1.19.2012

A Word On SOPA/PIPA

I was all set to do a post yesterday, but then I realized it was "blackout" day in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act and thought I would "blackout" my blog (by not posting {not as cool as wikipedia, I know}) in support of those protests. Honestly, if you don't know what I'm talking about, please please at least read through this.



The reason I am really excited by all this hubbub about SOPA/PIPA is that it's really brought the internet together in a way that the world really hasn't seen before. The power of the internet be cray! Sure, it's just an American bill, but tons of people use Wikpedia, Reddit, Google, and the many many other sites that fully or partially "blacked out" yesterday. I think it's a really strong political message of unity to the American government that, no, we DO NOT want our internet censored like that.

The main issues are:
1) The bills allow individuals or companies who think a site in infringing upon their ownership of content to completely shut off revenue channels for that site with basically no investigation. As bloggers, many of us do thrift sales or have etsy shops or have sponsors or do actual business via our blogs. This could mean that, say you post that cute little manip you made of the latest episode of Glee and Fox found it, they could basically cut off all your business.
2) The bills allow the Attorney General to create a blacklist of "foreign" sites with minimal discretion. "Foreign" is simply defined as anything "not domestic" which has been defined as ".com, .org, .us" which is absurd. Also this could easily push internet businesses away from traditional domain names and into other markets.
3) The bills are both worded incredibly vaguely and could lead to further infractions regarding privacy, internet policing, and censorship in the future. They set incredibly dangerous precedents.

So, you guys, maybe we're just happy gals (and guys) minding our own business and telling the world our stories in our little corner of the internet, but really, this affects us all. Call or email your representative and let them know what you think.

Sorry this was so long!

Further links if you're interested:
A Quick Summary of SOPA
A Detailed Analysis of SOPA/PIPA
PIPA Bill Text
Should Copyrights Be Allowed to Override Speech Rights?
The US Recording Industry's (RIAA) Online Piracy Page

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