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Strike Against SOPA & PIPA

Google blacked out their logo today, but their search engine still works. Under SOPA and PIPA search engines could be taken down for linking to any site that may be suspected of piracy.

Today is the strike against SOPA and PIPA. Many websites are blacking out and offering information about SOPA and PIPA and how to get in touch with your congressmen to tell them how you feel about this legislation. These bills would create Internet censorship laws more intrusive than Syria or China currently employ in their countries.

For those of you who do not know, Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is House Bill 3261 (HR 3261) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) is Senate Bill 968 (S 968). Both of these bills seek to stop piracy on the Internet, but overreach this goal by giving private companies the ability to police our Internet and censor sites based on the belief that piracy may be taking place – without requiring proof that it is in fact taking place. Your website could be in danger if you link to a site that uses a photo they do not have the copyright to, even if that photo was used by an online advertiser.

Wikipedia in black out mode.

Wikipedia is blacked out except for the pages dedicated to informing you about SOPA and PIPA. Craigslist, which started dedicating the top left corner of its site to news about SOPA and PIPA a while back, today only offers that information.

Since I started writing this blog, already three co-sponsors of the bills have withdrawn support, so the strike is working. It is kind of nice to learn that we still have some power over our own Congress, so please show your support. Our own Sen. Ron Wyden has been doing his best to stop the bills, and is even offering to read anyone’s name who signs up during a filibuster should the bill come to a vote. But you should still get in touch with your congressmen to give them a piece of your mind.

This image would put our whole site in danger of being censored by SOPA & PIPA because I took it from a facebook page.

Today is probably the easiest day to figure out how to do that, with so many sites offering information on how to get in touch with your representatives. We might as well hop on that bandwagon.  Here are some of the sites I like to use:

Open Congress

House of Representatives (generic)

Credo

This one is my favorite way to keep track of what is going on in general. Especially if you are curious about who voted and how they voted on whatever bills have made it through Congress:

GovTrack.US

For more information about congressman and companies that are supporting these bills, check out these links:

Boycott SOPA Sponsors

Judiciary Committee’s PDF for the bill

ProPublica – Who in Congress supports SOPA