All morning I have been stewing. I read a Tweet from Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame concerning stopping SOPA. He included a link that sums up some of the most important points of the whole issue: http://www.craigslist.org/about/SOPA. Much of this particular entry is derived from this Craigslist Online Community page. This blog is a bit of a departure for me. I do not get involved with politics knowing in my heart that, “life goes on no matter who is wrong or right.”
NUTS! Did you see that? I just quoted from a Billy Joel song; no, more than that, it was a quote from a copyrighted Billy Joel song. That’s the type of thing that will shut Chicken Scratch down but more of that in my letter to Congressman LoBiondo. Sorry. I’ll try to do better.
After doing some research, reading some articles, and after years of writing here on the electronic pages of my blog, I thought it important to say that I oppose H.R. 3621 "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) and S. 968 "Protect IP Act" (PIPA). I like the concept of a free internet. I like being able to say what I want without the fear of corporate or governmental censorship. I know that ‘piracy is a problem’ but accepting these two bills and turning them into the law of the land in Cyber-America you change fundamental liberties on a molecular level. It’s akin to being adrift and thirsty in the middle of the ocean – sure you can drink the saltwater to quench your thirst but that comes at a high price: your cells will implode and you will die. That is what happens to civil liberties on the internet if this passes.
Techdirt has a wonderful article by, Mike Masnick entitled, “Definitive Post Why SOPA and Protect IP Are Bad, Bad, Ideas”. Please give it a read and let it digest. Mr. Masnick’s article explains what is at stake much more succinctly than the scope of this humble blogger (yours truly): http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111122/04254316872/definitive-post-why-sopa-protect-ip-are-bad-bad-ideas.shtml.
The quotes at the end of the article are priceless; frightening, but priceless…
"It's theft...Any time you skip a commercial or watch the button you're actually stealing the programming." Turner Broadcasting CEO Jaime Kellner in 2002
‘So take THAT you thieves (formally known as subscribers)! How DARE you use that DVR!? Philistines! Heathens! PIRATES!’ Yep, these are the people that want to control you and dictate public policy that will usher in the future of a place that used to be deemed ‘free’. “Welcome to the machine.” – Pink Floyd
GACK! I just quoted a song that is copyrighted. I’m really going to have to get the hang of this new world order thing.
Here is a great little tool: https://action.eff.org/o/9042/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8173. I used it this morning to sign the petition. Not for nuthin’ but I encourage you to do the same.
Here are some other concerned folks brought to you be the Center for Democracy & Technology: http://cdt.org/report/growing-chorus-opposition-stop-online-piracy-act.
Here is a site to identify you congressman: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml. I used it to send the following ‘letter’ to my Congressman, Frank LoBiondo from New Jersey…
I am a blogger in the South Jersey area. I write about distractions, humor, and trivial entertainments; simple stuff, in all actuality. One of the things that I routinely write about is film and I am, therefore, deeply concerned about the scope and reach of SOPA & PIPA. It is not hard to envision a time in the future where my blog is deemed and considered “Censured Material.” Seriously. What happens to my blog / me if I post something that that the corporations or government does not like? SOPA & PIPA are steep, well lubricated slopes. Once we as a county start sliding down it is our very liberty that will die in the sudden stop.
Freedom of speech should not be dictated to the American people by corporate entities, lobbyists or PACs. I do not know where you stand on H.R. 3621 "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) and S. 968 "Protect IP Act" (PIPA) but I hope you oppose them as much as I do. If you support SOPA & PIPA I hope you reconsider and make a stand to not legislate the citizenry’s liberty away to corporations.
I thank you for your time, Sir.
So there you have it, Gentle Reader. It’s funny how the simple stuff seems to reflect so much more of the heart of man. Perhaps the simple is not really all that simple after all. There may come a day when the simple act of surfing the net is a blocked & censored crime – an offence that the corporations or government can shut you down. Not for knocking over a liquor store, cow tipping, or for plotting to become a James Bond villain bent on world domination but for writing about or posting about copyrighted material.
REALLY?! “James Bond” in a sentence! I hope that MGM in the future can find it in their heart to forgive such a lowly blogger as I, your humble servant, Evil Chicken.
Only time will tell.
[NOTE: If you feel the call to action proofread you letter before you send it. I just found a stupid, hack mistake that I changed for this blog and that I hope does not undermine the overall message. What can I say, I’m a shmoe. I do, however, believe the intent is intact.]