Standing up against absurdity – SOPA

Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, has been a long way coming, there have been a lot of protests and critique, especially from organizations like the EFF, Electronic Frontier Foundation:

This legislation, if passed, will wreak havoc on our Internet community, jeopardizing the innovative and creative ecosystem that has created hundreds of thousands of jobs, helped countless people access information, and spurred a new generation of artists and creators. But big media groups are willing to sacrifice all of that in a ham-fisted attempt to control how you consume online content. And in the process, they’ll undoing long-standing legal protections for websites and endangering the basic infrastructure of the Net.

This can and will affect us here at Flattr as well, in our work to make information accessible for everyone, always. The fight isn’t over yet, and we still need all of you to stand up against this and help out in whatever way we and you can.

There are some well-known persons offering their support in this fight against SOPA, they understand what it’s all about. Ashton Kutcher says that SOPA is the problem not the solution:

Forcing social media sites and ISP’s responsible for users content is amazingly burdensome and costly. SOPA will create economic problems for Internet start-ups which will be an additional negative side effect. This may cause a slow down in the Internet economic sector, which is providing real jobs and innovation for the US economy.

There’s also the amazing mythbusting Adam Savage proclaiming that SOPA could destroy the Internet as we know it:

The Internet is probably the most important technological advancement of my lifetime. Its strength lies in its open architecture and its ability to allow a framework where all voices can be heard. Like the printing press before it (which states also tried to regulate, for centuries), it democratizes information, and thus it democratizes power. If we allow Congress to pass these draconian laws, we’ll be joining nations like China and Iran in filtering what we allow people to see, do, and say on the Web.

Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, took some time to explain why he thinks we should stand up and FIGHT against SOPA. He didn’t just do that, he used the launch of his new vodcast for this purpose, check out this Youtube video:

The voting for SOPA in the US Congress has been postponed for now. This gives the US citizens valuable time to keep calling their representatives and congressmen. Please use this time wisely.

What can you do?

1. If you’re a US citizen, you should call your representative. Find out who it is.
2. Stop using the services of companies and organizations who are donating big money to get SOPA pushed into a law. Official List of SOPA supporters.
3. Spread the word about SOPA and that you all can help out – tweet about it, share it on Facebook and Google+, blog about it, turn it into a song! Check out EFF’s Toolkit for anti-SOPA activism.

Dan Bull decided to rap about it:

Google news on SOPA is probably the best way to stay on top of the latest developments in this story.

What are you going to do about it?

4 thoughts on “Standing up against absurdity – SOPA

  1. i already sent in a petition letter through demandprogress and made tons of videos about this bill and i agree this bill needs to be stopped

  2. On the fiction front, the publishers supporting censorship via SOPA have now been exposed, and what now remains is to transfer business away from them. (Five out of “The Big Six” publishers support the SOPA.) Part of me feels very bad for the creators wrapped up in the illusion that these publishers are protecting them, but there are many, many more creators who deserve our support for embracing technological changes instead of fighting them.

    On a practical level, as we’ve seen many, many times before the only real way to decrease piracy is to increase legal, accessible alternatives. Likewise, the way to fight SOPA is to increase the ethical and accessible alternatives to the traditional (and censorship supporting) publishers. Fortunately, we are seeing more and more of alternatives emerging. If I were back home in NY, you can bet I’d be out in front of the capital day and night–or in front of the bookstores that stock these shameful companies’ products. As it is, I don’t know how much I can do from China, but at least I plan on spouting off about these businesses that support SOPA. Hitting the businesses that pay for the bill is the best way to attack the bill itself.

    Points to Flattr for being there to support creators outside of the traditional frameworks, and for speaking out against such abominations as SOPA. This is all the more reason to promote alternatives like Flattr, so that creators need not be dependent on the traditional companies that support crap like SOPA (etc.) (Do artists realize that when a website is blocked it is THEIR art that is actually being censored–it is not just rogue individuals and domain names that will be deleted but THEIR own work?)

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