Today’s the big Stop SOPA/PIPA blackout day, where many popular websites are “going dark” to raise awareness of the dangers of the two Internet censorship bills in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, respectively. The Arkansas Project is not going dark, since this site is not and has never been popular.
However, I did install that obnoxious pop-up window you might have seen when you clicked over here. Fear not, it’s just for one day. But I am doing my part to raise awareness, which I recommend as a way to feel good about yourself without actually having to do all that much of anything.
And if you live in Arkansas, then I regret to inform you that two of your Congressional officials—U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin and Sen. John Boozman, both Republicans—are sponsors of the bills in their respective chambers. So now would be a good time to drop them a note and give ’em what for.
So, anyway, these bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), have everyone up in arms for the power they’ll give the government and corporate media cronies to shut down websites in the name of “fighting piracy,” and represent not only an assault on the open nature of the Internet, but also on free speech. SOPA is on hold in the House, but not dead; PIPA is slated for a vote in the Senate on Tuesday, January 24.
If you’re late to the game and would like to learn more, here’s a previously posted video from Fight For the Future that lays out the issues with clarity and verve:
Tell Congress not to censor the internet NOW! – http://www.fightforthefuture.org/pipa
PROTECT-IP is a bill that has been introduced in the Senate and the House and is moving quickly through Congress. It gives the government and corporations the ability to censor the net, in the name of protecting “creativity”. The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites– they just have to convince a judge that the site is “dedicated to copyright infringement.”
The government has already wrongly shut down sites without any recourse to the site owner. Under this bill, sharing a video with anything copyrighted in it, or what sites like Youtube and Twitter do, would be considered illegal behavior according to this bill.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, this bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars a year — that’s for a fix that won’t work, disrupts the internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices, and censors the internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.