I won’t be long here. Surely a lot of you have noticed that the English site of Wikipedia was “blacked out” today. That’s not a goof. They are in protest of two bills that threaten everyone’s basic internet freedoms. They are called the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
You may not realize this, but if these two bills were to be signed into law, it could mean major repercussions for websites based in the US, including our beloved Crawlspace. How’s that, you ask? Because more than stop piracy or protect IPs, these bills will make provisions for any corporation (such as Marvel or Disney) to request that a website be taken down. All it takes are “a few infringing links to block a site full of legal material, and sites become more liable for user-posted content.” A website operator could have its web traffic, ad-revenue, and search traffic all blocked in 24 hours.
If the bills pass, the US will be using the same censorship method used by China, Iran, and Syria, and it will set the precedent for Internet Laws around the globe.
There is a lot of lobbying for SOPA and PIPA, especially from the Motion Picture Association of America. The Entertainment Software Association (responsible for the Entertainment Electronic Expo, or E3) is one of its biggest supporters.
People’s prosperity, online security, and freedom of expression are in jeopardy. I ask you, fellow American Crawlspacers, to sign the petitions available online (this one in particular asks the ESA to remove its support: http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-the-esa-petition-and-boycott-e3). Everyone should go to americancensoship.org for more information, especially on how to contact your local Congressman. Let them know that the American people do not agree with SOPA and PIPA.
(If someone could embed this video, I’d appreciate it) http://fightforthefuture.org/pipa/
~My Two Cents
NOTE: It should be understood that the Crawlspace is not condoning piracy. I personally believe a compromise can be reached for a more reasonable law. However, as they are currently written, SOPA and PIPA will do far more harm than good to honest people.