Thursday, 19 January 2012

Do your part.

If you are like me (as in living in a non-US state and not keeping up on politics), you may have been surprised yesterday to see Wikipedia blacked out. (Icanhascheezburger was also blocked out, which I found out when I wanted to amuse myself with LOLcats while scanning visual survey cards with 1200 dpi - which takes a long time.)

If you are not living under a rock like I am, you will have heard of SOPA/PIPA before me. The tl;dr version: a bill is to be passed by the US Congress that supposedly stops piracy but would effectively mean a go-ahead for censoring the internet. Censoring the Internet. The place that made Rule 34. The place where you can find about anything. Where people throw around links, search for stuff, buy whatever they need or like, and connect with other people - all this would be in danger with the act.

This video can tell you why.

I'm doing my share of blogging, and that means passing along links. Like this one here to a primer about SOPA/PIPA (to get the quick and dirty version in form of an infographic, just scroll to the very end). To you, the readers, because I think that they might be interesting, or helpful, or funny for you. Posting links, however, sounds like it is going to be a dangerous thing after SOPA/PIPA passes - especially since my blog is a "domestic" site (it's Oh, by the way, so is the Textileforum site. Even if its server sits in Germany.

If you're just a little like me... you won't find that a great thing. Even if it inspires nice filk like this.

So please do your share and protest! If you live in the States, it seems to be most efficient to call your congressperson or walk into their office to tell them what you think about the act. Links to lists and help to find person and phone number are all over the InterBloggoTubez. Unfortunately, it's not so easy to protest when you are no US resident - but we can at least spread the word!


Harma said...

String Notes, Sarah's blog went black too.

Cathy Raymond said...

Thanks for posting about this.

Phiala said...

Yes, all my sites were blacked out for 24 hours.

It's not just posting links: you would also be liable for anything someone left in a comment.

And the biggest problem: the magnitude of the response, and the lack of evidence necessary. If a website is reported as infringing, even with no evidence, the expected response is: their ISP shuts them off, their bank/Paypal accounts are locked, and their site removed from Google and other search engines.

On being reported. So, hypothetically, if I posted a picture of Mickey Mouse in this comment, Katrin's webstore could be taken away, even though she's not a US resident. Not sure they could do anything about bank accounts, but definitely Paypal accounts.

Neat, no?