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18 January 2012

SOPA / PIPA and Why they Matter to You

I seriously considered not posting a thing today. Instead, I've decided (given limited readership  on this blog anyway), that I can better support the goal of the internet blackout with a short plea. Please, take a moment to understand just why so many of your favorite websites have gone black today. This isn't something that might happen sometime in the distant future. The House and Senate push for their respective bills, SOPA and PIPA, takes place right now, and while it's disguised as an attempt to prevent online piracy, the bill's more closely resemble the emperor's new clothes. Only, we're the fools if we believe these bills have our best interests at heart, they do not. Instead the person they seek to protect is the very same person consciously screwing both us and our economy as we speak - corporate personhood. 

Don't think this constitutes a real issue? Check out Wikipedia today, it's gone black. Your favorite web blogger? Likely black, though not all of them because word simply isn't spreading. Worse yet, should SOPA and PIPA succeed in passing, no words, unless they strike a pleasing note to those controlling the flow of information and ideas across the net, will spread. Not the ramblings of a simple blogger like myself, and certainly not the words of many who make a living from the internet. Oh, wait, I do that too. I charge a reasonable price for writing original content, something I rarely promote or discuss here, and I'm damn good at it according to my clients. They and I won't be able to continue with that symbiotic, win-win relationship should these bills succeed in their attempt. You likely won't enjoy access to your favorite sites, not unless they sell their service, you pay for it, and someone else benefits from that scheme. 

So, get out there and educate yourself. Learn all about SOPA and PIPA, how they directly affect you, and the existence of a free internet with open, free exchange of ideas. Check out American Censorship a site that provides a clear, concise explanation of these censorship bills disguised as piracy prevention (something we actually do need). 

Wait, you realize this is Bad News in its worst form. Then do something. Both Wikipedia and Stop American Censorship provide congressional look up links to help you in your efforts. Call, email, mail your representatives and senators. Personally, I don't care for the Orwellian future promised by these twin bills. I've called, emailed, mailed, and plan to do more. I want to literally melt the lines to their inbox and voice mail with traffic regarding this issue. Let's do our part to keep the internet as we know it. We do not deserve to join the likes of China, Iran or Syria in the loss of free speech and open access to information.

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