Four key senators abandon online piracy bills amid web protests – The Hill’s Hillicon Valley

Four key senators abandon online piracy bills amid web protests – The Hill’s Hillicon Valley.


This is good news for the First Amendment, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens in 2013 once the elections are over.


Stop #SOPA and #PIPA

Two bills before Congress, the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, would censor the Web and trample the First Amendment. These bills would impose harmful regulations on American business and would block legitimate uses of the Internet. It’s yet again another power grab by the government against individual liberty.

The Senate will begin voting on January 24th.

Wikipedia has removed its content for a 24-hour period today in protest of censorship. If you try to conduct a search on the site, you’re taken to a page where you can search for your Congress representative by ZIP code.

A number of websites have either blacked themselves out today or have posted other commentary concerning SOPA and PIPA. A number of sites provide petitions to urge Congress members to vote down these bills, including:

Here’s a good story about the issue by the New York Times.

Use a tissue to clean up

I noticed an interesting ad recently in Columbia Journalism Review. It showed an eraser and a partially erased, hand-written registered trademark symbol, with a caption of “do not erase,” as well as the Kleenex logo and a photo of a box of Kleenexes.

The copy in the ad made the case for not using the registered trademark brand name Kleenex name in place of the word “tissue.” The ad compares this to erasing the Kleenex Brand Tissue name and instructs the use of the registered trademark symbol and the words “Brand Tissue.”

It was a clever ad concept with a simple design – the color was limited to the eraser, the Kleenex Brand Tissue logo and the photo of the product. The copy and the trademark symbol were in black ink, and the background was white. The ad was an attention-getter.

Journalists are trained in school to use generic words in place of a brand name in most cases. The AP Stylebook lists a number of brand names and suggests generic words that can be used. Exceptions are made when the name of the brand is integral to the story.

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