A couple of (particularly) scary laws have been introduced in Congress that will affect all of us. The one in the House of Representatives is called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA); the one in the Senate is called Protect IP Act (PIPA). Both are ostensibly designed to help copyright holders like musicians and filmmakers from being ripped off, but in fact they are far more likely to enable corporations and the U.S. government to censor websites they don’t like.
I’ve heard rumblings about all this but I have to admit I never really understood what was at stake until I heard about tomorrow’s internet strike and started reading up on what’s behind it.
Here’s a video explaining PIPA:
My pal Pamela of Something Wagging This Way Comes, who urged several of us to take part, explained it to me in terms that are easy to understand. I posted a video in my Pet Adoption Videos that Don’t Make Me Want to Kill Myself series with Abba music in it. The video was pulled because the shelter didn’t have permission to use the song. Ok. But the new law, if passed as written, would allow Abba’s publishers to sue You Tube for hosting the video to begin with and could shut down my blog for reposting it.
Like I said, scary.
Here are just a few of the participants in tomorrow’s strike:
The Stop American Censorship site is an excellent source of information about all the issues involved, providing a series of actions you can take. It also provides the code that you can use to black out your site tomorrow. I tried it. It’s very cool.
Take a break from blogging. Speak out against censorship. Be cool.
What’s not to like?