You might notice a lot of sites are “blacking out” to raise awareness about SOPA. If you have never heard of it, SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act, and is s a bill that was introduced in the US House of Representatives that, if made law, would give law enforcement and copyright holders the ability to severely impact and restrict the flow of online information. Court orders could extend to limiting a website’s advertising, payment options (such as Paypal), restricting or removing the site from appearing in search engine results, and even blocking or banning a site.
I think many of us would agree that we don’t want lawmakers determining the freedom of a website to exist on the internet.
This week, several huge websites such as Reddit, Wikipedia, BoingBoing, WordPress.org, and many others announced that they would be blacking out their site on January 18th. Many smaller sites (such as Crafterminds) are also taking part in the protest.
Why we oppose SOPA:
- We believe SOPA is designed to benefit big corporations and not the everyday internet user
- While we believe in the rights of copyright holders, we believe in fair use
- The way SOPA is structured would allow WAY too much latitude and unfair power over websites
As BoingBoing said: “Making one link would require checking millions (even tens of millions) of pages, just to be sure that we weren’t in some way impinging on the ability of five Hollywood studios, four multinational record labels, and six global publishers to maximize their profits.”
To learn more or participate in the SOPA protest, visit:
- SopaStrike.com – you can list your blog with this website if you are participating in the protest
- Zachary Johnson’s blackout page
- CloudFlare’s Stop Censorship app – if you already use Cloudflare (or it is easy to sign up)
- SOPA Strike WordPress Plugin – easily install a plugin to blackout your site if you use WordPress
- Bloggermint Blackout Ribbon – if you are on a Blogger blog
- Savvy Blogging on SOPA/PIPA