Final Project: Stop SOPA at Yale – by “Mollie D”



       Our project was to plan and implement an advocacy and awareness campaign concerning the Stop Online Piracy Act. This piece of legislation, currently being debated in Congress, would place severe restrictions on Internet activities and free speech. The act also restricts Americans’ ability to obtain affordable prescription drugs from abroad. SOPA is the culmination of entertainment and pharmaceutical industry pressure on Washington to place stringent protections on intellectual property, and the resulting draconian measures threaten to undermine the fundamental principles of Internet freedom. The Internet has grown at such an astonishing rate because it has largely rejected harsh restrictions on user activity. SOPA violates the theoretical pillars necessary to the Internet’s functionality, and breaking the Internet in such a fashion would bear negative consequences for individuals and businesses that rely on the Internet’s facilitation of free information exchange.

       In formulating our project, we decided that a campaign aimed at students and tailored to their concerns would maximize the effectiveness of our efforts. We thus chose to use Internet and social media based methods of communication, and we concentrated our substantive content on issues most relevant to college students. We did not limit our coverage to these issues though, as we aimed to provide a breadth of information about the bill’s negative consequences. By using social media platforms, traditional media outlets, and two different blogging platforms, we were able to spread our message to many Yale students and provide valuable information about SOPA’s Internet-breaking policies to the campus. We hope the lasting impact of this campaign will not only be to facilitate continuing interest in SOPA’s progress, but also to engender a general sense of vigilance in the form of participatory democracy concerning free speech and Internet regulation that resonates well into the future.

Part 1: Launching a Campaign

       Our primary goal of this project was to spread awareness of SOPA and hopefully rally others around opposing it. In order to do this, we tried to appeal to many different groups by using a variety of platforms (Facebook, Twitter, WordPress). We also attempted to broaden our appeal by using satire and humor in addition to more pointed intellectual critique of the legislation. We tried to tap into the very things that SOPA would likely cut into: user-generated content, memes and places where you can share links. While we created a lot of our own content, we also tried to post relevant and interesting articles and sites that others had made. One particularly enjoyable and interesting story involved “The Megaupload Song” that received a takedown request, presumably automated, from some RIAA-related entity (Universal Music Group) because it featured many RIAA artists even though Megaupload (a major file-sharing site) owned all the rights to the video. If you’re curious, the (quite catchy) song can be found on Youtube, and there’s more information here. Also, if you’re into remixes, check out this link.

       A major challenge for our group in promoting the anti-SOPA movement was fighting the general Yale apathy and our generation’s apathy that comes with having people constantly inviting you to do things (spamming you). This challenge was exacerbated by finals period, and consequently, we weren’t able to get an Op-ed published in the YDN (as they stop publishing early in December). However, we were able to raise a good amount of awareness as many Yalies hadn’t even heard of SOPA prior to our outreach. Through explaining SOPA’s specific relevance to college students as well as posting some of the amazing articles and content available around the web, we were able to educate (and hopefully inspire) a lot of people.

       As of this writing, our Facebook page has 130 likes which is equivalent to about 3 percent of the Yale Undergraduate population.  While this number is fewer than we would have liked, we speculate that many people for political reasons and/or page like accumulation effects were reluctant to like our page. However, our Facebook page insights seem to indicate that many people still benefited from and engaged with our content. As we see below, our weekly total reach (the number of unique viewers who saw our content from 12/8/11 to 12/14/11) was 3,303 and peaked at 5,191 for the weak ending 12/12/11. Thus, a large percentage of Yale undergraduates likely read something we posted and learned more about SOPA.


       To complement our Facebook and WordPress, we created a Twitter account, @StopSopaYale, to complete our social media approach. The Twitter was useful in that it let us keep a small but interested group completely up to date on every #sopa happening. Additionally, the Twitter account was useful because it let us retweet other people’s views and comments on the SOPA debate. This allowed us to combine other people’s opinions with our own and give a lot of different viewpoints on the topic. The Twitter page was also an interesting foray into trending topics and extremely concise posts, a nice contrast to the more drawn out and in depth arguments of our WordPress blog.  Currently, we have 20 Twitter followers and we are on the list of one anti-SOPA advocate.

       In our opposition to SOPA we took both the pragmatic path into what specifically the SOPA legislation said and would do immediately (and why their is concern about intellectual property protection) as well as the somewhat hyperbolic path, wherein we demonstrated the absurdity of how broadly SOPA is written and speculated on the potential consequences that SOPA could have. In this way, we provided our audience both with a quick draw in (the two line memes and absurd scenarios depicted in videos) as well as further information if they were interested in understanding the issue on a deeper level.

Part 2: A Creative Approach

       In raising awareness within the Yale community about the flaws of SOPA, we aimed to create original content which would specifically appeal to Yale students, both in addressing issues relevant to our audience and by presenting this material in an entertaining form.  Thus, we created internet memes, videos, an op-ed for the Yale Daily News, and a blog.  Additionally, we wrote an anti-SOPA form letter for Yale students to send to their members of Congress which was tailored to reflect a Yale student’s perspective.  Finally, to make all of this content easier to access, we either linked the material to the Stop SOPA at Yale Facebook page or we created static HTML pages for the material with corresponding tabs to our Facebook page.

Internet Memes:

       The use of internet memes provided an effective and engaging way to point out the ridiculous elements of SOPA.  In generating our anti-SOPA memes, we drew from internet memes which were already popular and recognizable, such as the Lazy College Senior or Futurama Fry.  Thus, Yale students would be able to easily recognize the humor which we aimed to convey. Plus, internet memes can be easily shared and transformed.  Consequently, we hoped that our fans would not only share our anti-SOPA memes, but would also craft similar memes themselves.  Some topics which our memes addressed were the possible end to interactive websites such as Facebook and Wikipedia, the end to fair use online, and the halting of future innovative online start-ups.

Video Posts:

       Similar to the internet memes, the videos which we created aimed to point out insensible aspects of SOPA in a humorous way.  However, through videos we could portray these aspects in a more in-depth form to help our audience gain a better understanding of the problems created by SOPA.  For instance, the video entitled SOPA Courtroom Battle illustrates the extreme changes SOPA will make in criminalizing copyright infringement.

Form Letter:

       By creating an anti-SOPA form letter, we hoped to encourage students to be active participants in the Stop SOPA at Yale campaign, rather than just passive followers.  While creating awareness on campus about SOPA is important, it was equally important to us to inspire a response to the bill.  As mentioned above, we tailored the form letter to address the concerns of Yale students.  This form letter, with instructions on how to send it, was posted both on our Facebook page and our blog so that it could be easily accessed.


       As another form of outreach on campus, our group wrote an op-ed piece to be published in the Yale Daily News.  Unfortunately, it was too late in the semester for the op-ed to be published immediately, but it can currently be found on our blog and an updated version will be posted in the YDN early next semester.  Like our other creative content, the op-ed piece exemplifies many of the problems with SOPA and the article’s sarcastic, comical tone aims to keep our readers engaged and entertained.  Also, the op-ed piece directs our readers to visit our Facebook page,, and Wired for Change.


       The Stop SOPA at Yale blog provides a forum for our group to express our opinions about SOPA extensively and provides a space for our followers to contribute their own viewpoints.  Similar to the op-ed, the blogs are written with the goal of being both informative and compelling.  Our blog posts touch on a variety of topics, ranging from the different camps of anti-SOPA supporters to the effect SOPA can have on healthcare.  In addition, three of our members held a live blog session to cover Congress’ markup debate of SOPA.  Through the blog, our group elevates our position in the anti-SOPA movement: not only do we provide a channel of information to Yale students, but we are also contributing to the online voices against SOPA.

Part 3: Becoming a Part of the Action

       One of the more interactive aspects that we integrated into Stop SOPA at Yale was our creation and operation of a live blog. After learning that there would be Congressional debate held to discuss the SOPA legislation on Thursday, December 15 (which just so happened to fall in the middle of our SOPA campaign), we realized it presented a great opportunity to add very direct and significant value to our campaign efforts. We would have been foolish not to somehow take advantage of the fortuitous timing of the most defining event to take place regarding SOPA to date. Sooo, we decided to conduct a continuous live blog during the House of Representatives’ Full Committee Markup. For the sake of clarification or if you are not really sure what a markup is, it is “The process by which congressional committees and subcommittees debate, amend, and rewrite proposed legislation.”

       Up to that point, the majority of our campaign’s content was based upon content published online, in the news, by political commentators, activists, etc. We had yet to really dig deep into the real diplomatic activity and reality of what was actually happening with SOPA on Capitol Hill, or among the politicians who will ultimately dictate the bill’s fate. We knew that by monitoring and providing commentary on the live debate IN CONGRESS, it would add a heightened level of authentic value to our campaign.

The very nature and benefits of maintaining a live blog carried unique advantages that fundamentally differed from the other aspects of our campaign (Facebook page, normal blog, memes, creative scenes, op-ed, etc)….

       Live blogging gave us a channel to portray not only our opinions about SOPA and why people should take a stand against it, but also the ability to present a discussion based on the statements made by representatives in Congress to support our previously published content. Furthermore, as proactive “Anti-SOPAs,” conducting this event forced us to seriously pay attention to what is ACTUALLY going on with SOPA in the political sphere. When participating in a public protest, it is very easy to get caught up in the overwhelming flood of public opinion online and in the media. Blogging live on the congressional hearing during which political figures delivered their positions helped us stay grounded.

       The main goal of our campaign was to engage Yale students in a compelling way. We believed that a live blog would be (relatively) more captivating (to the extent that a live blog really can be) than other forms of content. Our idea was that a live blog on the Congressional markup would attract more attention to the issues we were trying to convey to the student body. We also realized this would make the substance of the debate more accessible. Essentially, we sought to accomplish two campaign goals: 1) more exposure for our campaign, 2) heightened attention and knowledge to students about the bill itself.

       We believe we were able to bring the experience of the House debate in an appealing way to those who may not have followed it live, but wanted to have a taste of what went on. The live blog was an aspect of our campaign that probably linked closest with the “real-life” implications surrounding SOPA. The most fitting conclusion I could provide about this endeavor would be – POLITICAL PARTICIPATION AT ITS FINEST!

Part 4: A Rewarding Experience

       Ultimately, we deemed our advocacy campaign a success. As is discussed above, our data shows that our Facebook page reached a large number of individuals, both those inside and out of the Yale community.  We believe that we helped further the anti-SOPA cause and exposed the weak points of the legislation. It was especially exciting to be involved with the anti-SOPA activity at this particular stage, when the bill is one of its most hotly debated points. This allowed us to piggyback off of other anti-SOPA campaigns’ publicity and allowed us to run a live-blog of the bill’s mark-up in Congress.

       It was an extremely rewarding experience for us all, both in terms of educating others about the dangers of SOPA and learning ourselves about the controversial bill, as well as about other related debates regarding the freedom of the Internet. The project also allowed us to gather (or hone) many different skills using technology that we might have never been exposed to, including creating and running a blog (and live blog), creating memes and other internet videos, writing simple HTML, and using and linking Twitter, Facebook, and blog pages. The project was therefore a perfect culmination of our semester in Introduction to Law and Technology, reinforcing and combining new technological skills with knowledge about current Internet debates that in the future will allow us to be better informed and more active citizens of the Internet world.

Mollie DiBrell
Charles Gyer
Sam Helfaer
Nicholas Makarov
Zachary Tobolowsky
Will Kirkland

But I Just Have to Infringe! – by “Adam P”

An undetermined number of months ago, I was browsing the internet as I often do, and I stumbled upon a pretty interesting ad for Samsung. While it may require a thick stomach toward some adolescent humor, it was very well done and even a bit inspirational.

Attack helicopters and uncomfortably misogynistic depiction of bosoms aside, I found myself fascinated by the technique of taking something traditionally two-dimensional and making it three-dimensional. I’d since been developing a sense of just how animation and special effects are done, and I never could shake that 3D image of the Girl with the Pearl Earring fighting secret agents, so I eventually I tried my own hand at doing what Samsung had done. It was a simpler take on the idea, with fewer models and no sound, but it’s an project I’d become quite proud of.

The piece it’s based on is M. C. Escher’s Hand with Reflecting Sphere*. This is unfortunate.

You see, there is a key difference between Hand with Reflecting Sphere, and the famous historical paintings featured in the Samsung ad. Hand with Reflecting Sphere wasn’t printed until 1935, which is well after January 1st, 1923. Thus, the piece wouldn’t conveniently turn out to be in the public domain. This was by no means my only encounter with copyright infringement. Oh, not even close! In high school I had made a music video for a song called Haitian Fight Song by Charles Mingus about two students fighting with trash pick-up sticks, and later on I’d make a reckless driving PSA using images and footage found entirely online without paying the rightful dues to their original author. Nevertheless, my teacher at the time, the wonderful Mrs. Gaulke, encouraged the infringements because for whatever reason, those images and that song brought about some creative impulse in me, and in her mindI was growing as an artist. Throughout the years I couldn’t separate myself as an artist wanting to create something new from myself as a spectator constantly influenced by the images and art around me, and the spectator in me would always try to gauge how exactly a certain song or image or reference could alter a film piece that I was working on.

Perhaps it’s my own lack of originality, or perhaps there are many other filmmakers like me that break copyright laws with the purpose of making something interesting and original. If the initial purpose behind copyright was to encourage creativity, then certainly any proposal for copyright reform should take a look at how modern filmmakers treat copyright.

Browsing various video uploading sites and video aggregator sites alike, it’s clear to find that copyright concerns are not highly regulated. There are plenty of montages of celebrity photos and clips ripped from television stations, but these are not the users that copyright laws were meant to encourage because these videos simply take another person’s work and recreating it. However, videos that take an artist’s work and recontextualize it so that it works towards an entirely new project don’t belong in the same category. Take Skyler Page, the mind behind Crater Face.

Skylar is an animator with very few short films to his name. For the most part, he has a series flipbook animations and silly live-action shorts about animating on his youtube channel, most of which only have a few hundred hits. He is by no means a large name, and it’s doubtful that he supports himself on his art. In other words, he’s in the same situation as so many aspiring filmmakers, yet he managed to create a deserved hit with the above video. Nevertheless, the video appears to infringe a copyright by using the Dan Deacon song Pink Batman, and for the purposes of this argument, we’ll assume that it does.

Hopefully one can understand that it’s the freedom of choice in selecting a song which allowed Skylar to experiment. By ignoring copyright, he was free to make precisely the video that he wanted. Now of course, no copyright reform would have allowed Skyler to use a song only three years old without paying some sort of royalties, but in an age in which it’s so simple to use another person’s copyrighted material it’s an inevitable fact that artists will use others material. Regardless of the current, past, or future legality, the appeal of this freedom of choice is impossible to ignore for anyone that calls him or herself an artist.

Current copyright legislation seems to see this current culture of misuse as a growing threat, and reform is targeting the same mentality that I just deemed to be inevitable. Rather I believe copyright reform should do more to understand the usefulness of this freedom of choice. Whether or not that means increasing the number of works in the public domain as proposed with the Public Domain Enhancement Act or lessening the gravity of the proposed punishments for copyright infringements it doesn’t so much matter because there will inevitably be people breaking the law regardless of how it’s reformed. Although if there copyright reform allowed for my three-dimensional M. C. Escher Orb to live in its hole of the internet without fear of a takedown notice, that’d be just fine by me.

Lock’em out – by “Jennifer W”

As Charles Kenny shouts in the headline of his latest entry to, U.S. cartoons are holding the developing world hostage via copyright reforms that cripple creation while strengthening copyright holders’ dominance. That is to say, no one in the world (that expects to stay in good relations with the U.S.) can build upon the creations of U.S. companies until those creations fall into the public domain and with the recent barrage of extensions to the length of copyright protection, that’ll be awhile.

[I release the above cartoon into the public domain for you to do what you will with it…but I can’t swear that Disney won’t sue for the use of gloves on my characters. hmm…]

As anyone worried about finding a DMCA notice on their virtual doorstep knows, copyright is complicated, and it’s only getting worse as large corporations continue to push copyright laws down a road of vaults and locks on all things they see as being profitable. But if copyright as it stands is complicated, reform may be even more complicated. As typically happens anywhere a governing body forms, the good intentions of an original system slowly get twisted, bound, reinterpreted, edited, and otherwise convoluted so that no sense of the original intentions can be derived. It’s like a legal mash-up that if subjected to copyright law itself would likely fall under fair use since the derivative is so transformative…but it’s not often healthy for society, and its definitely not where the framers intended it to go.

For instance, New Zealand just passed a bill that could terminate internet accounts if their respective holders can’t prove that they didn’t file-share copyrighted materials. It’s a bold ‘guilty until proven innocent’ move that puts large corporations on top of the file-sharing game while simultaneously threatening internet users’ lifestyles by putting their internet phone, mail, and business functions on the line. It’s reasonable to ask, how would someone defend against an accusation of file-sharing in New Zealand? Can you image having your internet disconnected leaving you without email, Skype, search engines for an unknown quantity of time for something that perhaps you simply couldn’t defend against? Something tells me we haven’t heard the last of this one but it nevertheless begs the question, were copyright holders ever intended to have the right to cut infringer’s connection to the world off for an offense? That’s an incredible power! The next think we’ll know, anyone found to be plagiarizing will be banned from reading books. That’ll improve society.

While copyright law may have initiated as an incentive plan for all creators, more and more stringent and restrictive copyright laws now show that copyright today only stands to ensuring compensation for copyright holders–which often [sadly] isn’t even the creator. This message strongly opposes that which copyright classes around the nation enforce–that copyright law is not intended to ensure one ‘makes money’ off of creations but rather incentivize the production of new works through ensured limited control over the use of those works. Well given all the copyright reforms in the works, good luck convincing students of that in the future!

It seems that law makers around the world have forgotten that culture is collaborative and therefore creation is always going to build upon prior creations. Hence, incentivizing creators by giving them rights to control how their work is used for a limited amount of time, gives the creators an upper hand on furthering their own creations–which at one point was a great source of pride and yes, sometimes revenue but not necessarily the latter. But, of course, this was always meant to be a temporary right to control because the longer items are kept out of the public domain the fewer building blocks other creators have to build upon and that inherently slows the advancement of creations. Law makers seem to have forgotten that part. Instead of coming back to the goal of optimizing the creative environment, more and more governments are simply creating civil deviants out of our culture’s creators by punishing them for being influenced by those who come before them.

And now not only will they be civil deviants but they may be angry, disconnected deviants in New Zealand should they be found to say, file-share a mash-up of their favorite recordings.

Good move out there, governments! Allow our prisoners access to the internet but not file-sharers; that’s just logical! These are the criminals that are ruining our society [file-sharers]! Cut off their access to the world until they come up with a spontaneous stroke of genius that creates their own copyrighted creation over which they may hover.

Sounds like we’re on the right track. [Check, please!]

One Troll Down… Many More To Go – by “Anna D”

Righthaven is a copyright holding company that has been menacing website owners in Nevada, Colorado, and South Carolina for the past year, filing lawsuits against them on grounds of copyright infringement of newspaper material. The company started suing in 2010 after signing a confidential agreement with Stephens Media, LLC (publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal), and it has subsequently filed 265 cases of copyright violation on behalf of Stephens Media and, Media News Group, and Stevo Deisgn Inc. Righthaven also has an agreement with WEHCO Media, but has not brought any suits on their behalf.

The troll got some bad press after suing the Las Vegas Review-Journal‘s own sources, a reporter writing about a Righthaven lawsuit, charities (including a non-profit supporting immigrants rights), and poor bloggers (including a 20-year old on disability). The Las Vegas Review-Journal has responded to the public criticism without remorse. On the topic of copyright infringers, Review Journal columnist Vin Suprymowicz is quoted as saying, “I hate them with a passion. Lawsuits? They should have their godd**ned hands cut off and nailed to the wall of City Hall,” and a threat from the publisher, Sherman Frederick, seems equally ominous: “I’m asking you nicely once again– don’t steal our content. Or, I promise you, you will meet my little friend called Righthaven.”

So the “little friend” trolled on, pressing for domain name forfeiture and $75,000 before even sending a DMCA takedown notice to the website owner. Even though many cases were dismissed on the basis of fair use, and the average settlement was probably $3,500 (much lower than the requested $75,000 but still a substantial sum for many hobby bloggers), Righthaven was tireless.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation stepped in to challenge the sham after Righthaven sued Democratic Underground (a political satire and commentary blog). EFF provided the Democratic Underground with lawyers, and, last Friday, these lawyers convinced a federal district court to unseal Righthaven and Stephens Media’s “Strategic Alliance Agreement.” The court found that, under the agreement, the Review Journal was pocketing half of the litigation proceeds and Righthaven’s lawsuits were resting on very shaky legal grounds. In its lawsuits, Righthaven had alleged that 1) it held the exclusive right to reproduce the work in question, 2) it held the exclusive right to prepare derivative works, 3) it held the exclusive right to distribute copies of the work, and 4) it held the exclusive right to publicly display the work. Unfortunately for Righthaven, according to the confidential agreement, the Las Vegas Review-Journal had not actually conferred any of these rights. It only gave Righthaven “the right to sue,” which simply does not exist.

The Court made the Agreement public, giving all other defendents Righthaven had sued a powerful legal weapon and, essentially, spelling the demise of the Righthaven troll.

This image taken from here.

We can celebrate the death of Righthaven, but we’ve still got many more trolls on the loose, and the court’s decision in this case hurt many of them. This case was special because Righthaven and the Las Vegas Review-Journal set up a shoddy legal document in which no intellectual property rights were actually transferred, and their operation only lasted as long as it did (a little over a year) because they managed to keep the document under wraps.

But other trolls are already or now will be smarter. As long as they actually own the rights (we’ve heard of sample troll Bridgeport Music), they can track down and extort the ignorant and, often, the innocent (fair users).

What policy could we enact to protect ourselves against this other kind of troll? To start with, I’d vote for making copyrights non-transferable (except in the case of works for hire and, possibly, for kin), though still licensable. To me, this seems reasonable. We’d still be incentivizing creators, and thus “promot[ing] the Progress of Science and useful Arts,” but we’d stop allowing non-creators to build entire business models on the exploitation of our IP system and the people that don’t understand it.

Will Classesv2 be taken down with COICA? – by “JeeYoung K”

Course packets are slowly disappearing from the Yale Campus. This term, I did not have to buy a single course packet for any of my classes, because all the course material was uploaded online. For some of them, course materials were uploaded to the resources section in Classesv2 site and for others, the links to the reading were posted on a separate site like this one. Even TYCO, which has a near monopoly on selling course packets to Yale students, in an interview with the Yale Daily News has said that it is diversifying its business to survive the decreasing demand for printed course packets.

Even as course material begins to migrate from offline to online, the copyright issues that surround distributing course material have remained the same. Most of the time, including copyrighted works in the course material, whether they are uploaded files or printed packets, are not likely to be cases of copyright infringement, because educational uses often fall under the fair use exception.

The prospect of Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), however, poses a new challenge for professors and students who want to share course material. The bill purports to authorize the U.S. government to shut down sites “dedicated to infringing activities.” The intention is to shut down sites the main purpose of which is to engage in sales of counterfeit goods, but the bill is likely to be used more broadly to target hosting sites in general and Classesv2 may not be an exception.

As the New York Times reported, even under the current law, the U.S. government has  seized websites that facilitate file sharing (and some of them did not even host the content themselves). In at least one of these cases, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested someone for criminal copyright infringement for a domain which at the time of the arrest only had embedded content from other sites. If the bill passes, the scope of the government’s crackdown is likely to only increase. In a post about COICA, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has listed hosting sites such as Dropbox and Rapidshare as potential targets of the bill. Then, who is to say that Classesv2 is to be excluded? Who is it to say that the Yale Law & Tech site is not to be seized?

One may find the idea of Classesv2 site being redirected to the government’s seizure notice ridiculous. Of course, the scenario is only a hypothetical, but it still highlights potential problems with COICA. First, it is not practical. The seized sites could simply change their domain names. Can you imagine Yale playing a cat and mouse game with the Department of Justice? Second, it conflicts with the safe harbor created by Section 512 of Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Section 512 protects online service providers from becoming liable for copyright infringements by their users as long as they have a system of taking down infringing materials expeditiously. It has been proposed to amend the bill to provide greater protection to internet service providers, but the bill as it stands does not and has a potential to shut down useful services which have substantial non-infringing uses. Third, the bill overlooks fair use and friends and family exceptions. It is difficult to tell whether a particular content is being shared for fair use purposes or among friends and family and can only be determined on a case-by-case basis. By shutting down entire websites, COICA has the potential to depress free speech by not leaving room for users who use the site for non-infringing purposes to make their cases.

If the bill were to pass, we might have to go back to using good old course packets. Just imagine not having any excuse to have your laptop out and check your gmail during class. We must stop the COICA bill.