With the call to oppose SOPA/Protect IP by the creators of the most popular blogging software package in the world, it’s time for bloggers to stand up.
Are you a blogger? Do you run a one or two person business that is supported all or in part by the internet?
The makers of the software that most of you use, WordPress, has stood up and urged users to stand in opposition to these laws.
Did you see it?
If you don’t know what these are, well, welcome back from Mars. How was your trip?
If you do know what these are, you’re an American, and you’re not opposing them, what are you thinking?
On Tuesday, January 24, 2012, the U.S. Senate is poised to vote on the internet blacklist bill. This bill is ostensibly intended to combat the theft of intellectual property, including films, music, and patent infringement. If the backers of this bill get their way, it will give them the power to blacklist websites and force payment services to cease providing a means to do financial transactions to any site they allege of infringement.
Note that word closely: allege.
Should your site be taken down — even if you are innocent — you will require resources you probably don’t have to launch the legal fight to get your site back.
The main backers of this legislation, the movie and music lobbies, have repeatedly demonstrated they will abuse this law. There’s no other way to put this: they don’t give a rat’s ass about the innocent getting crushed underfoot in their offensive to protect their precious intellectual property rights.
Their claims about the losses to piracy are complete fabrications. They trumpet that countless jobs are being lost due to piracy, when the opposite will be true: internet startups — what might turn out to be possible competitors — will be suppressed due to increased exposure to liability, and the most vigorous part of our economy, the interet, will be strangled, simply due to the selfishness of the plutocrats that have some perverse need to be the boot “… stamping on a human face — forever.”
I do not support piracy in any form. I do not support intellectual property infringement. Though the stated intent of these bills are to honorable ends, these are bad pieces of legislation, facilitated by legislators that have sold every one of us out.
Don’t take my word for it. Do your homework. It’s all there, plain to see through simple browser searches on the internet … the same internet the supporters of this bill want to twist to their own ends.
A growing number of sites will be “going on strike” on Wednesday, January 18, to show their opposition to this legislation. The most recent big player in this “blackout” is none other than the English part of Wikipedia.
Implemented as originally crafted, the law will lead to enormous collateral damage. Social media services will become unavailable, the security of the internet will be undermined, and our right to express ourselves will be further eroded.
If you haven’t seen the video below, watch it. It explains the issue well.
Stand up with WordPress. Speak out.
Go to Stop Censorship, or Don’t Censor the Net, or American Censorship, or Demand Progress or the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or Fight for the Future. Educate yourself. Write your letters, faxes, or emails. Get in your representatives’ ears and stay there until they get the message.
Show your colors, and join Wikipedia and countless other sites for the internet strike Wednesday, January 18. You’ll be joining me as well.
Do nothing, and we face new McCarthyism, one where the entertainment lobbies erect, digital brick by digital brick, the Great Firewall of America, a wall of censorship that China and Iran would look upon with envy.
This is your internet, too. Do something. Now.
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Copyright © 2012, by Daniel Brenton. All Rights Reserved.