This post was written in advance to post on the afternoon of January 18, the day many websites demonstrated their opposition for SOPA and PIPA by shutting down or displaying banners to that effect. I posted late last night on my Facebook and Twitter accounts that I was signing out for 24 hours in protest of this proposed law because it is a threat to free speech.
It may seem counter-intuitive to stop speaking out on social media to protest the potential for those media to be shut down under the weight of these proposed laws. However quiet I may be on Facebook and Twitter today, know that I have not been silent elsewhere.
I spent the time I would normally spend reading or updating my sites on contacting various members of Congress (my own, and those on the committee in front of whom the SOPA bill sits presently), as well as my US Senators. I expressed my opposition to the bills as a small business owner whose livelihood depends upon the free flow of information on the web. I made it clear that I am against copyright infringement, but that the bills as written are too broad and would ultimately hinder free speech. I asked all of my Federal elected officials to withdraw their support of the bills in their respective houses.
I’m sure I miss the interaction I have daily via the ‘net. However, I’m also sure that the projects I planned for today’s work were done a little faster without the shiny web to distract me. I’m sure I’ll ultimately be glad for having taken the break. BUT, I’m against the government forcing me into one… ever.
What you can do:
- Read up on the provisions and consequences of the SOPA bill by clicking here, Why SOPA is Dangerous.
- Take a look at the information about the bill, including the money trail, on OpenCongress by clicking here.
- Contact your own Senators and Representatives. Look here for their information: Congress.org
- Stop — or ask your friends/co-workers/readers/followers to stop — knowingly infringing on copyright by pirating music, movies, television, books, and photos from the web without proper payment, licenses, or attribution.