS IS FROM THE PEOPLESVOICE.ORG
        AND WIKIPEDIA SAYS HE'S A DEMOCRAT... NICE TRY............

        January 18, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • Sara

      "The PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or PIPA), also known as Senate Bill 968 or S. 968, is a proposed law with the stated goal of giving the US government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to "rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods", especially those registered outside the U.S.[1] The bill was introduced on May 12, 2011, by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)[2] and 11 bipartisan co-sponsors. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that implementation of the bill would cost the federal government $47 million through 2016, to cover enforcement costs and the hiring and training of 22 new special agents and 26 support staff.[3] The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill, but Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) placed a hold on it." – Wiki

      January 18, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Reply
  84. Texas Coyote

    If anyone asks yet again, why the OCCUPIERS all over the United States are protesting. Listen up!“You control our world. You've poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You've liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants... to your decadence. You've stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic human rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You've profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living(while lowering our wages). You've monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame. We are hit...we are bleeding... but we ain't got time to bleed. We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution! WAKE UP AMERICA! SUPPORT OCCUPY

    January 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Reply
    • Rob

      You're an idiot and a liar. SOPA is a bad thing and so is occupy wallstreet.

      Get a life and a job.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:32 pm | Reply
    • Carla

      WELL SAID...Texas Coyote!!!!

      January 18, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Reply
    • DEADFLY

      YEAH. THEY ONLY WANT THIS BILL BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T GET A CUT OF THE FIRST 1.3 TRILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT THAT AIG, FREDDIE FANNIE, AND DETROIT GOT ALONG WITH ALL THE COMPANIES THAT GOT ALL THAT MONEY FOR THOSE SHOVEL READY JOBS, THANK GOD, BUT DON'T DESPAIR.. ONCE THEY RELEASE THE NEXT 1.2 TRILLION THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA WANTS THEY WILL BE ABLE TO FINANCIALLY SATISFY THE CRY BABIES AND THIS WILL ALL BLOW OVER SOON......MONEY CAN SOLVE ANYTHING......PS..ANYONE KNOW WHERE I'M SUPPOSED TO GO TO SIGN UP FOR MY SUBSIDY PAYMENT.. 401K IS A LITTLE THIN.. THAT'S ALL.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:40 pm | Reply
    • jona

      OMG.. here's a nitwit using a computer, probably eating twinkies and drinking Starbucks posting on the internet whining about how everyone but him polluted "HIS" water. what a dope.

      January 19, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  85. Damion Houston

    I think the USA should wake up and stand up and not let any outside goverment or affiliation take our rights away. I think we should all do something about it "WE ARE THE PEOPLE" that make the decisions

    January 18, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Reply
    • DEADFLY

      WHICH OUTSIDE GOVERNMENT? THE REPUBLICANS?

      January 18, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Reply
  86. MightyMoo

    In other news the Supreme Court, in a 6-2 decision, rejected the argument that Congress did not have the power to convey copyright upon works that were already in the public domain. Never ending copyrights / +1, public domain / -1.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Reply
  87. Steve Lyonsq

    I'd like to see this used to mandate term limits on federal elected office.
    I'd like to see this used to restrict candidates to those with less than a 7 figure net worth.
    I'd like to see this used to set elected officials compensation and benefits.

    January 18, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Reply
    • old timer

      I would like to see it used to start proceedings to impeach Obama. I t would take the rest of his term to do that and we would not have to worry about Biden or (Ms.) Clinton being put into the gap he leaves.

      January 19, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  88. Damion Houston

    The reason why they are experimenting is to see how far the goverment can go before they take our freedoms away, this is the begining of the Unitied States making a decision on becoming a dictatorship next we'll loose our freedom of speech and our right too bare arms then what are we going to do. when we cant say or do anything about it.. wake up america USA is being taken away slowly and silently....

    January 18, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Reply
    • SB

      I will *never* allow them to force me to wear sleeves. Ohhhh, wait, you meant "bear". Carry on.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Reply
      • Carla

        DUDE...your comment set me into a nonstop giggle-fit! GRACIOUS! TOO FUNNY!!! LOL!!

        January 18, 2012 at 9:43 pm |
    • George

      Well we already have slipped very far ... we are seeing children beaten by the police with few legal results!

      January 18, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
      • Sankhala

        hoalomi on August 30, 2011 one thing that I love about myself is that Im Asian American. Being both Asian and American is that I get the best of both worlds.

        February 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • sivil

        mlepasrayrr on November 19, 2010 UM what is you have 2 controls and the both tvs show the same channel like each control takes control of both tvs how do you make the second control only work on one tv?

        February 22, 2012 at 2:31 am |
  89. montyross

    direct democracy, cut out the federal crooks make it easier to eye local, state officials.....

    January 18, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  90. Jusitn

    opencongress.org has been around a number of years and offers a similar functionality.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  91. curien

    you know: in big brother-brazil...2 consenting adults engaged in mutual 'adult caressing' under the sheets, the police came in and impounded their beddings n' charged the man wid rape even tho' the gal was not pressing any charges! they argue that since the gal is not pro in the skill (laying still to let the man do all the work), its rape!! bLeh!

    The same argument is what PIPA n' SOPA is pushing. apart from all those EULA end users sign, big shots want you to stop using your comp the way you ought to and start using it the way they'd like you to!! Man! where's creativity, i thought that was N.Korea, or Iran; but guyz this is being proposed in the USofA inventors of the iNTERNET.

    The big shots want the profits, windfall profits. Mmh! where the fudge*are the windfall oil profits from a decade ago. What has that money done when gas prices shot $5. crooked human ways never cease... i bought land on the moon, since we can't even agree to share planet earth amicably... PIPA/SOFA watch what happens next :-)
    Next, they'll tell you who to talk2, what to eat, when n' how.

    Hey wait, isn't that sharia law. Mohammed PBUH already beat them to it centuries ago. ha ha hah america!!

    January 18, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Reply
    • Kristi

      My son worked sopiocng ice cream at Brusters at 15 1/2, played baseball and graduated with a 3.5GPA. You can do anything if you put your mind to it.Fast food, some restaurants, vet clinics, Blockbusters, grocery stores, CVS, Walgreens, after school programs at the local ementary school balancing is all about talking to your employer about your schedule, being honest, trustworthy, reliable, dependable,a a self starter. Try it for awhile and if it is not working examine why talk to others who have a job good luck to you!

      May 2, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Reply
  92. curien

    u knw: in big bro-brazil...two consenting adults engaged in mutual 'adult caressing' under the sheets, the police came in and impounded their beddings n' charged the man wid rape even tho' the gal was not pressing any charges! they argue that since the gal is not pro in the skill (laying still to let the man do all the work), its rape!! bLeh!

    The same argument is what PIPA n' SOPA is pushing. apart from all those EULA end users sign, big shots want you to stop using your comp the way you ought to and start using it the way they'd like you to!! Man! where's creativity, i thought that was N.Korea, or Iran; but guyz this is being proposed in the USofA inventors of the iNTERNET.

    The big shots want the profits, windfall profits. Mmh! where the fudge*are the windfall oil profits from a decade ago. What has that money done when gas prices shot $5. crooked human ways never cease... i bought land on the moon, since we can't even agree to share planet earth amicably... PIPA/SOFA watch what happens next :-)
    Next, they'll tell you who to talk2, what to eat, when n' how.

    Hey wait, isn't that sharia law. Mohammed PBUH already beat them to it centuries ago. ha ha hah america!

    January 18, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Reply
  93. Michael Ma

    SOPA spelled backwards is, A-P-O-S. Don't support a P.O.S. bill like SOPA.

    January 18, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  94. Mike Ikeo

    We don't need SOPA, don't need PIPA, don't need OPEN. The internet is fine already, we don't need more laws, more legislation. We need to preserve the openness and freedom of speech. The First Amendment right spans all forms of media, and that includes the internet. We don't need to add or change anything, just leave my internet alone!

    January 18, 2012 at 8:07 pm | Reply
    • Cody (D.C.)

      +1,000,000

      January 18, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Reply
      • nic

        indeed – people can fend for themselves. the government needs to stop intervening. no more babysitting those that cannot figure out things for themselves.

        January 18, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • Greg

      Right on. And if the MIAA & RIAA want to limit their losses to piracy, maybe they should improve their business model and make affordable, quality products, learn to understand and use modern technology effectively instead of trying to destroy it, and stop driving away their paying customers in droves because of their draconian anti-piracy tactics like DRM and constant litigation. Louis CK proved with his recent comedy show sold for $5 direct online with no anti-piracy measures that people will pay for quality entertainment legally if it's reasonably priced and easy to get. That probably scares the industry giants more than anything because the internet is slowly making them irrelevent.

      January 19, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
  95. Commentator

    If Google is opposition to this bill, then maybe it isn't such a bad thing.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Reply
    • Zug

      real profound bit of logic you just displayed.
      so .. according to your reasoning, if Google did not oppose these two pieces of legislation, they'd be ok?

      January 18, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Reply
      • montyross

        no if google liked the bill it would be a bad bill...

        January 18, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
  96. SB

    Fantastic idea, and exactly the sort of thing many people hoped for with the advent of the internet. In order to gain traction and become a standard approach to crafting legislation, I think we'd first need to see this method adopted by small, forward-thinking communities. With the precedent set, larger communities wouldn't need to fear being the pioneers, and they could simply go ahead and give it a try.

    The technology is there. Is the will? I guess that's the question.

    January 18, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Reply
    • DEADFLY

      YES, I AGREE. I THINK IT'S FINE AS LONG AS THEY DO IT TO SOMEONE ELSE...SOME OTHER PLACE....I'M ALL FOR THAT.
      YOU ARE A FRIGGIN GENIUS......

      January 18, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Reply
    • SB

      Deadfly, since you didn't understand I'll say the same thing with small words. Ready? Here goes: First try with town. Then try with city. Then try with state. Then try at federal level. Understand now? Probably not, but as they say you really can't fix stupid.

      January 18, 2012 at 11:19 pm | Reply
  97. Jeremy

    Brilliant. I like this idea. I think it would be sweet if this gains some traction.

    January 18, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • LilWilly

      How you figure??

      January 19, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  98. Daexel

    I do not profess to be a guru of the legislative process by any stretch of the imagination. I do, however, feel that full disclosure, easy access, and clear and concise wording to make legislature as transparent as possible is a great step in the right direction. My only concern here is the potential for allowing the majority to have its way at the cost of the rights of any minority.

    January 18, 2012 at 6:51 pm | Reply
    • SB

      Re: your concern, you mean as opposed to the way legislation is written now? Meaning the citizens have zero input on the process. It is written by few, in language only a lawyer could love, and often stuffed with extra fat that has nothing to do with the potential new law and everything to do with political favors. The crafting of pork-laden legislation leads to endless fighting amongst legislators who spend more time trying to bash "them" - the other team - than they spend representing us.

      January 18, 2012 at 7:24 pm | Reply
    • randumb guy

      It's a fair concern, but at least with a Madison framework you can read the proposed legislation and not expect your congress critter to actually vote on the "secret" version that only hits Thomas minutes before the vote. Also, the brilliant part of crowd sourced bills is that you can make your stand for the rights of the minority - which is a far cry from what happens now. Remember, Mitt Romney thinks making between 400 and 500K for speaking is "small change" - and he's the least wacko of the Republican options. Barry's out of touch too.

      January 18, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Reply
      • Daniel

        Really....Romney is the least wacko? Hmm.....

        January 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
      • DEADFLY

        ROMNEY'S 400 OR 500 THOUSAND, AND A BUCK WILL GET ME A CUP OF COFFEE. HOW'S THAT DESTROYING THE INTERNET AGAIN.. I'M CONFUSED...

        January 18, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
      • a slozomby

        with a net worth over 200Million yeah 400k is chump change.

        January 19, 2012 at 4:01 am |
    • Jonathan

      Actually, with this type of model, there is no "majority'. You don't know whether the poster is white, black, muslim, christian, or a green alien from Mars. At that point, the majority becomes the people that care enough about an issue to post. And every voice gets heard. Where as today, you have to go through people who go through people who go through people before finally getting to someone with the power to make a difference.

      January 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • DEADFLY

      I WOULD CERTAINLY TRUST IT IF WERE WRITTEN BY A DEMOCRAT... THEY ONLY HAVE MY BEST INTEREST IN MIND.

      January 18, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Reply

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