The last couple of decades have been the Golden Era for the internet and the free flow of knowledge. Can you remember a time when information wasn’t at your fingertips? A time without Google, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Wikipedia?
Now, thanks to SOPA and PIPA, two bills aimed at taking a hard-lined censorship approach to curtailing online piracy, the Information Age as we know it could change forever.
You might be asking: How exactly do these bills relate to me and why should I care? Imagine that you’re a small online business. Maybe you’re a burgeoning blog with a prolific community that’s starting to generate income. Or maybe you’re a small internet company that provides user generated content- like Youtube back in 2005.
If these bills were to pass, you would be held responsible for the piracy status every single little piece of content or information that anyone posts on your site. On any page, in any comment, in any little corner of the site. And you could get your pants sued off for it without having the means to defend yourself. Or worse, you could get shut down by the Justice Department without notice just based on ‘suspicion’ alone. This CBS News Article covers the topic in a clear, easy to understand manner.
Even if you don’t think you’ll ever own an online business, if you believe in freedom of speech and information sharing, if you believe in the right to be an entrepreneur, if you’ve consumed internet content in any way shape or form, this bill affects you. If you’ve visited Reddit, Wikipedia or xkcd today, you’ve already had a taste of what a post SOPA world could be like. And it’s time to do something about it.
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Google has made it super easy for you to sign a petition titled ‘End Piracy, Not Liberty’ that allows you to tell your congressional representative: “Don’t Censor The Web!” All it takes is 30 seconds of your time.
To sign the petition and show your support, Click here
Wanna take it a step further? In addition to signing a petition, pick up the phone and give your representative a ring. Or send them an automated fax for free via Hellofax.
Over 3 million people have already signed this petition as I write this and congress is starting to take notice. Representatives who’ve co-sponsored this bill are dropping their support for it, one by one. Even President Obama has expressed his disapproval. You have the power to make a difference. Let’s stop these harmful bills from ever becoming a reality.