Update 16-Jan-2012: Looks like the SOPA bill has been killed in the house, although the senate version is still alive.  We will still be observing the blackout on the 18th.

Just a word of warning … on January 18th, between the hours of 8am and 8pm, the midrange.com mailing list archives will be observing a temporary blackout.

Don’t worry, the archives won’t be totally unavailable … but the first time you visit the archives that day you will be presented with a screen demonstrating what could happen to midrange.com if SOPA is passed.

For those of you who are unaware, SOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act bill that’s being considered in the United States House of Representatives that could severely impact the free exchange of information on the Internet.  PIPA is a similar bill being considered in the Senate.

The most troubling aspect of the bills, at least from my perspective, is the fact that an Internet domain could be completely shut down on the mere accusation of piracy.

In other words … all it would take is for someone to ACCUSE midrange.com of harboring intellectual pirate’s and the entire domain could be shut down.  No warnings, no proof, and no recourse.

A huge amount of information is shared on the midrange.com lists … and there have been a (very) few situations where violations of intellectual property were reported.  I’ve always dealt with those quickly and efficiently … but this law goes much too far.

FWIW: I recently moved all my domains (including midrange.com) from GoDaddy to another registrar because of GoDaddy’s support for SOPA even though they’ve officially ‘dropped’ their support for SOPA (this was just a PR reaction, you can’t change your spots that fast).

I will warn you, however, the protest that I’m going to be presenting does depend on browser cookies … so, if you have cookies enabled, you should only see the the protest once.  If you don’t have cookies enabled, you will see it more often.

About David:
David is a Principal Software Engineer for PTC, Integrity Business Unit. He cut his teeth on the S/36 and has more than 25 years of experience on the IBM i / System i / iSeries / AS400. He primarily works in Java and ILE RPG specializing in cross platform integrations. David has received the COMMON Distinguished Service award and was named an IBM Power Systems Champion. David is an active volunteer with the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure fundraising bike ride. He is currently captain of Team RED Chicago. David runs and maintains midrange.com. His personal blog is Geeky Ramblings.