We Stand Against SOPA

On Thursday, Racialicious joined the many websites around the world in shutting down for most of the day to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which threatens to undermine the same creative freedom it was allegedly designed to protect.

SOPA supporters say the bill, introduced in the House of Representatives in October 2011, would protect copyright holders against online piracy. SOPA’s counterpart in the Senate, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), is scheduled for a Jan. 24 vote.

The idea is, the two bills would give authorities more ways to starve  “rogue sites,” as Politico’s Mike Zapler and Kim Hart explain:

Here’s how it would work: If the Justice Department or a copyright holder believed a site was directing users to pirated content, they would go to court. Depending on who’s complaining, different remedies would come into play: In some instances a judge could order an Internet service provider like Verizon to cut off access to a site. In others, a search engine like Google could be directed to delete links to an infringing site. The idea is to starve the offending sites of the web traffic that keeps them in business.

Though much of the debate around SOPA and PIPA centers around copyrighted content involving movies and music, is it really so hard, in the age of Occupy and of increased scrutiny of public officials’ malfeasance, to imagine certain cities’ police forces wouldn’t go to court to sue someone for “illegally displaying their likeness” on YouTube?
This past Saturday, President Barack Obama’s administration released a statement saying the White House will not support “legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.” But, as this is an election year, we agree with most experts – this issue isn’t even close to being settled.
ProPublica has a breakdown of where each member of Congress stands on each bill. You can write to your congressional representative or petition the U.S. State Department against the act here. And Google has a petition of its’ own. We urge our readers to speak up against this legislation, and we’ll be back with regular content Thursday at 8 a.m. EST.
  • http://pickly-braingas.blogspot.com/ Pickly

    The Pro Publica link appears not to work (At least from my computer.)