13 January 2012

January 18th – SOPA/PIPA hearing at the House Judiciary Committee

There's a reason why I haven't been blogging as regularly as I should be (shame on me!), but I can tell you it has nothing to do with what I want to talk about today.  

If you know how to use Google, let alone turn on a computer, then you're probably aware that there is a bill that's quickly making its way toward Congress and if it gets passed, then it'll eventually make its way toward President Obama's desk and he'll probably sign it in to law (forgive me if I'm missing a few steps; it's been over 10 years since American Civics class). That bill is called Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)/Protect IP Act (PIPA).

SOPA/PIPA is a huge deal and if you don't already know about it, Wiki it before it gets blocked.

"Blocked? That's ridiculous…there's no such thing as censorship here in America; we have the First Amendment (Freedom of Speech) to protect us from that! Ha!"

…if SOPA/PIPA passes, then that is what will happen. And it won't just happen to Wikipedia, but to every single media outlet, blog (gulp), and any random site that happens to have shared content or criticism of any kind, negative or not. Any sites that meet these criteria will automatically be pulled or blocked, whether or not the accusation that the content on that website was indeed taken without permission from the author/creator, or if it just happened to rub someone the wrong way.

So if this bill passes, you can say goodbye to Reddit, StumbledUpon, HuffingtonPost, Youtube, EA.com**, Gamasutra, Kotaku, Pinterest, Etsy, Regretsy, Twitter, Facebook…and quite possibly, my blog and all the fantastic blogs found here on Blogger.  

You guys, I'm actually really scared about the possibility of our rights being taken away from us. And it's a damn good possibility.

But wait! You can stop this before it's too late. Contact your congressperson and tell them what you think. Tell them that passing this bill is a huge mistake. Tell them that Freedom of Speech is part of what makes this country so great. But most importantly, tell them that we live in an age of progress and passing this bill will limit our abilities to intellectually move forward into the future. We want to revolutionize the future, not put it in a tailspin! 

Please visit americancensorship.org to send a letter to Congress telling them HELL NO TO SOPA/PIPA. Not from America but you're for Freedom of Speech? You can also petition the US State Department on americancensorship.org.

To learn more about SOPA/PIPA and how this bill will affect you, please visit Wikipedia's article – it's pretty extensive.

*Reddit, CakeWrecks, Wikipedia (hopefully), Red 5 Studios, the entire Cheezburger network and Minecraft.com will join a number of other websites in protesting against SOPA/PIPA by going dark on January 18, 2012. Please join the Internet and Gaming communities by speaking out against SOPA/PIPA.

**dunno how it slipped my mind, but I forgot that even though EA does not support SOPA, they do not publicly oppose it. That's still in progress, however.

1 comment:

Thomas said...

who drop the sopa?! seriously...the internet is the only real medium for free speech. oh yeah, it was cool seeing at swangs bday. everytime i see you it's always one year later. lol, i hope everything is going great with you!!! keep up the updates. im slowly getting back into mine...