This may sound overly dramatic, but it isn’t. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) are two versions of legislation winding their way through Congress. Both are backed by the entertainment industry as a way (they say) to combat global video and music piracy.
The problem is this legislation is so vague it can give companies the power to order whole websites taken off the air for ANY sharing of content they feel violates their claims. Post a video of your kids with a movie poster in the background? That could get your blog taken down!
Google, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Wikipedia, YouTube, and hundreds of other huge sites oppose SOPA and PIPA. They could not exist if this legislation had existed when they were founded. Sharing ideas and content is how the internet works!
That’s why many of these sites, like Reddit and Wikipedia, are going entirely dark on Jan 18th, 2012, in protest of this bill.
This video does a great job of explaining PIPA, and SOPA is generally the same thing (House vs Senate versions). Watch this, and please contact your congressman and tell them to oppose this legislation!
Don’t rely on someone else to do this – if you love what the internet has to offer, take action!
UPDATE: I was on Fox 10 this morning here in Phoenix to talk about SOPA/PIPA. If you are looking for a good introduction to what is SOPA to pass on to friends or family, this video might help!