Yesterday, Culture Greyhound joined millions of websites, including Wikipedia and Google, in protest of two bills making their way through Congress that could forever jeopardize a free and fair Internet. The House’s SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and the Senate’s PIPA (Protect IP Act) are poorly worded pieces of legislation with the intentions of stopping digital piracy of intellectual property. If passed, what the bills could actually do could permanently change the Internet. The bills would censor the web and impose crippling restrictions on American businesses, seemingly with little to no judicial review.
Since the protest, many House members and Senators have dropped their support of the bills, and things are looking up. The Obama administration has expressed publicly their wariness with the bills, and a few controversial provisions in the bills have been dismissed altogether. But they are far from dead: next week the Senate will vote on PIPA, while House members will debate SOPA in February.
Wikipedia probably said it best yesterday: “SOPA and PIPA are just indicators of a much broader problem. In many jurisdictions around the world, we’re seeing the development of legislation that prioritizes overly-broad copyright enforcement laws, laws promoted by power players, over the preservation of individual civil liberties.”
To learn more about SOPA and PIPA, visit this site. To fight back, use Wikipedia to contact your local representatives and sign the petition on Google.