I find, in the contemporary social-media dominated world, that when people discuss politics they never explain what is going on! Rather they tend to just demand that you support their cause. Sign this petition! Save the children! Come to this important meeting! Occupy Wall Street! Stop the killings!
Well. I like to understand an issue before I support a campaign.
So, when I saw the calls for people to ‘blackout’ their websites today in protest against #SOPA, I thought rather than blindly follow instructions, I’d use the day to learn about what SOPA actually is. And to decide if I am opposed to it, and if so, what I can contribute in the campaign.
Wikipedia is one of the websites being blacked out in protest against SOPA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
Which is a bit of a bummer considering they are a major source of information. But, luckily, they have kindly left a page up explaining SOPA and PIPA. It reads:
‘SOPA and PIPA represent two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively. SOPA is short for the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” and PIPA is an acronym for the “Protect IP Act.” (“IP” stands for “intellectual property.”) In short, these bills are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but, in our opinion, they do so in a way that actually infringes free expression while harming the Internet. Detailed information about these bills can be found in the Stop Online Piracy Actand PROTECT IP Act articles on Wikipedia, which are available during the blackout. You can also follow them through the legislative process here and here. The EFF has summarized why these bills are simply unacceptable in a world that values an open, secure, and free Internet.’
And here, Anonymous have collated some information about SOPA: http://youranonnews.tumblr.com/post/15783460213/stop-sopa-the-essentials-summary-and-bill-text
I am going to spend some of today reading up on this subject. Because freedom of expression and an open internet is important to me!
And if you get bored, here are some lovely photos of gorgeous men to keep you entertained:
UPDATE: I will add some links about #SOPA as I get them. Any info welcome!
This one asks if the ‘problem’ SOPA is trying to solve even exists:
https://plus.google.com/107033731246200681024/posts/BEDukdz2B1r /via @warrenpearson
Here wordpress join the protest against SOPA: http://wordpress.org/ /via @sesshabatto and others
Mashable’s take: http://mashable.com/2012/01/17/sopa-dangerous-opinion/ /via @scribbles78
This is a creative way of doing a ‘blackout’ of a website for the protest: http://theoatmeal.com/sopa /via @AbiePB and others
Here is stoner with a boner, regular commenter at QRGHQ’s take on SOPA: http://stonerwithaboner.wordpress.com/2011/11/22/what-is-sopa/
And this just in at the Nervous Breakdown literature/writing site: http://www.thenervousbreakdown.com/jgingerich/2012/01/all-quiet-on-the-western-front-media-reacts-to-sopa-debate-with-resounding-silence/
Mic Wright debates with someone on MSN about SOPA and PIPA: http://tech.uk.msn.com/features/does-the-internet-need-regulating /via @brokenbottleboy
Why In Mala Fide is not participating in today’s blackout: http://www.inmalafide.com/blog/2012/01/18/why-in-mala-fide-is-not-participating-in-the-sopapipa-blackout/?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed /via @FBardamu
How Copyright Industries Con Congress: http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/how-copyright-industries-con-congress/ /via @mattlodder
https://traditionalchristianity.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/sopa-soaps/ SOPA Soaps, via stoner with a boner
@How_Upsetting on SOPA and PIPA: http://howupsetting.tumblr.com/post/16132415365/sopa-and-pipa-would-create-a-consumption-only-internet
A post-blackout analysis from wikipedia watchers: http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/wikipedia_so_how_do_you_like_censorship.php /via @quarridors