I’m going to have Barry Manilow in my head all. Damn. Day.
Er, anyway. This is a linkspam post. As you’ve no doubt noted from the many, many sites that have chosen to “go dark” today (in some cases only for US browsers), there’s a little bit of a protest going on, over extremely harmful internet regulation laws that may soon be passed by the US Congress. I’m not going dark myself; IMO that sort of protest is primarily effective for the most ubiquitous sites on the internet, not esoteric little hideaways like mine. But I’m doing what I can to spread the word, because I’m fully against SOPA and PIPA. So here’s some stuff you might want to read:
- A cute little animation that explains SOPA and PIPA and why they don’t do squat to stop piracy, but will in fact give corporations and the government a very dangerous degree of control over the internet.
- Here’s another, at The Oatmeal, folks who are known for cute little graphics and animations that make complex stuff sensible.
- I’m not going dark, but that doesn’t mean you can’t! Cory Doctorow’s how-to, for those who want to darken their websites.
- From the above link, a timeline that explains how these crappy bills got rolling. Many more links there, including links to the Congressional votes that show which legislators have been for or against. Something to keep in mind when next you vote.
- The EFF’s protest site, which contains a handy script to allow you to write to your Congressional rep and state your opposition.
Now, I’m aware that there are some well-known people who support this legislation, probably because they stand to gain a dangerous level of control over the internet and a weapon against their competition if it passes. But I figure there are probably a few individuals out there who support it just because they think it’s right. However, while I’m normally willing to consider alternative opinions on most subjects, I’m also aware that the entertainment industry — which is pushing these bills via lobbying — has deployed mass numbers of marketing shills to try and influence opinion wherever discussions of the matter pop up. Here’s the thing, though: these bills are really indefensible. They don’t make sense for their stated purpose (though they make a great deal of sense for a variety of unstated purposes). Sure, I’m a writer, and I’m poor; I’m not in favor of having my copyrighted work distributed freely by/to people who could pay for it, nor do I like having control of my work threatened by copyright infringement. But y’know… improving my ability to make a living does not require the wholesale destruction of free speech and the breaking of the internet. I mean, really. That’s a bit much. I’m perfectly willing to entertain other ideas on how to protect copyright/artists in the comments, but not dumb ideas. Therefore pro-SOPA/PIPA commenters will be on a very short leash, and if you start sounding like a press release, I’ll shut you down. You have been warned.