The copyright industries in America thought they could pressure Congress into fast-tracking a bill that would be detrimental to the very future of the internet as we know it before most Americans knew anything about it.
This past weekend, the tide finally began to turn against these two bills and now it's more important than ever to make your voices heard.
Today, January 18, Campaign for Liberty has joined sites like Wikipedia and Reddit in blacking out to protest H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S. 968, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). Even the search engine giant Google has planned some level of participation in the blackout.
For those of you who aren't yet familiar with SOPA or PIPA, this short video featuring Julian Sanchez from the Cato Institute explains how internet censorship is the wrong answer for solving internet piracy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ngRPuXpCIw
Indeed, as Sanchez pointed out in a lengthy article discussing the phony figures (with painstaking detail, Sanchez shows how the music and movie industries are either misleading or flat out lying to Congress) of how much internet piracy costs the U.S. economy, bills like SOPA and PIPA would result in only (ineffectively) blocking U.S. internet users from the pirated content. It does nothing to actually stop the problem of internet piracy around the world.
So, where do we go from here?
For those of us who don't own or work for a major tech company, there is another option -- targeting the cosponsors of SOPA and PIPA to help them realize how unpopular their position really is in America.
This is of particular importance in the Senate, where Harry Reid has already filed cloture on PIPA, S. 968, setting up a vote for January 24. Harry Reid needs sixty votes to pass PIPA. Currently there are forty cosponsors. Senators Rand Paul, Ron Wyden, and others have threatened to filibuster S. 968, but they need our help!
We must mobilize against the cosponsors to generate enough opposition, then we can stall this bill from passing.
If your representative or senators are among those listed, please contact them immediately and urge them to drop their support for internet censorship!