Logging on to the internet today, we've all seen the far-reaching and high profile impact of SOPA Blackout Day protests. Wikipedia
, the number of sites participating is inspiring. I was also extremely happy and proud to see Equestria Daily
shutting down for the day as well. On the other hand, I was dismayed to see the response from some commenters and regulars to the site. Most folks understodd the importance of this issue and the stand the crews were taking by doing this. But a few individuals responded with complaints, whining, and disdain for the protest and the danger SOPA and PIPA present to our community and access to technology and free information for us all.
To those people, I say this- If you think YouTube's policies are bad now, wait until every website, search engine, advertiser, and webhost is threatened with a felony if they host intellectual property and content. Try sharing a video, song, piece of fanart, comic, or fanfic in a post SOPA world. The NRA likes to point out how gun laws take the weapons from legal owners without diminishing the ability of criminals to get their hands on the deadliest guns and ammunition. SOPA and PIPA would do much the same- crippling the internet, turning free-use laws on their head, and taking away our ability to conscientiously create, search for, and propagate information. At the same time, pirates and hackers will do what they've always done- adapt. Sites like Google, Reddit, Ponychan, and Tumbler will face the loss of advertisers, funding, and criminal charges, while the real problem will simply sink deeper underground.
Make no mistake. These laws are only about "protecting copyrights" in so far as giving huge corporations yet another foothold into our ownership of their product. The same arguments took place thirty years ago during the advent of home video cassettes. The same arguments were floated, the same cries for legislation rose up from the same giant media corporations. But that was then, and rational heads prevailed. This is now, and offensively uninformed old men are legislating our freedom and free, open access to the internet all the way to the bank. Old men like Representative Steve King (R-IA) who tweeted he was "so bored" by the information presented concerning the dangers of SOPA, that he spent the time surfing the very internet he is voting to unravel.
This must to be stopped.
SOPA and PIPA affects us all. Artists, bloggers, webmasters, redditors, musicians, bronies, videographers, programmers, writers, game designers, goons, nerds, sports fans, businessmen, advertisers, and everyone else. The internet has given us the future, make no mistake. All the leaps and bounds of technology over the past 15-20 years are thanks to the public's craving for information and broader access to that information. With these bills, we stand a good chance of losing it all.
Do something, stand up for freedom, and speak your mind.