Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Stop SOPA & PIPA

I'm not an activist. I won't lie down in the street for my rights. I won't picket a corporation for being unfair.

I'm more the live-my-life-as-an-example type. I wear
Abort73 shirts when I'm out in public. I don't drink and won't buy cooking wines b/c of how it could reflect on my character. I don't understand politics, but I vote in major elections so my vote counts for something.

I do, however, get easily upset and have plenty of soapboxes. 


This is not a soapbox, but it is upsetting.


I'm a quiet person. I keep to myself. I spend my evening surfing the web, watching movies and playing video games with my husband. I occasionally blog (as evidence of my blog).


In case you hadn't noticed, I'm a fan in every sense of the word fanatic. I have an obsessive personality. I fall in love with movies, shows, books, music, actors, etc. I blog about it. I post links and pics to my
Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and (occasionally) Google+ all the time.

If the government has its way, tho, I may not be able to do that any more.


Okay, so here's the deal. I don't fully understand SOPA and PIPA. My mind doesn't wrap around politics very well, but I do understand when something infringes on my personal rights and freedom of speech.

Here's how I understand SOPA and PIPA. It's kinda like Communism, not is, but like in the way that Communism, in the long run, had some really good ideas. It was about a Utopian society. But, Communism, in the wrong hands became something bad. While it had good ideas it also opened doors to all the bad things that it became. Maybe comparing SOPA and PIPA to Communism is a bit extreme, but you'll get the idea.

SOPA and PIPA have some really good ideas. If you don't know what these are they're the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect-IP Act. Hey, I'm all for stopping piracy. That's good. I admit to having pirated things in the past, but only for personal use and never profit; I never paid money for anything pirated. (If I'm not willing to pay the artist then I'm certainly not willing to pay the pirate.) The problem is that, to quote CakeWrecks, "These bills seek to censor the Internet, and would give the government power to shut down websites over even the accusation of copyright infringement, no proof needed." So, basically:


GOOD IDEA:

The government wants to step up and stop pirates from stealing copyrighted materials.
BAD IDEA:

Control of content posted on websites; control of free speech on the global internet.

The government wants to police the internet, shut down the bad guys, but have the right to decide who the bad guys are, which would include the little guys like me who just want to post a pic of Doctor Who and talk about why I'm in love with him.


Make sense? I hope. SOPA and PIPA have the right ideas but they go too far. And they shouldn't. As social media users we need to protest the government's want to control internet content. Write a blog. Tweet. Write a letter. Sign a petition. Go black for the day. Do something or do nothing. Just at least understand.

Here are some links to learn more and see how others are protesting:
Wil Wheaton: Today the US Senate is considering legislation that would destroy the free and open Internet.
Cake Wrecks / Epbot
Wikipedia
Google: End Piracy, Not Liberty (Also check out their header today.)
AmericanCensorship.org
Infographic: Understanding SOPA
Reddit.com
BoingBoing.net
icanhascheezburger.com
Tumblr.com <-- They give you an option to black out your site or not.



Note: Most of these links will not be valid after the January 18, 2012 protest.

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