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Please protest SOPA/PIPA

January 21st, 2012 by Jetrel

I really hate having anything to do with politics mentioned on this blog, but this is so bad that attention needs to be drawn to it.

There are two bills going through congress that will allow America’s government to censor websites exactly like China and Iran do – via a new blacklist of “bad sites”. The reason argued for this is to stop piracy by allowing copyright holders to call for any site which they think is infringing, to be immediately taken off the net without proof. We feel that nothing can justify taking away free speech. The very thing that has made the internet such a powerful force for good in the world is its absolute freedom of speech. People can expose the wrongdoings of those in power, and the internet is a tool that for the first time in history, prevents their voice from being silenced. The last thing we need is america, the “land of the free”, to establish a dangerous precedent of censorship as a default – a precedent which other countries are certain to follow.

Furthermore, because there is no “due process”, that is, because sites would be taken down immediately without having a chance to prove they’re innocent, this would destroy innovation on the internet. Because there’s no due process, it doesn’t matter if you’re guilty or not; if some competitor with more money just doesn’t like you, they can get you taken off the net by making a false accusation. That’s fatal for any internet company – it turns off their entire business and income instantaneously, and could be repeated as many times as necessary to drive them bankrupt. Virtually every internet service we use today; google, facebook, youtube, twitter, deviantart, itunes, netflix, anything – could not have started up in an environment with these kinds of laws on the books. Some better-heeled company that didn’t like them, would have shut them down. In fact, all of these companies did receive severe legal threats from the entertainment industry as they matured – the MPAA and RIAA have repeatedly stated that they wish these companies/services didn’t exist (especially Youtube and iTunes). They only survived because there were no laws like this on the books.

At the time of this writing, these bills have received some temporary setbacks, but they are not dead yet. Do whatever you can to destroy them – free speech for the human race, and everything you like about the internet, is at stake. You can read more about these bills, and what you can do to stop them, on wikipedia. And yes, you can do stuff about them even if you don’t live in the US – follow that link.


9 responses to “Please protest SOPA/PIPA”

  1. DDR says:

    Well said, Jetrel! Well said.

  2. Ryguy says:

    The one and only Jetrel, ladies and gents. 🙂

  3. Trotsky Jr. says:

    Welcome to the new United Soviet States of Merika…this is what we’ve been warning ya’ll since the cold war. Forced labor camps are next!

    Good job letting in all these socialist/marxist animals from behind the iron curtain.

  4. There is also the european bill equivalent going through the house which is purportedly even more extreme than Sopa or Pipa. That sounds crazy but since it’s an international bill it has the potential to wreak even more havoc than Sopa or Pipa would have had it been passed. (and this takes into account the fact that many file sharing services are outside of the US to begin with) … jes sayin. :3

  5. SlyGuy says:

    I just sent an e-mail to my country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But if they’re determined to pass that law, I’m afraid nothing can be done.

    Not having read all of SOPA/PIPA bill, I’m gonna ask a stupid question:
    Would web hosting in “neutral territories” help? (temporarily, that is)

  6. Jetrel says:

    Yeah, that won’t help. Hosting on a foreign site just means they’ll block it – this bill allows them to demand instant blocks of websites without the usual legal procedure where the site gets a chance to prove it’s not doing anything wrong.

    Their argument is that that’s necessary to keep up with the deluge of new sites constantly popping up – they’re correct that it’s impossible to keep up with, but they’re incorrect in thinking that that’s going to help in any real way. Our argument is that switching to a legal system of “guilty until proven innocent” is a medicine that’s far worse than the disease.

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