Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Call Your Representatives

Today is the day to call your senators and congressional representatives at tell them that you don't support the US government censoring the internet.

The goal of SOPA (in the Senate) and PIPA (in the House) is to fight copyright infringement, which is a good thing, but the way they seek to go about it is draconian and blatantly unconstitutional. As the bills are now written (and I'm no attorney, but I've heard this from attorney's who I trust) if you post a photo of your own child on your own blog wearing a Star Wars t-shirt or standing with Cinderella at Disneyland, you can be considered in violation of this law and search engines can be ordered to erase your site from search results. Period. You're done. If you accidentally link to a site that in turn links to copyright infringement, same thing.

This is what the Chinese government is currently doing to its people, except worse. In the US version private corporations can take action against you all on their own, without any kind of due process! Just think what it will do to your frame of mind as you set about entertaining or informing your readers, knowing that with one slip, one logo in the background of a photo that goes unnoticed, one disparaging word about one of the almighty internet companies (and believe me, they would use this law as a vengeance hammer), one link you don't investigate fully, and the lights go out.

This is craziness and should not be permitted in the US. You'll no doubt notice today that thousands of your favorite sites are in one way or another taking part in today's protest against these bills, including giants such as Google, Facebook, AOL, Ebay, and Twitter. Forty-one human rights organizations have signed a letter opposing this legislation. One hundred and ten prominent law professors have done the same. Small business owners and entrepreneurs say it will "hurt economic growth and kill innovation."

And most experts say that the bills won't even do much to stop piracy and counterfeiting.

For more information and for ways to take action:, Electronic Frontier Foundation.

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Aunt Annie said...

Readers in other countries can also protest through organisations such as GetUp. My protest is in!!

inabuy said...

SOPA make many people angry with its rule...