Tomorrow, January 18, sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, and BoingBoing plan on going dark for 24 hours in protest of H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). Even the search engine giant Google has plans for some level of participation in the blackout.
This past weekend, the tide began turning against these two bills and now it's more important than ever to make your voices heard in opposition to Congress' plan for controlling the net as a favor to copyright holding giants the MPAA and RIAA.
Both these associations, rather than adapt to the changing times and find ways to use the internet to provide consumers with their product for a nominal fee, they're clinging to the old ways, hoping to turn back the clock on innovation.
Fortunately, corporations can't stop progress. If they could, the original source of pirated content, VCR's would have disappeared long ago with no new technology to replace it. Thankfully, groups like the MPAA lost their fight against VCR's and today we all have benefited from the natural advancement in technology with DVR's and new business models like TiVo.
The showdown between business and trade groups vs. the Internet has been a long time coming. Beginning with the shutting down of Napster, rather than adjust their business models to conform to ever changing consumer demands, copyright giants have opted to spend their fortunes hiring lawyers and lobbyists bullying and intimidating anyone threatening their profits, including 12-year old girls.
Society benefits from information sharing. While there is a legitimate argument to be made that internet piracy is theft and potentially hurts the movie and music industry, overly broad bills like SOPA and PIPA will result in a stifling of Internet innovation and set back the a sector of the economy that's still doing well in this tough recession, the technology industry.
Tomorrow, CampaignforLiberty.org will join the protest against SOPA and PIPA by blacking out. We encourage you to contact members of Congress, urge them to stand up against internet censorship and fight to keep bills like SOPA and PIPA from ever coming to the floor for a vote.
Campaign for Liberty members know there is never a more dangerous time than when opponents of bad legislation believed they have won. If you let up for one second, that's when the bills come back with a vengeance and are rammed down our throats. Don't let with happen with SOPA and PIPA, make your voices heard tomorrow!