, The Fight Continues

“Tech companies and users teamed up. Tens of millions of people who make the Internet what it is joined together to defend their freedoms. The free network defended itself.” –Fight for the Future

Congratulations! We dealt a heavy blow to SOPA and PIPA yesterday! There are currently 64 supporters to 108 opponents. Tens of thousands of websites staged some form of protest, encouraging their visitors to learn about the threat and contact Congress. Traditionally-neutral sites like Wikipedia and WordPress broke from their rules to defend themselves. Google, alone, had over 7 million names added to their petition. Mozilla reached over 40 million people with their message against censorship. Twitter users mentioned the bills over 4 million times. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, alone, had over 1 million messages to Congress sent through their system. Congressional websites were crippled most of the day from overwhelming traffic.

It cost the entertainment industry, who has vehemently opposed every technological advance from the VCR to streaming content, almost $100 million to get these bills where they are. In response, the tech community, in one day, used the full might of the Internet to ensure it’s own future. The direct monetary cost? Negligible.

Without a doubt, some elements of these bills have been exaggerated. But if history has taught us anything, it’s that when governments are given a micron, they’ll simply give themselves the entire kilometer when you look away. (Yeah, yeah… engineers… 🙂 ) Better yet, these politicians who are determining the fate of the free network have no clue as to how it actually works. They have been put to shame numerous times by engineers and experts who understand the harm such legislation can do.

The fight is far from over! The House and Senate still intend to vote in the coming weeks, and they’ll be quick to make superficial changes to soothe less adamant opponents. Keep it up, my friends!

, Time to Take a Stand

Hello all! Today, we approach a dangerous precipice. The U.S. Congress is soon to vote on legislation that would give the U.S. government the power to take down, without due process, websites accused of copyright infringement and the freedom to heavily fine supposed violators. According to the entertainment industry, such power is necessary to combat “rampant piracy.” However, this is not the way. SOPA and PIPA can only hurt our economy and strangle the free innovation the Internet has made possible. Today, I join Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, and thousands of others in an open protest of this grotesque demonstration of purchased legislation. From 8am to 8pm on 18 January, my sites will go dark. If you too value the Internet as the invaluable resource it is today, please join me in writing or calling your representatives in opposition to these bills.

To learn more about these bills: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/