SOPA, PIPA and Why They Matter

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SOPA - STOP ITYes, we’re participating in this today. People may arrive here or on our website and wonder what was going on. Well, imagine that being the case every day, or worse, imagine a trusted site you’ve come to know and frequent being shut down forever, due to no fault of their own. Imagine if that site was yours.

SOPA and PIPA are two pieces of legislation are being considered. SOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act of the House, and PIPA, or Protect IP Act, is its Senate companion bill. At first blush, and without review, these sound like, well, sound bills, but even though the intentions are noble, the overall impact amounts to censorship of the Internet, and more, closure of sites. The real intent (warning: very boiled down explanation) is to protect works of those that produce it and to punish those that benefit from those works without compensating the creator. That’s called “stealing”, “plagiarism” or “piracy” and it stinks. Now, if the bills were designed to catch and punish only those ne’er-do-wells, all would be great, and only thieves would be complaining. However, that’s not how these bills are written: instead, they are sweeping legislation that essentially allow the government’s dragnet to be cast far and wide to snare those committing these kinds of crimes, while at the same time, ensnaring innocent business owners in the melee. Oh, and all without due process. These are your neighbors, other business owners, maybe even YOU, caught in a net for no reason other than having your site on the Internet. Scary stuff.

Bye-bye website, bye-bye business, bye-bye world, because let’s face it, the Internet as we know it has opened up the entire world to us.

Please take a moment to read up on these bills and make your voice heard. Here is one list of sites going”dark” today in support of stopping these bills as they’re written. If you’d like a snippet of code that we used to help support this, you’ll find it here. The folks at Torbit did a great job developing it.

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