On January 18 major internet sites are going to go dark to protest SOPA. I'm obviously not a major internet site but I think SOPA is a bad idea so I'm stepping away from my normal content for a day and posting in support of the sites that are going dark to protest SOPA.
I'm also not typically active in causes and politics but SOPA is bad news for the tech industry (which pays my bills) as well as for freedom of speech so I don't feel like I can be silent on this. Yes, I know it sounds like a good thing to protect copyrights and intellectual property, and being involved in creative endeavors I should support it. Heck, most of the media companies and entertainment unions are supporting it and typically I agree with them. But SOPA is too broad and heavy handed and doesn't solve the real problem and it gives the government the ability to shut down entire domains even if the offending material is minimal, marginal, and being handled by the site. It would mean all of Facebook could get shut down because some mom posted a video of a kid singing a song they don't have the rights to (hmm...like Happy Birthday). Or Google being shut down because of a file someone puts up on Google Docs that contains plagiarized content. Seems crazy, right but that's where SOPA will take us if this thing passes. SOPA won't impact just social media. It could impact a teacher that uses just a bit more of a poem than the Fair Use copyright laws allow and puts it in a syllabus on the university's BlackBoard site...the entire site and the .edu that hosted it could be liable for the copyright violation and be taken off line. Crazy, I know...but it could easily happen.
This video below explains it but the bottom line is ALL CENSORSHIP IS BAD and Congress needs to be encouraged not to sign this bill. Educate yourself and then write or call your Congressman.