SOPA Blackout 18th January

By tgn_admin
In News
Jan 17th, 2012
66 Comments
536 Views

Edit: Our blackout has ended, but keep spreading the word!

We’ve decided to add CoolMiniOrNot and TGN to the proposed SOPA protest blackout on January the 18th, from 7am GMT to 7pm GMT, which translates to 2am EST to 2pm EST and 11pm PST to 11am PST. For more information, hit http://www.sopastrike.com

In theory we aren’t directly affected, being a wholly owned US corporation on US servers (the proposed act applies only to websites outside of US jurisdiction), and CoolMiniOrNot Inc as publishers could conceivably benefit from anti-piracy laws. While preventing piracy is a laudable aim, we feel that this legislation as proposed goes too far and will have a chilling effect on the Internet as a whole. It just isn’t right, and so we will join the blackout on the 18th to spread this message.

If you agree with our position, please support us and educate those who are not aware. If you do not know what SOPA is, take the time learn about it as  you will be affected, where ever you are in the world.

Funny (and a little sad) video illustrating this after the break.


  • We’ll be going dark tomorrow as well.

  • Jarec

    All power to you for fighting this thing. I have already heard rumours of some UK sites blocking access from users in the US as a result. This could seriously turn the US into a third world internet consumer.

    Working for a company who is already highly restrictive about the level of web access it’s staff have this could bring the barrier down completely. As a software developer who relies on the Internet to find answers to problems this would make certain aspects of the job almost impossible.

  • Well I have seen people say that no one goes after internet pirates – this bill would seem to prove them wrong.

    Now if they can just stop Spam as well, they will be cooking.

  • V2

    Right on, guys!

    I’m in full support!

  • Good initiative to add your sites to the protest as this needs to be stopped.

  • blackfly

    thumbs up !

  • Absolutionis

    SOPA has already been shelved and put on indefinite hiatus. You should be raising awareness about PIPA as well.

  • Natakue

    I dont understand? SOPA was defeated…it’s not going to happen now…it was put on indefinite hiatus…why do this now?

    • cmon-chern

      As mentioned by other posters, the Senate version of this bill is still coming up for a vote on 24 January. If it passes due to apathy or general lack of awareness on the part of Internet users as a whole, then this may embolden supporters to push through with the Congressional version. It’s only truly over when legislators get the message that supporting this legislation is deeply unpopular and may affect their re-election chances.

      • Absolutionis

        The Senate Version of the bill should at least be mentioned then.

  • timlillig

    Thanks.

  • Markheim

    You have my support!

  • General Hobbs

    So basically you are supporting piracy and thievery of intellectual property? Can you start posting articles on how to recast GW figures, which is the same thing?

    • UndeadDan

      They aren’t supporting piracy or thievery. They are taking a stand against a poorly conceived and badly written law that will endanger the free exchange of ideas on the internet.

      This law is the virtual equivalent of hunting pheasant with a hydrogen bomb.

    • With the way the bill is currently written, I could contact the agency in charge and have TTGN removed from the web because they posted a piece of art or photograph from Brushfire. No questions asked, just bam TTGN is offline and the folks in charge of TTGN can look forward to 5 years in prison.

      Piracy is bad, this bill is worst.

    • ninja007

      This bill has nothing to do with stopping piracy. Educate yourself. It’s simply about giving corporations more control over the internet, more power they don’t deserve, and about letting the government censor or destroy web content they don’t like, or are pushed to by corporations. With 0 cause and without having to justify it.

      You supporting it is the same as supporting China being able to block or control the internet over there. This is IDENTICAL. So, why are you in favor of the Chinese Communist Censorship Bill?

      It’s not an anti-piracy act, the “Patriot act” is the opposite of patriotism, and “leave no child behind” is entirely about gutting and destroying education. Enough with this doublespeak/oppisite day garbage. Stop being an apologist for corporate scum interfering with freedom.

    • TylerT

      You have been thoroughly deceived by their cunning plot! that’s ok being tricked is nothing to be ashamed of, it’s what you do once you understand the issue that counts.

  • V2

    Man, I really hope people start waking up to the fact that Corporate America is slowly and quietly trying to take their rights away. Fox is telling the whole truth, just keep listening and don’t ask any questions!

    Anyone who WANTS the government to take ANY little shard of their rights away are idiots.

    It’s always to “protect” us from some dastardly vililans. Commies, terrorists, priates, etc. Just give some more rights away and they’ll be able to “protect” you.

    I was watching a show about a little guy with a funny mustache in the 30’s who had a great plan to “protect” the people of his country. Scared the Dickens out of me how close we are. Only difference now id they drape themselves in red whit and blue instead of brown and carry bibles.

  • dburton

    It appears that at least one of the commenters in this thread need a bit of education about the bill. I’m supporting you guys 100 percent on this. SOPA needs to be stopped dead in its tracks. There are other means to directly stop piracy thats already in place, throwing this blanket bill out there is not a good idea, as anyone who has read any of it knows.

    • I agree, if only people would give reasons of why they are against the bill it would be helpful. All I have seen so far is rants for ‘freedom’ and ‘free speech’. Reminds me of the character in the Simpsons who always cries ‘think of the children’.
      Information rather than emotion is what is needed.

  • General Hobbs

    Fearmongering will get you nowhere. This bill won’t shut down the internet nor result in censorship.

    By continuing to allow piracy, you’ll see movies and TV eventually get shut down the same way the music industry has died.

    • Absolutionis

      Get past the name of this bill and see what it actually does.
      To quote an appropriately old proverb: don’t judge a book by its cover.

      This bill has less to do about preventing piracy and more to do about allowing unquestioned censorship.

      • General Hobbs

        I find it amusing that the left, who believes in censoring the thoughts and speech of those it disagrees with, is against the bill.

        • Absolutionis

          No, you don’t find it amusing. You’re just looking for an outlet to spout your political beliefs. I hate liberal trash just as much as many conservatives, but your irrelevant diatribes don’t convince anyone.

      • Would love to, if only I could find out.

    • cybogoblin

      Remember when people being able to record music on cassettes killed the music industry? That’s what they were saying 30 odd years ago. Piracy is just the latest way of explaining flagging sales.

      Yes, Piracy is a problem, but it won’t be the death of either the film or music industries. They’re doing a pretty good job of doing that themselves by not adapting with the shifting technology we all now enjoy.

      • OK I will give you one. I recently found out that someone had posted (on a site called Scribed) a set of my wargames rules that I offer for £3.50 as a downloadable pdf. 366 free downloads had taken place (£1281 to save you doing the calculation). Scribed were very good and removed it once I identified myself as the author. I tracked down the person who posted it and they said it had been done as a mistake.
        There was no effort for the person who posted it, they had the pdf and as far as they were concerned it was OK to put it up for everyone else to share. No thought of the money that cost me (and I don’t think £3.50 is much to ask for a set of rules).
        So as you will appreciate, I am all for legislation against illegal file sharing. I would be sympathetic to a reasoned argument as to why this legislation is bad but have yet to see one. But one thing I am sure of, the current system does not work and something needs to be done – if only to convince people that they cannot share files amongst themselves.

  • V2

    $12 tickets and $10 dollar popcorn has nothing to do with it, I’m sure.

    Funny thing is, sounds like the CEO’s are doing just fine.

    • General Hobbs

      ust an observation….the people who are against SOPA/PIPA and don’t want their internet taken away also seem to be the people for Obamacare, which takes away their medical privacy and other medical rights. Odd set of priorities.

      • Absolutionis

        Your observation is irrelevant and unsubstantiated.
        You’re clearly just a troll.

        • General Hobbs

          Rather than engage in debate you would rather censor and denigrate those you disagree with. Typical.

          • Absolutionis

            Debate works two ways. You’ve ignored everyone’s comments above. You’re a troll.

          • Agreed. Insults are no argument.

      • supervike

        Stop painting people with your stereotypical beliefs and try staying on topic.

  • Veritas

    Let me put this in context; you know TGN, BoLS, Warseer, Dakka, Bolter&Chainsword, etc…? The day after this bill were signed into law GW would have the legal right to shut them all down and prosecute their owners in court. If you don’t care about GW then no problem, but could you really see GW NOT utilizing this power to the fullest? In one, fell swoop they’d nuke the largest gaming fan sites on the net. And really, even if you don’t care about GW a lot of these sites support many other game systems now as well.

    • General Hobbs

      Wrong. GW got rid of their bulletin boards because there is a thriving online community. This is fearmongering.

      • Veritas

        GW got rid of their bulletin boards because they had to delete every other thread because they didn’t want anything critical of their systems and/or business practices posted on them.

        • General Hobbs

          Not true.

          • Veritas

            Then how come right before they disappeared GW was deleting every other post due to critical comments?

          • Absolutionis

            Don’t feed the troll.

          • General Hobbs

            They always deleted critical comments.

        • Agreed.

    • Why would GW have the right to close them down? I would love to know why that would be the case, under what section of the legislation does this draconian power come from?
      I see blanket statements like this as scaremongering.

  • V2

    Don’t forget the death panels. Love e death panels.

  • Dan Paddock

    Seriously people can we leave your own pet political crap out of this?

    This is about stopping abuse of copyright from killing the Internet. This has nothing to do with Obamacare, Sarah Palin, or any of the other distractions that some of the commenters here are bringing up.

    This is about Freedom of Speech and Assembly in our digital age.

    • Absolutionis

      Your reasonable request on the internet both confuses and arouses me.

  • General Hobbs

    Bringing up Obamacare is relevant, because it shows people’s priorities. People want free movies, music and access to porn, at the cost of the movie and music industry.

    The world survived without the internet before 1990, life will go on if the worst fears of SOPA/PIPA were realized.

    Anti-Sopa people would bite the hand that feeds them….

    • Veritas

      To take your analogy one step further, life went on before the existence of the movie and recording industries. The world could go on without them.

      • General Hobbs

        Don’t forget tabletop games….If you are Pro Sopa then you are pro-recasting figures and pro cheap knock-offs made in China. Why should I pay 60 bucks for Ticket to Ride…how dare they try and make money. I’ll pirate the game and charge people 20 bucks.

        Theft is theft.

        Most of the anti-sopa websites are anti-Sopa because of money. Ad income comes from having high traffic. By pirating and stealing intellectual property, they get a 100% discount on content, and thus create a cash cow.

        If you are anti-Sopa, you are pro-theft. Remember that. It is not censorship to protect YOUR property.

        • Absolutionis

          SOPA doesn’t prevent piracy. People can still visit piracy websites. Your entire argument is invalid.

          • supervike

            You said it best, when you said ‘Don’t feed the troll’.

          • Absolutionis

            Dammit. Sorry.

        • No one is saying “anti-Pipa means I am pro-piracy” that’s not the position at all.

          The fact is the law wouldn’t stop the type of piracy it attempts to prevent. But what it does do is give unchecked power to corporations or any owner of IP to use the government to take down, block, fine or imprison anyone they feel might be using or displaying their IP. It could be as simple and innocuous as a guy who puts his favorite football logo on his work-league fantasy football site, or his daughter’s facebook page for putting up the logo of her favorite band, or someone putting up a fan-created easy reference for their favorite board game. This is not an economic threat or piracy, but it is a power this law would grant. Is that what you support?

          This isn’t a liberal-conservative civil war issue. You clearly have your feet firmly planted in the conservative camp, but you should be asking yourself if this is really your battle. Isn’t a main tenant of conservatism ‘small government’ ? This gives the government unchecked, unquestionable power: a chainsaw for a pruning sheer job.

          I would think more conservatives would be up in arms against this.
          Protecting against piracy is noble, but this isn’t the way to do it.

          • A sensible point of view but of course the use of someone elses copyrighted material is illegal. So I suggest that the person who wants to use other peoples images would know its illegal, not do it and then there is no problem.
            I think part of the problem is that a lot of people think that they can do anything they want, so long as they don’t make money doing it.

  • Dan Paddock

    General Hobbs, you are both imprecise and wrong.

    I am anti piracy and anti-SOPA/PIPA, much like I am anti-crime and anti-police state. If you can’t be bothered to actually research the overreaching draconian methods of “fighting piracy” please assume that others have and aren’t just after “cool free stuff”.

    But if you are cool with killing the internet so that dying industries who refuse to evolve can control your access to information and services, I have one thing left to say to you:

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom — go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”

    • Absolutionis

      You’re feeding the troll.

    • General Hobbs

      The world was fine before the internet. I’ve studied the law. I have a law degree from the University of Baltimore. People are overreacting and believing the hype created by fearmongering pro-piracy websites.

      • cmon-chern

        The law if passed as drafted incentivizes sites with user submitted content to automatically take down anything based on complaints received.

        By your logic, the world was fine before airplanes, automobiles and the lightbulb. You are welcome to that world, there are many Amish communities that do, in fact, need new blood.

        I too have a law degree with the added bonus of seeing things from the business side. Where speech is concerned, where there is money to be lost supporting it, many businesses will simply choose not to. This is immediately obvious from Youtube’s and Google’s DMCA policies (a takedown notice received results in an automatic takedown). Now extrapolate this to an an entire site, and the stakes are dramatically raised, so that all content would need to be reviewed before it goes up. Only the wealthy or privileged will be able to make their voices heard as freely as you are doing so now.

        You can rest assured, for example, this commenting area would be shut off for fear of an infringing link being posted, since we don’t have time to police or monitor this area constantly. News would be strictly limited to stuff we could make money on, since everything else simply wouldn’t present a reasonable risk/reward ratio. So ironically, you wouldn’t even be able to defend the bill you are so staunchly supporting here!

        As to your endearing naivete towards the general good intentions of GW, during our time running the site, less than 4 months, we have already received a takedown notice on a news item that GW did not like, which we did not entertain. With your legal education, if you sincerely believe that lawyers, without any expertise or interest in the field they are enforcing and billing by the hourbe allowed to exercise powers based on their “good faith” belief that someone is infringing their client’s interests? Well….. I want whatever you’re smoking.

        Finally, we’re publishers ourselves. You might not think Dark Age, Super Dungeon Explore or Cang are worth any shakes, but we like them and we certainly don’t want them pirated. This just isn’t the way to do it.

        Oh, and by the way, calling us thieves for supporting SOPA protests crossed the boundaries of polite discourse. Please mind TGN’s rules, which are far less draconian than SOPA’s.

    • If you can’t be bothered to actually research the overreaching draconian methods of “fighting piracy” please assume that others have and aren’t just after “cool free stuff”.

      I looked and found no reasons. However I am prepared to accept that there are reasons, it is just that the anti-SOPA supporters don’t see the need to explain them to us. And until I am given reasons rather statements of ‘do this because it is good’ I am not inclined to be anti-SOPA.
      Freedom and free speech are lovely banners to wave but mean nothing unless there are reasons to follow. I for one will not disconnect my brain to blindly follow anothers lead, popular though it may be.

  • Let’s all agree on this:
    We are against piracy and illegal copies.

    What most of us are saying on here, Hobbs, is that we disagree with the Orwellian methods in trying to stop piracy and copyright infringement. We’re against the acts in that it would allow a few in power and the corporate rich remove websites and sue website owners for anyone posting or linking to copyrighted materials without due course of law.

    If the owners of said sites had a chance to appeal or defend their position, then it wouldn’t be so bad. However, it is that bad, so we are against the how to stop piracy, not piracy, not copyright infringement, not recasts, etc.

    I hope that explains the point of view better General Hobbs. Again, we aren’t against piracy, just against the heavy handed way these two laws propose to stop piracy.

  • Absolutionis

    What is hilarious about this ill-conceived bill is that the only thing this will harm is free expression. Piracy will barely be affected. People can still visit piracy sites quite easily. It’s the other interesting sites out there that you accidentally stumble upon that will be harmed by giving power of censorship to the media. It’s the power the media giants will get that would be harmful.

    Meanwhile, the pirates will shrug their shoulders as they simply change their bookmarks.

    • I thought that the piracy sites would be closed down by the ‘draconian’ powers available? So if they are not there it seems difficult to imagine that they will be easy to visit. Now if you imagine that there will be an underground of illegal file sharing sites that I can understand.
      I legally hold a gun but when people see gun crime and ask ‘how did they get a gun’, my response is ‘they are criminals, they don’t obey the law’.
      So surely it just becomes, those who indulge in illegal file sharing are criminals, continue to do it and can be dealt with as such?
      At the moment I suggest most people think it is legal to file share, having a law with punishment just may educate them and perhaps the punishment might just encourage them that free files are not worth the threat?

  • cmon-chern

    The largest target in our entire industry is GW, as most of their infrastructure is based outside the US. Since their products draw so much inspiration from popular culture and fantasy tropes, they could conceivably come under attack from all sides very quickly indeed. They are simply a big fish in a very small pond, SOPA/PIPA would crush GW’s online presence with the MPAA sharks swimming about. The only reason why movie studios and music labels are for this is because they have a tacit agreement not to attack each other, much like how having a very large patent portfolio is both defensive as well as offensive (any attack will be mutually destructive).

    For example, with Egypt’s ludicrous attempt to copyright the Pyramids, under the reciprocal Berne convention of which the USA is a signatory, the Egyptian government would then be able to establish a “good faith” belief that the Necron Monolith breaches their alleged copyright on the Pyramids, that images of Monoliths also infringe these copyrights, that sale of Monoliths are counterfeit, and with a very low bar of procedure or evidence, have GW’s site shutdown and/or delisted, and have Visa stop doing business with GW. Of course, GW would be free to fight this and have their site and business relationships re-established weeks later, but frankly why would Visa want to work with GW again? It wouldn’t be worth the hassle. And since Egypt had a “good faith” belief of infringement (even though it was stupid and wrong), they could cause all this damage to GW without recourse or compensation to GW. This is obviously insane, and yet one possible way to interpret this very broadly worded legislation.

  • Jarec

    Just remember that the intent of a law is not the same as its application.

    We have a law in the UK that was intended to allow surveillance of potential terrorists. Unfortunately due to the poor wording of the law local councils started using it put surveillance on people suspected of putting recycling waste in the wrong refuse bin or claiming to live in a different area to get their children into better schools.

    Not the intent of the law but as it was drafted entirely legal, lawyers are good at finding alternative interpretations of things, especially if it is lucrative for them to do so. Luckily it got changed – eventually.

    From what I have read I support what SOPA and PIPA are trying to achieve, although I doubt that it will ever be possible to do so. However if the wording is not carefully drafted it will be abused, missrepresented, distprted (whichever you feel applies). Maybe a better approach would be for concerned copyright holders to work with the Government/experts to find ways to prevent copyright infringement rather than simply shooting the first easy target after the fact?

  • Dorb

    I love the this web site but must say not a fan of all this crap at all. No one is responsible for anything these days which drives me crazy. Everyone knows right from wrong. If you are not doing anything wrong then why do you fear? (Heck, most sites have moderators that slap you down if you do not follow THEIR rules on posting.) Go back to your Occu-cry tents & tree hugging and move on. Life is not all doom and gloom, your above ground and alive are you not? Hell I work 9 hours a day(for 25yrs) and just want to come home have a couple drinks and relax with a hobby I love.
    Tired of all this crap.(from both sides.) Oh and nice video… Nazis really??? Come-on man! Is this really the same thing and funny…Not! (Talk about educate those not aware…)

    Bottom line is I really wish ya would have just stayed neutral on the subject.

    Game on fellow gamers and catch ya in a few days when we all move on and get back to life.(and for those with no life…please get one.)

    • cmon-chern

      As mentioned in an earlier comment, GW wanted us to take down news that a case manufacturer was making cases compatible with their figures.

      Putting aside the issue of whether or not the case manufacturer in question should be allowed to do so without their permission (under US law, the answer appears to be yes), they were demanding we not report news they didn’t like, which was not something we entertained or will ever entertain, from anyone.

      So, given that most right thinking people would agree we did nothing wrong (I’m assuming you agree too, since you love the site, your words), how are we supposed to stay neutral? Do we simply takedown anything anyone doesn’t like? You wouldn’t like this site so much I think, if that happened.

      Remember, GW was asking us to stop linking and remove images they claimed violated their IP. Under SOPA/PIPA, if we were based outside the USA, as Zac used to be, TGN would have been shutdown. It would have meant no news from anybody GW didn’t like, in order to stay open. Think about it.