Do you want to see YouTube go dark? Do you want Facebook to get shut down? That’s what can happen if SOPA passes. What is SOPA? Internet piracy legislation currently up for vote in the House and Senate. Samantha Smith, a Google spokeswoman, said this, “We oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet.” Apparently it’s people outside the US who are doing the damage, but Americans are the ones who will have to suffer when our government starts deciding what we can and can’t see on the Internet the way the Chinese government does.
As an indie author, I understand how piracy can cut into profits. But I also know that censorship is not the way to stop it. In fact, a determined thief will find his way around any preventative measures, which is why I don’t use DRM on my books. All it does is annoy the honest people who want to read on their choice of device.
I didn’t learn about this protest in time to prepare for it (yeah, I know, I’m living in a cave) but I want to show my support. You can read more about it from George Takei (Sulu from Star Trek) here.
There are plug-ins to re-direct you to the SOPA protest site or make your blog go dark, but I’m not sure how to use them. So I’m just going to leave you with this link so you can get more information and sign the petition.
To see a list of people and web sites who are participating (including Google and Wikipedia) go here and scroll down.
I said I would stay off Facebook today in protest, and I know this blog will post to that site, but I hope anyone reading it there will realize I’m using this as an opportunity to educate people on this topic.