For anyone in the US... Congress will be voting soon on the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Priacy Act (SOPA). As creatives we are obviously opposed to online piracy. No one likes to see their hard work stolen from them and while I believe that both of these bills were written with good intentions, they were both written incredibly poorly.
Major players on the internet including Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Wikipedia and more have vocally opposed these bills and some are showing their opposition today with an internet blackout, censoring all or some of their sites.
SOPA and PIPA put the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won't have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn't being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted, which means they won't show up in major search engines. SOPA and PIPA build a framework for future restrictions and suppression.
In a world in which politicians regulate the Internet based on the influence of big money, Wikipedia — and sites like it — cannot survive.
Congress says it's trying to protect the rights of copyright owners, but the "cure" that SOPA and PIPA represent is worse than the disease. SOPA and PIPA are not the answer: they will fatally damage the free and open Internet.
Please take a couple of minutes today to write or call your representatives in both the Senate and Congress to let them know that you want them to protect your and everyone's right to freedom of speech and that you want the internet to remain free and open.
You can find out who your representatives are and how to contact them here.
I blacked out my website today as a show of support to kill this proposed new legislation. As it currently looks, it is probably going to fail. They are considering rewriting though so who knows.
I thought about blacking out my site but then I realized that I don't really get that many visitors anyway. lol I opted for flooding my Facebook and Twitter accounts with info and updates about the internet strike.
Latest update that I saw was from Mashable stating that more and more of the Senators who sponsored the bill are withdrawing their support. Good news for sure, I just hope people don't think that will be the end of the fight. We need to pay attention to the rewrite of these bills too.
Yes, good news, but still a long way to go before any irreparable damage is done. Read that SOPA's chief sponsor is standing ground.
More and more sites are taking stands against this, and people are taking it to the streets with protests as well. Let's all hope for continuous efforts that will really make them notice how damaging these bills could be.
I think more people are aware of the problem now and with the big guys like Google and Wikipedia leading the charge I hope they are able to keep the issue front and center until we come to something that can help protect copyright while leaving our freedoms and the internet intact.
I emailed my area's representative and am currently trying to explain to friends why these could cause such problems. I bet any changes to the plans would only be minor. We will definitely have to do some thorough research into any new legislation to keep our freedom in this sector.
Absolutely. The people supporting these bills have very deep pockets and I'd bet they're willing to do what they can to make sure any changes are minor. Hopefully, companies like Google and Wikipedia will help to keep everyone informed so we can continue to fight.