What’s SOPA and PIPA?
SOPA and PIPA are two bills that are currently in the Senate and House of Representatives. These bills basically censor the Internet for copyright infringement. The bills give the government the right to shut down sites that let people download games, movies, and TV shows illegally. However, the bills are written so vaguely that it will do more than that. The bills enable the government to shut down any site that they feel do not filter the material well enough. And that could mean us. Book bloggers.
Still don’t get it? Watch this informative video. The people over at Fight for the Future do a much better job explaining why you need to get involved.
How does SOPA and PIPA affect me as a blogger?
SOPA and PIPA give the government and the entertainment industry the right to shut down your site if they feel you are not doing whatever it takes to prevent Internet piracy. Because of the ambiguous writing of the bills, to the wrong judge, something as simple as expressing yourself through copyrighted material – whether it be a clip from a video or an image – your website is vulnerable of being shut down.
Some things that are as simple as:
- Posting a book trailer or movie trailer
- Image to a book or movie
- An excerpt
can make you a target of SOPA and PIPA.
The Internet was built to be free and without regulation from the government. It is our space to voice our concerns, create something new, and share our creations with others.
But I don’t live in the United States!
Just because you do not live in the United States, it does not mean that SOPA and PIPA will not affect you. Many hosting companies and domain name companies are based in the United States. SOPA and PIPA grant the right to shut down your hosting service or your domain name even if you as an owner do not live in the United States.
Social media websites such as Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and YouTube are all based in the United States and can easily be seen as a target by the two bills.
Furthermore, if SOPA and PIPA are passed, the United States is very likely to influence other countries to write up their own Internet censorship bills.
Voice Your Concern
Tomorrow, January 18th 2012, I will join the fight against Internet Censorship by blacking out my site.
And most importantly, spread the word. This affects us all.