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In which Hank walks around the French Quarter and discusses the freaking sweet internet blackout that resulted in a great number of congresspeople dropping their support for SOPA and PIPA. The internet is coming into its own as a powerful political force, and just in time to face serious threats.

Note: All buskers in this video received at least a $5 tip. Posting a video of a busker is a really interesting intellectual property discussion, actually. If I were to take 20 videos of that one man band and create a YouTube channel all about him and then make a bunch of money off of it and not give him any, that would clearly be wrong, but it would not (as far as I can tell) be illegal. He's performing in a public space and I am thus allowed to record him. It's another example of the rule "don't be a dick" being far more important than any law congress can pass on copyright reform.

We are entering a brave new world here, thank you for standing up for the internet, helping to defeat SOPA and PIPA, and thinking deeply about these issues.


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A Bunny
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((') (')
Good morning John,

So a couple of days ago, the internet was all "AAAAAAAAAAH" and you and me, John, we were like "::snoring::" because being on the road makes you exhausted, and we were just, kind of, out of the loop. But obviously as small business owners, and employers, and copyright holders, you and I are both very opposed to SOPA and PIPA. We made a video about this like two months ago, of course, because we are so extraordinarily ahead of the curve here on vlogbrothers. To watch that, click on this marvelous one-man band. Link

We are here in New Orleans, we played a show last night in a freaking synagogue which was weeeird. But, of course, also awesome. And now you're at some conference thing, and I have free time to walk around this city, get marvelous food with my wife, and look at the street performers.

I freaking love street performers, John -- they remind me of the internet: you never know what you're going to find; you don't know whether it's going to be amazing or horrible; sometimes, what they're doing borders on illegal; it's often very freaky; and, yeah, much of the time, they're using copyrighted content.

The internet is like a street in the French quarter of New Orleans, except that it's infinite, it can be accessed from anywhere, and every street corner is the same distance away from you at all times. And just like a street in New Orleans, there may be a lot that's going to offend the person of average sensibilities, and if something goes wrong and people are in danger, we can count on the government to protect us. In any system, things are going to happen that we don't anticipate, and that are bad and that are wrong, we have to deal with those things on an individual basis. But SOPA isn't about the government protecting people, SOPA is about the government protecting these new sorts of people which we used to call corporations.

You just can't regulate an infinite street the way that you can regulate a normal street in the normal world.

John, I know that you and I understand that this world needs healthy economies. But healthy economies are not created by propping up old economic systems at the expense of new ones. Traditional media companies are rightly scared out of their mind, but not because we're stealing their stuff; but because we and many other people on the internet are creating a new sort of content for smaller markets that challenges their monolithic business models. And if we hadn't stopped this B.S. -- if we don't stop it now -- who knows if, in the future, we will be able to have these marvelous outlets for amazingly creative people to make a living doing cool stuff.

Today, John, I am extremely proud of this infinite street that we call the internet, that we could band together. An amorphous anarchy becoming a solid block in the face of this threat, and basically just cast it aside.

Thank you internet.

Thank you President Obama.

Thank you nerdfighters.

And John, I will see you momentarily.