There’s no two ways about it: these laws are terrible. Taken together, the bills would allow the government to blacklist and shut down any website even thought to contain copyrighted content and it would allow criminal action against those who host such content, even unknowingly. How bad is it? Bad enough for Google, Apple and Yahoo to oppose, for one. Even the New York Times and LA Times newspapers have come out against them.
“The other side, all of these lobbies, the content industry, is enormously powerful… They’ve spent hundreds of millions over the last few years in politics. They are very, very connected.”
“[This lobby] has a history of making statements that are anti-innovation. It was not long ago when the motion picture industry said in a widely-viewed public forum that the VCR was to the movie industry what the Boston strangler was to women home alone. So, we’re up to a very savvy, very well financed lobby, and suffice it to say, these kinds of issues are a bit technical until people see what’s really at stake, which is a free and fair Internet.”
How can you help? For starters, go to StopCensorship.org or FightForTheFuture.org and sign a petition. Then, you can head over to Congress.org to find your senators’ and representatives’ contact information. Give them a call, write them a letter or (least effectively) shoot them an e-mail. Let them know that you’re opposed to censorship of the internet.
This is a pretty crucial issue for all of us who not only use the internet but create content too. Help stop SOPA and PIPA!