I don’t talk politics here. I respect that we may have different opinions when it comes to political issues. However, as a lawyer and blogger I want you to know that Congress is considering two laws which purport to cut down on online piracy and intellectual property theft. Unfortunately, what they really do is censor content based on keywords or potentially baseless allegations. Your most favorite sites are the ones most at risk.
Today, January 18th many of your favorite sites have decided to go dark as a means of protesting SOPA and PIPA.
SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act and PIPA stands for Protect IP Act. That’s IP as in intellectual property not internet provider. I’m all for protecting intellectual property. That’s kinda my job (some days). I’m sure you’re all for that too. And I support stopping online piracy too. But what I don’t support is how these are defined and how easy it is for someone to shut down a site without much more than a desire to put you out of business.
This could be a huge problem for many American businesses. Not just Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Google. Sites like Wikipedia, eBay, Etsy, Craig’s List and many others top the list of sites that would be taken down. Even my site. All it takes in one person saying I’ve infringed their work and BAM my site it down. Even if it’s untrue, I’d have to challenge the takedown in a court of law. And even though I’m a lawyer I don’t do litigation and I don’t have the time or money to oppose a takedown.
Tell Congress not to censor the web! To learn more, check out Google’s End Piracy, Not Liberty page and contact your representative through that page.
Image courtesy of Forbes.com – where you can read more about what all this SOPA and PIPA really means.