If you visited either of my websites yesterday you saw this:
SOPA and PIPA are Congressional bills funded by corporations like Viacom and Nike, as well as professional organizations like the MPAA. While their intention is to fight internet piracy of copyrighted works, something no one would disagree to, the language of the bills opens a wave of liability to website owners, like myself, for doing something as harmless as linking to another website that may or may not be hosting (or also linking to) copyrighted content anywhere on their server. The bills allow copyright holders to file notices similar to DMCA takedowns that can automatically shut down a website, without due processes of review before action. This amounts to corporate-powered censorship, a power so great that it could feasibly shut down sites like Gmail, Twitter, and Wikipedia.
Yesterday, thousands of websites from Wikipedia to small-time bloggers went “on strike” and blacked-out their servers to protest these bills, as well as the growing power of corporations controlling government. Censorship kills art, and if we allow organizations the power to police free speech, we lose the freedom of the people to govern themselves.
If you have yet to take action I urge you, immediately, to sign an online petition and contact your congressional representatives. Congress is scheduled to begin voting on these actions on January 24, 2012. Stop this attack on free speech. These websites will help you fight the battle against corporate censorship:
Stop American Censorship – americancensorship.org
Electronic Frontier Foundation – blacklists.eff.org
And, at ProPublica you can find out who supports or opposes these bills and access congressional contact information – projects.propublica.org/sopa/