Poetry News

PennSound, UbuWub, and Wikipedia go dark to protest SOPA

By Harriet Staff

Well, perhaps we need to worry about Graham Foust's Wikipedia page for other reasons! As you might well know, darkness has become us today (well, not us--poetry shall prevail! or er, something): PennSound (along with the beloved Wikipedia) has gone dark in protest of SOPA, and Charles Bernstein provides solid reasoning:

Universities depend upon the free exchange of ideas. PennSound is the Internet’s largest archive of poetry sound recordings, all available for free for noncommercial and educational use. PennSound will symbolically go black on Wednesday in solidarity with those opposing SOPA and PIPA. PennSound will not be directly affected by these proposed laws, if they are enacted, because all our material is fully permissioned. But all of us who use the Internet for research or education will be gravely affected by unnecessary regulations that will stifle innovation and block access to information. Large corporate interest want to privatize knowledge: to gobble it all up (whether it is theirs or not) and sell it. They want to turn around the American principle of presumption of innocence on its head by saying that all knowledge and information is private until proven otherwise. Unlike in China, in our democracy, the presumption must be that information is free to circulate unless a compelling reason can be shown to block it. Knowledge is our commons, a fundamentally shared resource. To indiscriminately block access to vital web resources – without full due process and presumption of innocence – wounds our democracy and cripples our republic. The cures these two bills propose are far worse than the problems they seek to address. There are better, wiser approaches. Don’t let Big Brother get away with this one.

UbuWeb is also among the resources we can no longer resource. A tip: when they're back up, download. Mr. Goldsmith writes:

UbuWeb will blackout on Weds, January 18th for 24 hours to Protest SOPA & PIPA. If SOPA passes, you can kiss UbuWeb goodbye. Remember, the web won't be this way forever. Don’t bookmark. Download. Download. Download. Everything on Ubu is downloadable. Hard drives are cheap. Grab what you need. Don’t trust the cloud. Stop SOPA.

For more about SOPA, and to tell Congress not to censor the Web, read on. Or join the largest online strike in history. The Senate begins voting on January 24.

Originally Published: January 18th, 2012