Stop Internet Censorship

January 17, 2012

What is SOPA and PIPA?

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (PROTECT-IP Act) are very similar pieces of legislation that both want to kill off illegal file sharing and music downloading. While the intention is good, the way they go about doing it is extremely dangerous and can be easily abused.

President Obama has spoken out against SOPA in its current form, but that doesn’t mean it can’t come back in the near future. In fact, there is a good chance it will return in February. PIPA is also still on the loose, and is just as dangerous.

The MPAA has publicly spoken against some of the largest websites on the internet by denouncing our protests as “pranks” and an “abuse of power”. We believe this is one of the most incorrect and misleading statements ever made in the tech industry. We would not be participating in these protests if we did not think they were for a worthy cause; one that can, and will, harm the innovation and freedom of information upon which the Internet was built.

Who else opposes SOPA & PIPA?

Wikipedia, Google, Reddit, WordPress, Scribd, Cheezburger Network, O’Reilly, Mozilla, Namecheap, Major League Gaming, Imgur, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Just to name a few. There are many more sites, companies, and organizations who oppose the bills, which are mostly listed here.

Who Supports SOPA & PIPA?

Too many members of Congress support these bills without fully realizing the extent to which it will hurt innovation on the entire Internet. Check to see where your representatives stand.

What Should I Do?

Everyone needs to call their representatives to let them know the dangers of these bills (you can easily do so to the right). If we don’t make our voices heard, then PIPA will pass. If you would like to see what kind of events are happening locally for you, there may be an in-person protest/meetup happening. Make sure to check and see if there’s any way you can participate.

If you’re not in the US, you can still participate! Join the petition directed towards the state department.

Where Can I Learn More?

If you want to go even more in-depth and learn more about SOPA and PIPA, here are some excellent resources:

  • Stop American Censorship
  • A technical examination of SOPA and PIPA (from Reddit)
  • An open letter from 83 of the engineers who built the Internet’s infrastructure
  • PIPA Whip Count
  • List of sites who oppose these bills

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