Many prominent websites are going dark today to protest S.O.P.A., the Stop Online Piracy Act currently being considered by Congress.
It got us thinking: remember a couple of years ago, that effort to rebrand the area between the Upper and Lower Haights as “SOPA,” a.k.a. South of Panhandle? Whatever happened to that?
Before we answer that burning question, let’s talk about this horrendous legislation for a sec.
S.O.P.A. is awful for many reasons, but what’s particularly onerous is the burden it places on website owners to prevent user-contributed copyright infringements, lest they face prison time or court-ordered delisting from search engines. Yes, this crappy bill would let the government mandate which sites search engines can link to, as if that would somehow be possible.
Meanwhile, the Senate’s equally crappy version of this legislation, dubbed P.I.P.A., would give the government the power to force ISPs to block users from reaching specific URLs. Websites that merely “enable” copyright infringement could end up blacklisted. So, basically, any sites where people can post things. Long story short, P.I.P.A. would turn America into China.
If you agree that S.O.P.A. and P.I.P.A. are bad news, contact our rep Nancy Pelosi (who has expressed opposition to S.O.P.A.) — or better yet, our cringingly pro-P.I.P.A. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, and give them a piece of your mind.
Nancy Pelosi: (202) 225-4965
Dianne Feinstein: (202) 224-3841
Barbara Boxer: (202) 224-3553
OK. Now to important things.
Longtime Haighteration readers may recall our May 2010 story, “Like NOPA? Meet SOPA.” In it, we discussed how a few neighbors in the Bermuda rectangle bounded by Oak, Haight, Divisadero, and Masonic were making an effort to dub the area “SOPA,” short for “South of Panhandle.”
Now, nearly two years have gone by. What happened? The website they created, sopasf.com, is now defunct, as is their Facebook group — and we can’t say the term “SOPA” has exactly caught fire.
As it turns out, the effort to define the area is still alive — but they’ve dropped “SOPA” in favor of a new (and in our opinion, great) name:
So, there you have it. SOPA’s out, S.O.P.A.’s awful, and DMV Heights is your new neighbor to the west.
(Wait, “DMV” isn’t copyrighted, is it? There’s no way I’m about to go to jail for this. -Ed.)