Day of Darkness: How Can You Help Fight SOPA/PIPA?


Much of the Internet is going dark today in protest of the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and its counterpart Protect-IP Act (PIPA). SOPA was originally introduced as a way to stop copyright infringement, but it won’t do that. What SOPA will do is threaten the freedom and the stability of the Internet, as well as your ability to make a living off it. SOPA requires that sites like Google, Twitter, Facebook and other key Internet players monitor the Web and police content that may infringe on someone else’s copyright. Sites that are accused of violating SOPA will be shut down, without due process.

For example, if you tweet a link to a YouTube video, Twitter could be forcibly shut down. If you quote someone’s article on Facebook, Facebook must censor you or risk its own site. If YOUR SITE is accused of violating someone’s copyright, you could lose your livelihood. Again, with zero due process. It’s legislation that puts far too much power in the hands of the government.

Why are the online protests happening today? Because the Senate will begin voting on January 24th.

How can you fight SOPA/PIPA and protect the Web?

Watch This Video

First, watch this video and help understand what’s at risk and what SOPA will really do.

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Fight for the Future breaks down how the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and Protect-IP Act (PIPA) threaten the freedom and stability of the Internet. The government and corporations can block any Web site, foreign or domestic, for one infringing link, without due process. Social media sites will either be forced to censor its users or they risk being shut down if a user posts something the government deems infringing. With no due process, the government can push this as far as it wants. Or, perhaps, as far as we’ll allow it.

The video above does a fantastic job breaking down all the key points of the bill in language even if your mother will understand.

Read Opinions on SOPA/PIPA from Names You Trust

Want some other opinions? How about these:

Tell Congress Not To Censor Your Web

When you’ve had enough, go here: When you land there, sign the petition.

What else can you do? Use this page to locate and then call your elected officials and tell them you oppose SOPA and PIPA.

In the coming elections, don’t support any candidate that supports these dangerous bills.

Don’t be fooled. I know there aren’t too many online petitions and protests that have much merit, but this one affects all of us. It affects our sites, our businesses, and our livelihood.

Your Comments

  • D. Crouzet

    Hi! Against this crap of Pipa and Sopa, I release two of my images into the public domain, that you can distribute and use however you want.

    • Awesome! Thank you for sharing them here.

  • Thanks for this , Lisa.

    I’d say beyond livelihoods, it also affects the development of our culture. The fact is, people sharing and adapting pre-existing content predates the Internet. It has been a key mover in helping to evolve our society, and societies through out the world. My fear with this kind of approach to protecting private property is how it ignores this history altogether, ironic given that the entertainment industry, which relies on stories that have been told again and again, is seemingly the prime mover of the approach behind these bills. SOPA/PIPA seeks to criminalize a human impulse that has made our world better, not worse.

    Thanks again for the post.

  • Here is another excellent TEDx presentation by the man, the legend, Clay Shirky. As he always does, he frames the whole debate brilliantly so that we can understand the full scope and implications of this fight.

    Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)