My Take on SOPA and PIPA (and Why It’s Really Really Bad)

I’ve been reading about SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) and I am very, very scared. This is a serous First Amendment violation. It threatens my ability to say what I think by threatening to sue me within an inch of my life because of a link that may (or may not – and that’s the scary part) be on my site.

The purpose of these bills is to stop the piracy of copyrighted materials. I’m all for that. However, this is a case of government not understanding the problem. Instead, they’ve made a very long list of “solutions” that will simply cripple the Internet. It will put businesses like Facebook, Twitter, Google, Wikipedia and blog sites out of business.

It goes against everything America stands for – the right of free speech, the right of the pursuit of happiness, the very American Dream that millions of people come to this country to achieve.

The Internet rose up today to stop these bills. Wikipedia went dark for 24 hours (not including this very helpful page on SOPA) and Google put a black bar on it’s logo. Many sites are rallying the troops, which is what the internet is good at – connecting people and spreading information. Which is why these bills, which put way too much control into the hands of our government and corporations, are very, very bad. They threaten to stop the innovation and creativity that a free Internet allows.

Basically, big companies are scared. The internet levels to playing field. It allows anyone to set up a website and share content. The good content rises to the top. The rules have changed. You don’t need a million dollar budget, you just need to be good. However, despite what many movies and TV shows have told us, there is no Time Machine. We can’t go back in time and stop the internet. It’s here. It’s great. Get used to it.

This video explains SOPA and PIPA:

Here’s a video about why these bills are bad for business:

Our Internet from Engine Advocacy on Vimeo.

I strongly encourage you to go online and sign every petition you can find. Just search SOPA and PIPA on Google. Call your representatives and tell them to stop these bills. Unless you don’t like the internet. Then just sit back and watch it implode.

For fellow Burghers (and other Pennsylvanians) here’s the information you need:

Senator bob Casey SUPPORTS both SOPA and PIPA. Tell him to change his mind at 212-224-6324, on twitter @SenBobCasey and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SenBobCasey.

Senator Patrick Toomey does not show where he lends his support (but is leaning no – yay!). Encourage him to vote against SOPA and PIPA at 212-224-4254 on Twitter @SenToomey and on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/senatortoomey.

Representative Jason Altmire is unknown, and if he supports this I’ll be really mad because he’s a burgher through and through. You can call him at 202-226-2274 and tweet him on Twitter @RepJasonAltmire.

Representative Mike Doyle OPPOSES! A voice of reason!!! Let him know you support him at 202-225-2135, on twitter at @usrepmikedoyle and  on Facebook at www.facebook.com/usrepmikedoyle.

Here’s the full list: http://projects.propublica.org/sopa/

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