Censorship Makes Me Vomit

Two bills are in Congress right now - the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) - which could change the entire foundation of the Internet forever.

While their sponsors' hearts are in the right place - piracy is bad and copyright protection is good - their ways to go about it are a tad Draconian. These bills would have the U.S. Government hold Website services owners liable for their users' activities and force them to police themselves regarding the content that their visitors put up, something many of them don't have the time or the resources to do. They would greatly reduce the legal rights of Internet hosts and could shut down entire Websites for something as minor as a simple picture that someone found to be infringing. Even a review blog like this one would be at risk if any random employee at a movie studio stumbled onto it and got the wrong impression.

Basically, it's like getting rid of weeds in your garden by dousing your entire yard with weed killer - you risk exterminating every living thing down to its roots, and the weeds will just grow back anyway.

Already SOPA and PIPA face overwhelming opposition, but they're not dead. So get educated, contact your friends and your Congress representatives and defend your Constitutionally-mandated freedom of speech, the very thing without which there would be nothing to have copyright laws for.

Protecting intellectual property is important, but not at the risk of taking away everybody else's rights to express themselves.

UPDATE: SOPA is dead in the House, but PIPA is still alive in the Senate. Let's keep the word spreading that it does more damage than it heals.

No comments: