The Internet Blacks Out to Oppose SOPA and PIPA

Today many websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit and Google are going dark to raise public awareness for SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP).

These two bills before Congress (PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House) would censor the Internet and impose harmful regulations on American businesses. The Senate starts voting on Tuesday, January 24.

This is the Internet we are talking about!

SOPA and PIPA would give the government and major corporations the power to shut down entire websites just for one infringing link without a trial or even a traditional hearing. The legislation is aggressively backed by Hollywood movie studios, major record labels, trial lawyers, pharmaceutical giants and several major news providers, including Fox News and NBC-Universal.

SOPA and PIPA could greatly affect the way we use the Internet and social media today. Sites like Twitter, YouTube  and Facebook would have to censor their users and would be required to remove all links to “infringing” content or face DNS shutdown. Internet users, like you and me, could go to jail for up to five years for sharing copyrighted work.

Check out this video from Fight for the Future:

Michael MacLeod-Ball, First Amendment counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, says:

“Our primary concerns are with the fact that non-infringing content is going to be taken down in the process of taking down infringing content. The way the bill is set up, if a site has infringing content on it…their default reaction is going to be to take down the whole site.”

David Segal, Executive Director of Demand Progress, says:

“Congress is on the verge of wrecking the greatest engine of innovation and greatest platform for democracy ever known to human kind. And for what? For the sake of propping up an ossified industry that refuses to change with the times, but happens to make a lot of campaign contributions.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook, says:

The internet is the most powerful tool we have for creating a more open and connected world. We can’t let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the internet’s development. Facebook opposes SOPA and PIPA, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the internet.
The world today needs political leaders who are pro-internet. We have been working with many of these folks for months on better alternatives to these current proposals. I encourage you to learn more about these issues and tell your congressmen that you want them to be pro-internet.

How will this affect the millions of people who use social media sites to get their news and connect with friends and family? Social media is based on the idea that people are free to share content, news, ideas, photos and videos with the world!

As someone who uses the Internet and social media every day in a professional and personal capacity, this scares me! Make your voice heard now, or this bill passes:

  1. Call your representatives –
  2. Sign the petition –
  3. Join the online Protest –
  4. Get the word out on your social networks!
  5. NYC Meetup –

This was the scene around the Internet today:












Twitpic (remember the Hudson River landing picture?)

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