SOPA & PIPA – A Day Of BlackOuts

As has been reported all over the world and internet today the english pages of wikipedia have gone black in protest of SOPA and PIPA . You can see just an  example of the coverage by following these links  BBC , SKY , CNN.

Now wikipedia is far from the only site to go black and the BBC has a slide show that shows many more and how the sites are supporting the cause, its well worth a view as once again there are some really interesting ways of showing their support. You can view it Here

Now you might be wondering what SOPA and PIPA actually are and why are people making such a big fuss about it, you may also be wondering why a law that is essentially american should affect us and the net as a whole.

SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act and PIPA Is short for Protect Interlectual Property Act.

They are basically both trying to do the same kind of things which as you can see from their names is to crack down on copyright infringement and illegal sharing. The problem lies in the ambiguous way in which these acts are going about doing this and in part whether the us government can be trusted to use the legislation in the way that it is meant for, Which as has been shown in the past with various governments in many different countries is unlikely. It will also give a lot of power  to an industry that again in the past has shown itself to be unscrupulous in the way it deals with people and the people who it accuses of violating even the current laws.

Now im not going to claim that i understand everything about these to acts but fortunately people cleverer than me have gone through the acts and places like the BBC have tried to explain them.

BBC Explanation – Here

EFF – Here

CNN – Here

Wikipedia – Here

There is also this video Which is currently on the Rock Paper Shotgun Blackout page

The reason that its important that people outside of the USA also take note of these ACTS is that not only will it affect websites such as Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia  other sites that are based in the US, it will also affect funding for sites that are outside of the US and whats more where the us leads the rest of the world will follow.

You can’t think that the company’s that support these acts such as Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), News Corp and Walt Disney among many others some of which you can view in this google doc file HERE will not turn their gaze like Sauron to Europe and the rest of the world.

The Death of HDDVD

Well it looks like the war of the formats has finally finished as of today. The bbc is reporting that toshiba one of major backers is dropping out. [BBC Article]

Toshiba have stated that they will stop production of HDDVD players and recorders so that they can concentrate there efforts in other areas. However they will still supply retailers with players and recorders till the end of march this year and will continue to give technical support to the millions of people that have gone with HDDVD. The death of HDDVD has been on the cards for sometime now with many of the larger movie studios supporting blueray and an ever decreasing presence at retail with major chains like Walmart either removing there HDDVD stock completely or Focusing more on the Bluray format.

Sony’s decision too include a bluray player in there gaming console the playstation 3 also gave blueray a huge advantage what ever the HDDVD camp also supported by Microsoft would like people to have believed.

I for one am glad that this war is over and not just because I am a playstation owner (although it helps :P) It makes things a lot easier for consumers and retailers, Don’t get me wrong in some respects the format war was a good thing. Competition is good as it means cheaper prices and more choice for the consumer and you can be certain that if there was only one of the formats Prices would not have reached the level they are now for a long time.

What i hope now is that the remainder of the film studios still supporting HDDVD will make a swift move to blueray And that prices for bluray players and films will continue to fall and not stagnate.

Oh and some buying advice for those that after seeing this news and wanting to buy a Bluray player. I really would suggest that you buy the playstation 3. Even if your not interested in the games or anything else It is by far one of the best bluray players on the market and is certainly the cheapest on the market.