If you were anywhere near the Internet on Wednesday, you saw our website and thousands of other sites including Wikipedia and Google participate in a blackout protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its corresponding bill, the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
If you’re not up to speed on SOPA and PIPA, here’s the deal. The bills seek to block the illegal use of copyrighted content online.
Now, as an ad agency whose bread and butter relies on the creation of ideas, you’d think we’d be for SOPA and PIPA. You’d be wrong. No, we don’t want to see our stuff get ripped off. But, even more than that, we don’t want to see these bills fall into the wrong hands. And, they undoubtably will. Think McCarthy in the 1950s. That’s the level of abuse we’re talking about here.
These bills give people the power to blacklist and shutdown websites based on the smallest perceived infraction. According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), “rightsholders, ISPs, or the government could shut down sites with accusations of infringement, and without real due process.”
So, what happens if your site is blacklisted (deservedly or not)? Well, as you’d expect with any blacklist, other online companies have to shut you out. If you’re advertising through ad networks such as Google AdWords, using Paypal on your site or running an SEO campaign, all that’s over. Under the law, other sites will have to stop linking to your site and search engines will be forced to forget your site exists. Once you’re blacklisted, you turn into persona non grata. No one online will want to associate with you for fear they’ll be blacklisted too.
If you manage to escape being blacklisted, the bills still come with negative consequences. The EFF states that SOPA and PIPA will cost the private sector millions of dollars and reduce online security. Most importantly, the bills will do nothing when it comes to stopping online piracy. The tools outlined by these bills aren’t anywhere near sophisticated enough to keep tech-saavy users, the people doing most of the online pirating, from using content illegally.
Thankfully, we’re making progress. Due to the massive protest from the American public this week, many supporters of SOPA and PIPA have jumped ship. Even the White House has come out against the two bills. With so many against SOPA and PIPA, leaders in the House and Senate have decided to put off voting until some agreement can be reached. What that agreement is or how long it takes remains to be seen. In the meantime, you can help by writing to your representatives in Washington and letting them know just how bad these bills are for you and your business.
Photo by Jeff Kardas
At Saturday night's AMA Supercross season opener, Troy Lee Designs' rider Cole Seely came from relative obscurity to win the first race of the new year.
We love to see our clients win - and Cole's victory Saturday night was symbolic of so much of what Troy Lee does right.
Ray was at the race, and came in this morning talking about how distinctly the Troy Lee riders' gear stood out from every other kit on the track. And that's not something unique to this race. Troy Lee gear has come to epitomize a unique combination of technical brilliance and industry leading style.
Troy Lee Designs' tagline is, "For The World's Fastest Racers." We don't know of another company that so completely lives their tagline.
So - congratulations to Cole and everyone at Troy Lee Designs. We're sure this is just the first taste a great season for your racing team.
The results from the Marketing Association of Credit Unions (MAC) Annual Awards Competition are in – and they’re really good for Echo-Factory and Altura Credit Union. The campaign we developed for Altura’s iChecking product won a MAC Gold Award – beating out advertising campaigns for credit unions all over the country.
Ordinarily, we’d post a picture of the award but most of us at the factory haven’t seen it yet. The award is currently in transit. Yesterday, Dea and Mike flew up to San Francisco to present Altura’s iChecking campaign to the judges at the national Marketing Association of Credit Unions (MAC) conference. They’re headed back today, award in hand.
Until they return, we’re busy trying to find room for it in our jam-packed awards cabinet. But rest assured, wherever it ends up, it will be surrounded by such great awards as Mike’s “World’s Best Boss” mug and our “2009 LA Marathon Drop-outs” Plaque.
The city of Upland is launching a brand new Certified Farmers Market tomorrow, and needed some help getting the word out about it.
So, we created a cross-media campaign for the new market. We created a logo, produced radio spots that are running on KFROG, designed a water bill insert that’s been delivered to most of Upland, and sponsored some KVCR segments, because — Let’s be honest — at least 90% of farmers market attendees listen to NPR in their Volvo wagons on the way there.
We also made sure that the market had a social media presence, starting profiles on Yelp and FourSquare so visitors can help us build buzz about the new market.
The Upland Farmers Market’s big launch is Saturday from 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM in Downtown Upland, across from the Metrolink station. Most of the Echo-Factory office is planning to come down and score some delicious fruit and veggies straight from the farmer.
Echo-Factory will be donating 2 customized versions of our award winning voodoo doll to the 2010 Charity Auction at the Lake Arrowhead Country Club.
The auction’s November 6th. You attend and bid in person, watch a live stream and bid online or watch live coverage on Charter Cable. Either way, it’ll be your chance to bid on one of two customized voodoo dolls from Echo-Factory.
The auction supports charitable organizations in the mountain communities. Since some of us live up there, and the rest of us think it’s an awfully nice place to visit, we couldn’t pass up the chance to be a part of the auction.