Webcast: Protecting an uncensored Internet

State Library of Queensland panel: Protecting an uncensored Internet: the global response to SOPA legislation

SLQ SOPA Panel Podcast MP3 direct download [60Mb] via @SLQ

Date: Wednesday 1 February  2012


  • Dr Sean Rintel (UQ, social communication technology researcher)
  • Associate Professor Axel Bruns (QUT researcher in  social media mapping, citizen journalism and online publishing)
  • Dr Nic Suzor (QUT researcher in law and technology)

Facilitated by Mark Fallu (Griffith University).

Panel topic: In late January 2012, Internet companies such as Google, Wikipedia, Flickr and Mozilla Firefox shut down their sites in protest against the introduction of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). Millions of internet users took to social media to pledge their disapproval for these laws which opponents claim will threaten free speech and innovation. The power of this public response caused the withdrawal of support from key politicians, defeating the legislation and sending it back to the drawing boards.

This expert panel explored at the legislation and explains why it was introduced, analysed the response from the Internet community and the bigger issues surrounding online piracy and Internet censorship.

Additional information:

My post: Creativity Versus Copyright: Lessons From The Reddit Zombie Apocalypse

My post: No “fair”, no “share”: The Trans-Pacific Partnership IP Chapter Wordle

The next most important treaty to be concerned with is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Nate Anderson at Ars Technica has just posted a very good article on why TPP is so worrying. You can also read the EFF’s TPP page, which includes a link to the leaked IP chapter.

TPP has some very worrying implications: Limited safe harbours, jurisdiction over buffered copies of files, increased copyright terms, incentives for ISPs to cooperate with authorities.

You can also read the DFAT page on TPP, which includes an email address for submitting a comment (by Feb 12, I think): tpp@dfat.gov.au

The terms “bitroots” and “bitroots activism” seem to have first appeared in print in Larry Downes’s Forbes article “Who Really Stopped SOPA, and Why?”.