Against SOPA and PIPA, for an open Internet

If you haven’t heard of SOPA and PIPA, you will today, as reddit, Wikipedia, Google, Craigslist, Free Software Foundation, and many other websites protest those Internet censorship bills today. The so-called Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a House bill (H.R.3261) and the so-called PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) is a Senate bill (S.968) (most recently renamed Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011). Both have nothing to do with promoting creativity and everything to do with giving a few large copyright holders priority over the Internet, requiring censorship of links to entire domains. Have you heard of the Great Firewall of China? That’s where the Chinese government censors entire domains such as facebook, youtube, and twitter because they contain some content that the Chinese government doesn’t want distributed. SOPA and PIPA would do the same thing, except putting Hollywood in charge of what would be censored. In a perfect example of the DC lobbying revolving door, former Senator Chris Dodd, now Chairman of the Motion Picture Association of America, called the anti-SOPA blackout an “abuse of power”. Funny how it’s only an abuse of power when we fight back.

If you don’t believe me, listen to Mythbuster Adam Savage.

Here’s a technical explanation. And here’s a letter of objection many of the engineers who built the Internet.

Here’s where the anti-SOPA blackout started: Stopped they must be; on this all depends, posted by the reddit admins, 10 January 2012. And that’s what those bills really want to stop: online activism that can organize a worldwide event among both individuals and some of the biggest economic powerhouses on the Internet, all in a week.

That it has to be stopped at all is what’s wrong with Congress:

“Why is it that when Republicans and Democrats need to solve the budget and the deficit, there’s deadlock, but when Hollywood lobbyists pay them $94 million dollars to write legislation, people from both sides of the aisle line up to co-sponsor it?”
That was reddit co-founder Alex Ohanian on CNBC yesterday. Why? Because that’s how far too many members of Congress operate: money before people. Especially people who might stand up for themselves and organize themselves through online media.

What you can do: contact your members of Congress today. You can do that through one of the many online tools Or call, email, or send a paper letter directly: Senators, Representatives. Free the Internet!

Oh, and don’t believe it when Lamar Smith or some other Congress member says SOPA has been shelved. They already tried that trick twice. Why are Congress members who vote for money over people still in office, anyway? Hey, this is an election year!



STOP PIPA (Senate 968) & SOPA (HR 3261)

Imagine a world without craigslist, Wikipedia, Google, [your favorite sites here]…

News Corp, RIAA, MPAA, Nike, Sony, Comcast, VISA & others want to make that world your reality.

80 Members of Congress are in their sway, 30 against, the rest undecided or undeclared.

Please take a minute to tell your Members of Congress you OPPOSE PIPA & SOPA