The Rapidian

Catalyst Radio: Internet legislation protested with web blackouts

Community Media Center took a lead locally in a national coordinated blackout of websites Wednesday. The action was to bring awareness to bills currently in Congress. Learn about the bills and why so many participated.
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About Catalyst Radio

Catalyst Radio is the weekly public affairs radio program of Community Media Center, with producer and host Linda Gellasch. The program is a feature of WYCE and The Rapidian and includes interviews with organizations and people working on social change and community support, examines media and free speach issues, and takes a look at the behind-the-scenes of Rapidian reporting. You can catch it on air at noon every Friday on WYCE 88.1 FM or streaming on the Grand Rapids Community Media Center Website.

Past Catalyst Radio episodes are archived on The Rapidian.

CMC "blacked out" its own website Wednesday as an awareness and educational effort about pending internet legistation

CMC "blacked out" its own website Wednesday as an awareness and educational effort about pending internet legistation /Community Media Center

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In this episode of Catalyst Radio we discuss two congressional bills with potential effects of limiting an open and free internet, which are facing significant public opposition. The bills known as Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate are purported to be “anti-piracy” efforts to aid in large part the US movie and music industries.

As part of the opposition to the proposed legislation, a web “blackout” was staged on Wednesday (January 18), with more than 10,000 website services participating. Leaders in the action included Wikipedia (reported to be the sixth most visited website in the world), Reddit and Boing Boing, but also included notables such as Flickr, Tumblr, Mozilla and Vimeo.

Community Media Center also participated, with a blackout of the main website as well as of The Rapidian website.

In this episode of Catalyst Radio, CMC’s executive director Laurie Cirivello is interviewed about the bills, the decision to join in the blackout action and CMC's interest in promoting public education on the issue of internet accessibility.

Music featured this week on Catalyst Radio is the song "Free Speech Zone" from jazz musician Marc Rossi.

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