SOPA Shelved, But Fight Not Over

by Bill Brenner on January 16, 2012

You might remember my warning about SOPA and the Protect IP ACT, legislation that as written would lead to massive censorship on the Internet. Today there’s some good news.

Mood music:

It appears SOPA is headed for the shelf due to the rising tide of opposition. Details on the site where I do my day job, CSOonline.

I also wrote a post warning people that this isn’t over by a long shot.

We’re working on another story, which I’ll link to here later on this afternoon.

Meantime, a reminder on why these bills are so bad:

When you think of all America’s efforts to protect its citizens, the goal is always to protect A WAY OF LIFE. Our right to free speech and expression. The Internet has allowed that freedom to flourish in the form of personal blogs, social networking and so on. If the government gets the power to block that freedom, all our other security efforts will be rendered meaningless.

That’s my security argument. But let’s look at this in the scope of personal blogging. I started this blog to break stigmas around mental illness and addiction. There are many other blogs out there with similar missions.

This legislation threatens all of it.

A few months ago I wrote a post about how I was ripped off by The Midwest Center For Stress and Anxiety and how, in my experience, it’s a sham. That post has gotten more page views than any other I’ve written, and it has received countless comments, most of them mirroring my own experiences.

If this law were enacted, The Midwest Center could petition the government to block my site for posting content harmful to it’s business interests.

The government would also have greater authority to block much of the content we all post on Facebook.

I don’t deny that there is a problem with pirated content in this country. But this kind of response is typical of the entertainment industry.

Instead of embracing the new ways people choose to get their multimedia content, the industry tries to punish us instead. Their profits are drying up because consumers are abandoning them.

When your business can’t adapt to changing times, it doesn’t survive. It’s simple. It’s fair. The entertainment industry and big software companies can’t handle this simple truth. So they’re using the government to beat consumers into submission.

Don’t let it happen.

The EFF page I link to above makes it very easy for you to send your elected officials a message asking them to vote against this legislation.

Simply go to the top right of the page, enter your zip code, then fill in your name and address.

I did. Now it’s your turn.

Don’t let this bullshit stand.

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