Google, Reddit, Wikipedia, Tumblr, WordPress, Cheezburger, Moveon.org and a host of other websites are staging a protest today against two ambitious anti-piracy bills, SOPA and PIPA.
The soundtrack for this protest and this post is here:
On Wednesday, January 18th, Google, Reddit, Wikipedia, WordPress, MoveOn.org, and hundreds more, will participate in an online protest—a strike, no less—that aims to call attention to two bills snaking their way through Capitol Hill.
Some of the sites will shut down, and others will black out, redirecting users to a landing page with resources to learn more about the bills and contact an elected representative. Google, for its part, smacked a big black bar over its logo on the U.S. homepage.
These websites are hoping to send a clear message to the millions of users who rely on them every day. The goal is to show how SOPA and PIPA could impact their rights and free speech, and how this is going to kill jobs in one of the few bright spots on the economy, which is the Internet.
The Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), have raised the ire of the tech community for what’s being criticized as their broad, irresponsible language written by politicians hoping to please deep-pocketed copyright holders.
Please see my post on Getting the Money out of Politics:
THE SMOKING GUN
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) initially introduced the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate in May 2011, which would give the Justice Department the power to take down copyright-infringing websites. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) then followed that up with SOPA on Oct. 26, 2011, for the House, also introducing sweeping anti-piracy legislation intended to empower the U.S. Department of Justice (and copyright holders) to fully crack down on websites that are suspected of hosting their copyrighted material.
Google said in its statement opposing the legislation: “The two bills’ various provisions, however, have since become lightning rods for critics who claim they ultimately would provide the tools for corporations to censor the Web. “Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet.”
Gizmodo.com provides the following example: “If Warner Bros., for example, says that a site in Italy is [illegally sharing] a copy of The Dark Knight, the studio could demand that Google remove that site from its search results, that PayPal no longer accept payments to or from that site, that ad services pull all ads and finances from it, and—most dangerously—that the site’s ISP prevent people from even going there,” the tech blog explains. A full-on blackout.
What if the government feels that a site the criticizes the government has a photo on it that may be violating a copyright – then it can shut it down. IT can shut down the site, and shut down the Freedom of Speech.
This is not the first time, nor the last time that Liberty, Freedom of Speech and Capitalism on the Internet are under attack.
Please see my post on Net Neutrality:
Corporations, Governments and Capitalists really don’t like freedom of speech, and especially don’t like the uncontrolled and unpoliced Internet. This freedom of information spread makes it difficult to squeeze every last drop of profit from the consumers of the world if information is not checked and controlled.
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) defended his SOPA bill by saying: “To enact legislation that protects consumers, businesses and jobs from foreign thieves who steal America’s intellectual property, we will continue to bring together industry representatives and members to find ways to combat online piracy, and I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to send a bipartisan bill to the White House that saves American jobs and protects intellectual property.”
I am sorry, but this Job Creators Saves American job bullshit is too much. We live in a global economy. 14 hours in an airplane will get you to pretty much any place in the world, and communication is now instantaneous.
There are no American jobs, there are only jobs. You can buy and sell something made and sold from any country on Earth, the boarder are falling faster then the old people in governments can comprehend.
WHAT TO DO
So what can we do about these ignoent assholes in Washington who are trying to control the Internet so that they can shut down the Freedom of Speech and lure in more campaign donations from corporations who want to benefit by controlling the Internet?
1) Go to https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/ and sign the petition.
2) Use www.dearpolitician.org to write your politicians to have them vote NO on SOPA and PIPA
For more information on www.dearpolitician.org:
3) Learn to use a pen and paper again, since that might be the only way you will be able to freely express yourself, once the government has shut down your website/blog for “copyright infringement”.
Good Luck America… and the World.