If you haven’t heard much about SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) or PIPA (Protect IP Act) it’s really not that surprising. It’s very possible that the forces behind this bill have been pressuring the main stream media, the ones that aren’t already in their back pocket that is, to keep quiet about these two pieces of legislation that are going up for a vote near the end of this month. In a nut shell, these legislations basically give big media corporations carte blanche to prosecute and shutdown any site, anywhere, for any reason as long as the stated reason has anything to do at all with stopping online piracy. It will also allow them to sue any owner/owners of a site/social site for anything posted by any owner/user of said sites that are perceived as violations of the above two acts. Then they can legally shut down the site.
Well, there goes Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo, blogs and just about everything else on the Internet, right? Except them of course.
Alright, so there might be just a bit of be exaggerating in my last line there but then again–there might not be at that. Think about it. Would you want our Internet with all it’s freedoms, laid into the hands of entities like the RIAA? You know, the corporation that believes it’s alright to sue a student or a single mother for example, millions of dollars for what the RIAA perceived (right or wrong) as illegally downloading a few songs off the Internet? And then actually winning the lawsuit in court? Guilty or not, this a ludicrous example of “abuse of power” that’s beyond any sort of reason. And now certain so-called public servants in Washington want to put the Internet in the hands of the RIAA and their ilk? Oh hey, what a great idea.
The powers of the lobbyists do boggle the mind.
Putting aside my personal opinions on the matter and the fact that I’ve been fighting this legislation tooth and nail since it first appeared on the scene (under various names and labels) over the past year or so, here’s a well done and objective informational video on the subject of what SOPA/PIPA is and what it might mean for the future of the Internet if it passes.
And in a rare departure from non-political/purely objective/WordPress-only posts, Jane Wells of WordPress wrote a rather thought provoking post about this on the official WordPress News blog which includes the above video and several links to more information on the subject.
If you haven’t heard of this yet it will be to your advantage to find out as much as you can about before the legislation is voted on the 24th of January, 2012. Once informed, contact your senator and tell them to vote against these ludicrous pieces of legislation. There’s already several laws in place that allows the big media types to fight against online piracy so there’s certainly no need to hand them the entire Internet on a silver platter along with a gold flecked invitation stating, “Here it is then. Now go for it.“.