Today (Jan 18th) is a large-scale protest day to SOPA/PIPA. No doubt, you’ve heard all about it.
Many large websites are going black today in protest of the bill, including Wikipedia, WordPress and Google (in the form of a censored logo).
If I had more time available, I might have set things up to black out DavidRisley.com and PCMech.com. But, I don’t really have the time to set it up in the right way.
I am, though, in full support of the protest.
SOPA is a legislative reaction to a powerful lobbying group who is threatened by the very nature of the Internet. Namely, the likes of the MPAA and RIAA. These groups are feeling their control wither away as a result of the Internet. They have a lot of influence in Washington and they are trying to use that influence to put the power of the government behind achieving their aims. When you combine this with the fact that people in Congress have basically NO understanding of how the Internet works – AT ALL…. we have a dangerous situation where a law which purports to be a measure against piracy could indeed have a widespread and VERY negative effect on the very nature of the world wide web.
Not to mention that there are plenty of people in Washington who would love NOTHING MORE than to be able to censor a website on cue. The world (and history) is rife with government being able to censor the press and free speech. Wherever this happens, human rights have suffered. And, each and every time, the government had an excuse claiming it was better for the public good.
On the surface, it might seem like a decent idea to some. After all, piracy sucks and it is indeed a form of theft. I don’t believe anybody is arguing to the contrary. However, the “solution” is far worse than the problem. And it is being created, as I said, with very little knowledge of how the Internet works. The last thing we need is some group of weirdos who sit in a bubble – who have only a 13% approval rating with the population anyway – creating stupid laws that would cripple the freedom of the major communication medium of our era.
And that’s my position. And seeing as I’m the founder of PCMech, consider it the official position of PCMech.
I’ll end off with a fantastic video put together by Allison Boyer, over at Blogworld. The video happens to have several of my buddies in it, too.
Google has a fantastic SOPA site up, with a means to send a petition to your representative in Congress.
The PCMech.com weekly newsletter has been running strong for over 8 years. Sign up to get tech news, updates and exclusive content - right in your inbox. Also get (several) free gifts.