General Question

Dog's avatar

If SOPA is really dead then how come it is now in action? (See Details)

Asked by Dog (25152points) February 15th, 2012
18 responses
“Great Question” (8points)

Today was taken down by US government agency. They hosted with GoDaddy who deactivated their domain.
To clarify- they are simply a form creation site and NOT pirating anything.

This is what was posted on their alternate site:

***** Suspended
February 15, 2012
As a part of an ongoing investigation about a content posted in our site, a US government agency has temporarily suspended our domain. We are fully cooperating with them, but it is not possible to say when the domain would be unblocked.

To make sure your forms continue operating, please change your form URLs on your web site from to Here is an example:



Thank you for your patience and understanding.

UPDATE: Many people on the comments assumed the content was posted by us. This can happen to any site that allows public to post content. SOPA may not have passed, but what happened shows that it is already being practiced. All they have to do is to ask Godaddy to take a site down. We have 2 millions user generated forms. It is not possible for us to manually review all forms. This can happen to any web site that allows user generated content. Source

The last time I looked we were in the United States and SOPA was NOT passed.

How is it that now we are under threat of government lock down without a trial, without warning and we are assumed GUILTY until we fight to prove ourselves INNOCENT?

This does not sound like a Democracy. What is going on here?

Sadly this SHOOT FIRST and ask questions later approach will likely torpedo this site beyond recovery. A real shame since the guys spent a lot of time building their site. I am both baffled and alarmed.

Please enlighten me or at least comment if you wish.

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amujinx's avatar

SOPA/PIPA aren’t actually dead. They just postponed voting on them. The RIAA has gone crazy attacking websites after the bills were delayed though (including the attack on MegaUpload the day after the SOPA/PIPA blackout). All they have proved as far as I’m concerned is they already have an overabundance of power to “protect” their “intellectual property”.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

The government is simply enforcing DMCA (The Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998).

Dog's avatar

@MollyMcGuire Not in this case as they were not pirating.

The issue is with how they closed the site first and without warning. This is unacceptable as we are in a Democracy and everyone is entitled to be presumed innocent until PROVEN guilty.

I have no problem with shutting down piracy sites.

Now if a person was to argue that the site was responsible for what ever might have been posted on a form (with over 2 million user forms created) and that is worthy of being closed down then perhaps GoDaddy should be shut down because I am certain that sites they host also have suspicious content somewhere.

Enforce DMCA but do it by INVESTIGATING then bringing charges. It is not right to shut down a business first and essentially kill it before you have made a case.

Dog (25152points)“Great Answer” (4points)
El_Cadejo's avatar

RIP Megaupload

augustlan's avatar

It seems incredibly foolish of them to shut down these sites prior to a finding of actual guilt, given the huge protest over SOPA/PIPA we just had. Do they think this will go unnoticed? Does this mean Fluther is at risk in the immediate future?

amujinx's avatar

@Dog I agree, it should not be a case of guilty until proven innocent. Until the court case is decided, they should not be able to just shut down any site and kill a business just on hearsay.

Here’s an interesting read on the RIAA’s reaction to having SOPA/PIPA postponed in congress. It has an anti SOPA/PIPA writer, but it does make some good points about how the RIAA is trying to spin the whole thing like they are the victims.

MollyMcGuire's avatar

They said their site was taken down because of “a content” on their site. If you don’t know what that specific content was, you don’t really know what you are talking about here. It may likely have been owned and protected content.

augustlan's avatar

@MollyMcGuire I assume it was, in fact, copyrighted and protected content. The issue is that the site itself didn’t post it, one of the site’s user’s did. Just as, here on Fluther, one of our members might post a link to copyrighted material. There is no way that we can assure that doesn’t ever happen, but we could be shut down immediately because of it. It puts the onus on the site to protect copyrighted material, rather than on the copyright holder, where it rightly belongs.

jerv's avatar

The short answer is De Facto versus De Jure.

@augustlan I think Anonymous has noticed. The EFF has noticed. But yes, pretty much everybody is at risk, whether it be from the RIAA or Anonymous.

@MollyMcGuire You seem to miss the whole point of the anti-SOPA/PIPA debate, so I would be careful about saying that someone else does not know what they are talking about.
Or do you 250% support “guilty until proven innocent” and total circumvention of due process (including the chance to prove one’s innocence)? In other words, do you believe that the DMCA trumps the Fourth and Sixth Amendments? That intellectual property rights are greater than the rights given to us by our Founding Fathers?

bomyne's avatar

The DCMA still provides a vast amount of power to copyright holders.

However its also possible it was an unlawful takedown and Godaddy was complying because they didnt want to be sued.

jerv's avatar

@bomyne Can we say “Chilling Effect”?

auhsojsa's avatar

There is more than just SOPA.

Any site who stores data that is Copy Righted and is open to the public in which the site allows users to download is considered illegal. It’s no different than people burning cd’s and selling them at a swap meet, Wal-Mart parking lot, flea market etc. These sites are making money off the ads. Just because we are not “purchasing” the Copy Righted materials it doesn’t mean the site isn’t profiting.

A website should be safe if a disclaimer posts something have to not do with downloading or posting illegal content. The trouble is sites like the mentioned above are known to have consistent activity of illegal link sharing. I would know, I’m a pirate but I’m stopping. So using common sense, shutting down these, “meccas” of illegal treasures seems good. However, there should be disclaimers on websites like Fluther who keep it clean and say not to post content of illegal goods, that it cannot be downloaded.

The RIAA is technically correct and piraters are the ones who are wrong. What we will see is, a more controlled “Arts” dept in the world again, and money and respect will go where it is due. It is not to say that independent artist can no longer get big, as there will always be sites that allow an artist to upload his or her own work and distribute at their discretion.

bomyne's avatar

@jerv We can indeed.

jerv's avatar

@auhsojsa “A website should be safe if a disclaimer posts something have to not do with downloading or posting illegal content.

They won’t be safe though, and that is the problem. You have a great game of Call of Duty and want to post the replay on Youtube? One of two things will happen; either they risk sanctions (fines, IP seizure, total site shutdown…) as a result of your actions, or they merely ban you from doing so.

Disclaimers WILL NOT be any protection. And if they wanted to get uppity, they could extend that to prohibit the use of trademarked words, or at least make it risky enough that certain words may be censored. Do you like to drink Scotch™? How about eating some Apple™ pie?

Where you go wrong is assuming that they will be sensible.

auhsojsa's avatar

@jerv You realize I’m not defending Sopa right. Don’t tell me I’m wrong. There is nothing definite about it yet. You don’t work for them. I’m not assuming, I’m saying they should be safe, it’s my goddamn suggestion please and thank you very much. As in there needs to be more recognized on their part before they scorn sites down. Kapeesh?

jerv's avatar

@auhsojsa Sorry if you thought I was going after you, but that is exactly the problem. I would have no issues with with well-written legislation that combated piracy without having easy-to-abuse loopholes, and that is why I do oppose SOPA/PIPA. Your use of the words, “they should be safe” and ” there needs to be more recognized on their part before they scorn sites down.” are are why SOPA/PIPA must never pass in the forms they were introduced. Now do you understand where I am coming from?

auhsojsa's avatar

@jerv I understood your point the first time you posted in regards to the OP.

jerv's avatar

@auhsojsa In that case, your first response to this question makes little sense, but it’s not worth arguing over.

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