Yesterday, this tiny little blog joined some big leaguers in going black to protest SOPA and PIPA and to get the word out about internet regulation legislation being debated in the U.S. House and Senate that is, in essence, on par with the kind of tactics that China and North Korea use to restrict their citizens’ internet usage.
Let’s revisit that once more for effect:
The self-declared bastion of democratic freedom wants to invoke legislation to censor U.S. citizens’ internet usage.
This is not the proposed goal of SOPA/PIPA, but this is what it will do. They want to stop online piracy (and I agree that it’s not good) but you don’t use a bazooka to kill a fly.
“But-but-but…” SOPA supporters sputtered yesterday, “The reps took OUT one of the icky parts. Why are you still protesting? That just makes you poopy-heads.”
No, that makes us democratic, voicing our opposition to an over-reaching law that media conglomerates were hoping would get passed unnoticed by the public. Had you heard about SOPA/PIPA before yesterday? Did you see any big news channels covering the bill or the arguments against it or the proposed protests until they actually occurred?
Unless you follow tech circles, you probably hadn’t. After all, the news channels are owned by SOPA supporters, so they’re certainly not going to be talking about it.
The blackout was to raise awareness of the issue and to show Washington that we will not tolerate any version of SOPA and PIPA. That we will not let the MPAA and RIAA and the Department of Justice dictate what we can and cannot see, watch, read, hear. That the government should not serve as the law enforcement arm of MPAA president Chris Dodd, who had the nerve to call the blackout damaging when he wants to restructure the whole internet for the movie studios.
The blackout was awesome. Watching a grassroots organized protest where 95% of the usually bickering factions of the intrawebz come together and take a stand? Freaking fantastic. Seeing government co-sponsors and supporters scramble to reverse their position? Gleefully satisfying.
But the fight didn’t end yesterday. The fight doesn’t end until SOPA and PIPA are well and truly killed.
Call your representatives. Email them. Tweet them. Get on their Facebook pages and let them know.