Published on January 18th, 2012 | by Bob8
Several of the most popular sites on the internet have officially blacked out today. Wikipedia, Reddit, and even Google are showing their solidarity in one form or another. These two acts (H.R.3261 “Stop Online Piracy Act” and S.968 “PROTECT IP Act”) are bad news all the way around.
Regardless of your political affiliation, there is not a shred of redeeming value in these two acts unless you directly benefit from them as an owner of “intellectual property.” What’s the best part? Who determines the owner of intellectual property? What our antiquated Congress seems to ignore is that in the information age, content creators are no longer limited to large publishers. The people are now content creators. We’re able to share our experiences through words, pictures, and videos in an instant. We have indie film makers, indie game developers, and even indie authors selling their short stories on Amazon for a living. Everything is different in the information age. This business model (or lack thereof) threatens the potential profits of the RIAA, the MPAA, and the ESA. Don’t just take it from me, read this article on Mashable.
Our site here was formed around a thriving content creation community: a group of like-minded people who produce commentaries, highlight reels, frag videos, and bloopers from video games. Our “YouTubes of the Day” was a staple for months, but what happens when YouTube “shutters its doors” in the face of SOPA/PIPA as it becomes entirely too dangerous to host potentially infringing content? What happens when TwitchTV has to do the same after someone is caught live streaming infringing content?
The fate of the “Dot Com” generation and all subsequent generations are currently being decided by a generation of people who aren’t qualified to make this decision. The vast majority of those participating in early discussions had absolutely no clue what DNS meant. Domain Name Service. It translates the IP to the “.com”. This was debated at length, and they still didn’t get it. They’re being told what to do by the lobbyists paying for their campaigns and their perks. It’s not the Republicans, it’s not the Democrats–it’s all of them.
If you’re of legal voting age and live in the US, contact your local representatives. If you’re not, stress the importance of this issue to your parents, friends, and everyone else you know. These bills will damage the American economy and cause irreparable damage to the global future of technology and content creation as we know it.
In case you haven’t noticed, once the government grants itself power, it rarely relinquishes it.
UPDATE: Check this site to see if your representatives are in support of SOPA and PIPA. It will also tell you how much money they’ve received in support from the industries pushing for the bills. Make sure you bring that up when you call their offices…