SOPA, PIPA, & Blackouts


Hopping around the internet today you might have noticed some sites have been “blacked out”. What is going on? Well, I don’t know if you have been following the techie news, but Congress has a bill they are to vote on later this month that will affect your day-to-day internet use. I asked Nathan to write a post about it because he is the expert on all things techie. This is a huge deal and I have contacted my Congressmen concerning this issue. And you should too. Take a stand for your freedom. Please read on…

Today, January 18th is the official internet blackout day in protest of the PIPA and SOPA bills set before the US Congress. Why is everyone up in arms about these bills and how does it affect you as a modern mom?

What is PIPA & SOPA?
The Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bills are an attempt to stop the illegal copying of movies, music and other copyrighted content. Sounds good, right? Stop people from stealing other’s content. However the devil is in the details and vague legal terms in both bills essentially give large corporations the keys to censorship on the internet and place the burden of enforcing content infringement on companies hosting user content.

How Does This Affect You?
Here’s an example… A user posts a link in the comments of Simply Modern Mom to a filesharing site with some infringing content. Simply Modern Mom is responsible and could be sued for hosting that link. A court order could also have the website blocked while the case it goes through the legal system for months and months. Think about that for a moment. You wouldn’t have access to one of your favorite blogs for months because of a single link in the comments. Now apply that to Facebook, Youtube, Vimeo, Wikipedia, Twitter, etc. The impact these bills will have on the freedom of the internet can not be understated. They allow content censorship rights to be given to large corporations to wield as they want, which if the past is any indication, is bad news for business, competition and consumers.

Video Explanation
I’ve embedded a video which does a great job of explaining what PIPA (and other similar bills) would do to the internet if it is allowed to pass. Please watch and share.

Take Action
I hope that you will stand up with the millions of others and let your voice be heard that you oppose any legislation that censors the internet and restricts our freedom of speech. These bills are aren’t the first and will not be the last. Be vigilant in protecting your freedoms. Please contact your congressman and sign the petition opposing PIPA and SOPA.

More Info
CBS News
NY Times

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