Wednesday, 18 January 2012

SOPA, PIPA and Zumba

Today, the Wikipedia community blacks out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours worldwide, starting 05:00 UTC.
The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate — that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.
Although SOPA and PIPA are the most ridiculous acronyms the U.S. legislators ever came up with, this is not exactly laughing matter. Regrettably — although not surprisingly — a list of organizations that support SOPA, compiled by the bill’s sponsor, Lamar Smith, includes my licensor, Zumba Fitness, LLC. By supporting this reactionary piece of legislation, it committed a grave mistake: that of underestimating the consumer’s power. As the boycott of Go Daddy has shown, this may be real costly. Even among Zumba fans, there are enough internet-savvy consumers and Android app users who may feel outraged and hit where it hurts. Naturally, that will hurt not only Zumba Fitness, LLC but also its licensees around the world.

Luckily, SOPA is about to be shelved after president Barack Obama indicated that he would not support the legislation that
reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risks or undermines the dynamic, innovative global internet.
But it is not dead yet.

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