Imagine not being able to see links to real estate listing photos online. No more links to or sharing websites or YouTube videos on Facebook. Here’s what you’d see if Congress enacts the SOPA & PIPA acts on January 24th.
Here’s what website BoingBoing.net has to say about the pending legislation for SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) & PIPA (Protect IP Act):
“On January 18, Boing Boing will join Reddit (and Wikipedia) and other sites around the Internet in “going dark” to oppose SOPA and PIPA, the pending US legislation that creates a punishing Internet censorship regime and exports it to the rest of the world. Boing Boing could never co-exist with a SOPA world: we could not ever link to another website unless we were sure that no links to anything that infringes copyright appeared on that site. So in order to link to a URL on LiveJournal or WordPress or Twitter or Blogspot, we’d have to first confirm that no one had ever made an infringing link, anywhere on that site. Making one link would require checking millions (even tens of millions) of pages, just to be sure that we weren’t in some way impinging on the ability of five Hollywood studios, four multinational record labels, and six global publishers to maximize their profits. If we failed to take this precaution, our finances could be frozen, our ad broker forced to pull ads from our site, and depending on which version of the bill goes to the vote, our domains confiscated, and, because our server is in Canada, our IP address would be added to a US-wide blacklist that every ISP in the country would be required to censor.”
“This is the part of the post where I’m supposed to say something reasonable like, “Everyone agrees that piracy is wrong, but this is the wrong way to fight it.” But you know what? Screw that. Even though a substantial portion of my living comes from the entertainment industry, I don’t think that any amount of “piracy” justifies this kind of depraved indifference to the consequences of one’s actions. Big Content haven’t just declared war on Boing Boing and Reddit and the rest of the “fun” Internet: they’ve declared war on every person who uses the net to publicize police brutality, every oppressed person in the Arab Spring who used the net to organize protests and publicize the blood spilled by their oppressors, every abused kid who used the net to reveal her father as a brutalizer of children, every gay kid who used the net to discover that life is worth living despite the torment she’s experiencing, every grassroots political campaigner who uses the net to make her community a better place — as well as the scientists who collaborate online, the rescue workers who coordinate online, the makers who trade tips online, the people with rare diseases who support each other online, and the independent creators who use the Internet to earn their livings. The contempt for human rights on display with SOPA and PIPA is more than foolish. Foolishness can be excused. It’s more than greed. Greed is only to be expected. It is evil, and it must be fought.”
The Obama administration has spoken out against SOPA & PIPA.
SopaOpera.org has a list of Senators and Congresspersons who are for or against SOPA & PIPA. I’m quoting a person named Maxwell: “If your representative is undecided, contact them immediately! All of them are potential allies. Tell them about the damage PIPA could do to free speech, and to the American economy. Even the ones in favor of PIPA are worth contacting. If they think that enough people will vote against them in the next election, they might just change their minds. Lay on the pressure! We have until the 24th, when PIPA is up for cloture vote.”