Tomorrow, we will join thousands of websites, including sites like Reddit, Wikipedia, and WordPress.org, in a 12-hour protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). These pieces of proposed legislation claim to target online piracy, but instead threaten free speech, paving the way for corporations and our government to effectively control what we read and publish online.
These sites will be on strike tomorrow, January 18th, from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time:
A few words from our bloggers:
“The internet has forever changed the way human beings share and discuss information. The free flow of information and opinion that was once easily controlled by corporate-owned media is now available, unfiltered, to anyone with access to a wireless connection. While it’s not surprising that corporations would want their power back, we absolutely can’t allow them to use our legislature to make that happen. As manga fans, we’re probably more aware than most of just how complex the issue of online piracy is, both for publishers and fans. It’s part of our regular discourse, and many of us have fought bitterly on one side or another—sometimes even both. We know there’s no simple solution, but even if there was, bypassing due process is not an acceptable means of achieving it.” – Melinda Beasi, Manga Bookshelf
“Like millions of Americans, I support the basic goals of SOPA and PIPA: to end intellectual property theft, and prevent the distribution of counterfeit products here in the United States. As currently written, however, the bill gives the Department of Justice, businesses, and copyright holders sweeping powers to block or remove content from the Internet without allowing the offending website owner to respond to the charges. Due process is a fundamental part of the American legal system, and should be reflected in the wording of this act!” – Katherine Dacey, The Manga Critic
“The most aggravating thing about these proposed bills is not even the draconian threats of the entire internet being subject to the whims of multinational corporations with a grudge to settle – it’s that it would not even work, not one iota, in stopping the piracy that it is alleged to be protecting against. There are many, far more sensible ways to combat piracy on the Internet. SOPA and PIPA, however, are there to let politicians say “Look, we tried, see?” and allow Universal Music Group and others of its ilk to shut down anyone they like, regardless of proof of guilt. Big Business is trying to control your internet. Don’t let them.” – Sean Gaffney, A Case Suitable for Treatment