In solidarity with Wikipedia, Reddit… and WordPress (my home), No Disrespect will be boycotting the internet tomorrow to protest the anti-piracy bill, The “Stop Online Piracy Act,” commonly referred to as SOPA. Yukky, yukky stuff.
In theory, this bill aims to protect copyrighted material. Good stuff. Nobody should steal other peoples ideas, whether they be words, pictures and/or film. I agree wholeheartedly.
However, in implementation, this proposed law is asinine. It goes about guarding the internet in the absolute worst way possible. SOPA would require search engines and payment sites like Google, Paypal and the like, to shut down *flagged* sites immediately so that users cannot find them. And pray tell, how would one determine what websites to “flag?” Oh, anybody can send an email or a complaint… that’s all. In its most extreme iteration, ONE loser can shut down an entire internet.
So you hate Planned Parenthood or the NRA? Someone pissed your off? You can 404 their internet space almost instantaneuously… BY YOURSELF!!! All you have to do is send an email to Google saying that they stole copyrighted material. No trial, no innocent until proven guilty crap to contend with… the sites go *poof.* That’s all folks.
I’m not even sure I would be able to use my blog anymore to express myself if this stupid law passes. Although I try not to use copyrighted material on my blog, it has slipped through in the past. Anyone can report me. And I’m gone. Nice to know you.
And that is why this proposed law HAS to fall by the wayside: it is is a FLAGRANT violation of free speech. This is not the internet that we know and love. In short, electronic communication won’t be fun anymore. And we can’t have that…
So gentle readers: what can we do? The same thing that we did with the Bank of America and Verizon fiascos… express our outrage loud and often until the powers that be relent!!! Boycott the internet along with me tomorrow and take a stoll around the block (why not get in some exercise too?) Oh, and call, write… and badger your House member to vote NO on this idiotic piece of legislation.
More information on SOPA and it’s implications can be found here. It’s a brilliant article. You should read it. Of course, after you’ve read mine… I’m selfish like that.