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Wikipedia, Flickr, etc protest SOPA, PIPA January 19, 2012

Posted by pilibustero in Personal.
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Online sites across the US and other parts of the world showed their respective protests either by suspending their services for 24 hours on January 18 (US Time) in dissent of the proposed “Stop Online Piracy Act.” (SOPA) and “Protect IP Act” (PIPA). I’m sharing below the statement of Wikipedia Foundation and Flickr:

English Wikipedia to go dark January 18 in opposition to SOPA/PIPA

San Francisco — January 16, 2012 — On January 18, 2012, in an unprecedented decision, the Wikipedia community has chosen to blackout the English version of Wikipedia for 24 hours, in protest against proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and PROTECTIP (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate. If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States.

Wikipedia administrators confirmed this decision Monday afternoon (PST) in a public statement (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:SOPA_initiative/Action#Summary_and_conclusion):

Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a “blackout” of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support. READ MORE.


Help raise awareness about PIPA & SOPA

Two bills are currently being considered in the U.S. Congress: PIPA the “Protect IP Act” and SOPA the “Stop Online Piracy Act.”  Both are designed to address a legitimate problem – foreign-based websites that are engaging in digital piracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods.  Unfortunately, we and many others believe that these bills miss the mark.  These bills have the potential to stifle innovation, require censorship of search results, impose monitoring obligations, and change the way information is distributed on the web.   Government regulation of online activities is a slippery slope and these proposed bills fall down that slope without truly addressing the issues that ignited this debate.

With the pending votes on these bills, Flickr is joining other sites on the web on January 18th to help raise awareness about the potential impacts of this legislation.

If you would like to participate in this awareness campaign, Flickr is letting members darken their photos — or the photos of others — for a 24-hour period to deprive the web of the rich content that makes it thrive.  Your symbolic act will help draw attention to this issue and let others know about the potential harmful impacts of these bills. READ MORE.


In support of this cause, I just darkened a photo post in my newly-born Flickr Photostream HERE

Screen grab of a sample darkened photo


Artists’ ARREST statement on the censorship of the Kulô exhibit at the CCP August 9, 2011

Posted by pilibustero in Arts & Culture, Politics & Society.
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At his point, any defense or attack of the artwork “Poleteismo” by Mideo Cruz is already moot and academic because it will always be subjective and it runs the danger of keeping our attention away from the more pressing concern at hand. We say this because, as it happens, the debate surrounding the artwork has been focused largely on its artistic and moral merits at the expense of calling our attention to what we think are more disturbing actions: the demand of a certain faction of the Catholic church for the resignation of the CCP officials; the vandalism of the artwork and in effect the CCP gallery in which it is in exhibit; and the decision of the CCP to close the exhibit.

People have come to the extent of calling the CCP an antichrist and Mideo a demon and the forum intended as a discussion about the exhibit turned into a rhetorical riot. But on the brighter side, some people have managed to intelligently either defend the artist’s work or attack it both based on well-placed intentions to serve the people and defend social values they think are in peril. These actions are very much welcome and acceptable. Cruz himself categorically stated that he is welcome to criticisms. And we should encourage these criticisms and discussions if only to come to the most humane and useful appraisal and attitude towards the artwork. But at the moment, there is no reason to actually evict it out of the CCP gallery or, much worse, to destroy it.

That everybody is allowed to his or her opinion is a given in this situation. In the same respect that Cruz exercised his freedom of expression in his artwork which many find sickening and offending, everybody is welcome to express their opposition and even disgust to Cruz’s work up to the extent that it is constitutional and non-violent. At this point, Cruz is in fact already subject to gnashing criticisms by those who find his work offensive and they are very much free to expose or depict it for whatever farce or travesty that they think it is—in writing, through art, or even public assembly. The half-successful attempt of an unidentified man and woman to destroy the artwork of Cruz by defacing it and setting it on fire, albeit failed, however, is beyond acceptable. For one, it already constitutes criminal intent and ramifications not simply because it destroyed Cruz’s private property. Trying to set it on fire could’ve also burned the gallery or even the entire CCP. It is pretty much like “tirang pikon” as we say in Filipino. READ FULL STATEMENT HERE.

Ref: Artists Arrest Facebook