Category Archives: Industry News & Events

Stopping SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act)

This week is crucial to stopping SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) from being passed. If it becomes law, SOPA will institute government censorship of the Internet. And it will make it nearly impossible for sites which rely on User Generated Content (such as CitizenGlobal, Vimeo, Etsy, and Flickr) as part of their business model to survive. On Thursday (December 15) the bill will be brought before the full Judiciary Committee for a vote and must be stopped. The situation is so serious that Wikipedia is considering blacking out its entire encyclopedia to oppose the pending legislation. Please take action now to help prevent SOPA from becoming law.

Please visit the StopAmericanCensorship.org website and the EFF’s Aniti-SOPA Toolkit to learn more and to take action to stop this potentially disastrous legislation from becoming law.

Here are a few things to do:

- Help get the word out: Post your opposition on Facebook, Twitter (hashtag=SOPA) & your blog.

- Contact your congressperson: Made easy here.

- If you work on the Internet, upload your photo here to show your opposition (takes 2 minutes).

SOPA: The End of the Open Internet Era?

Last night, Steven Colbert weighed in on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and brought discussion of this pending legislation to the mainstream. If passed, SOPA would be a death blow to the open Internet era, and could potentially wipe out start-ups which harness the power of user-generated content (such as CitizenGlobal). SOPA would put in place governmental controls and censorship of the Internet akin to those already in place in China, North Korea and Iran. While China and Iran censor the Internet for political reasons, the United States would do so solely to protect corporate interests. The law would empower infringement-claiming content owners with the ability cut off the advertising revenue sources of a website, with little due process.

The figure of claimed corporate losses due to online piracy currently stands at $200-250 billion, though such is merely a number being tossed around to justify the need for SOPA. As Steven Colbert pointed out, this number is completely bogus. While no one is in love with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), it provides an essential Safe Harbor and allows companies like YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Itsy, Vimeo and CitizenGlobal to exist. Without it, these companies could be held legally responsible for every bit of infringing content uploaded by their users. While we at CitizenGlobal oppose piracy and take great care to block and remove infringing content from our site, it is simply impossible to remove every bit of it, all of the time. SOPA would effectively overturn the DMCA, leaving us (along with many other companies) with massive lawsuits we could not afford to litigate.

One million Americans have emailed Congress in opposition to SOPA; countless companies and organizations including EFF, ACLU, and over 100 intellectual property law professors are actively opposing the bill; and tech giants like Facebook, Google, Twitter, eBay, Yahoo, AOL, Mozilla, Zynga and LinkedIn have sent their formal opposition in a joint letter. Please join us all in opposition to censorship and control and help promote the continuation of a free and open Internet.

Watch Steven Colbert discuss SOPA and host a debate between Danny Goldberg & Jonathan Zittrain on the topic.

CG at the Green Festival & Feliz Dia De Los Muertos!

From left to right: Lisa Ling, Jodie Evans, Concepcion Lara, Sharon Lawrence, Susan Cartsonis

This past weekend, Concepcion Lara (CG’s consultant for CitizenGlobal Espanol!) spoke on the panel “Women, Media and Power: Stories from Emerging Voices” at the Green Festival. The panel was hosted by Lisa Ling of OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), and the other panelists included Susan Cartsonis, producer and WIF Foundation chair; Jodie Evans of the Women’s Media Center; and Sharon Lawrence, the Actress and WIF Foundation Advisory Council Member.

In addition to speaking on the panel, Concepcion promoted CG’s Univision Muestranos Tu Halloween! production and took videos of children in costume and of preparations being readied for the Day of the Dead holiday, which is today. Check out the fun, scary, and lovely Halloween and Day of the Dead videos.

Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers was also at the Green Festival and stopped to admire a Day of the Dead tribute to Cesar Chavez. Watch it here:

Feliz Dia De Los Muertos!

Google Teams with Fox News to Crowdsource Questions for Republican Debate

If you watched the Republican debate last night, you probably noticed the candidates being addressed by constituents via YouTube videos for some questions. Google teamed up with Fox News to enable viewers to upload questions in advance to YouTube via video or text. And these viewers were allowed to vote on their favorite questions. Once the debate started, people were given tools to vote on the best responses as they were being delivered and post their comments.

The result? Almost 19,000 questions were received and more than 100,000 votes were cast.

You can see the highlights here.