Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Grateful to speak

January 18th - Stop SOPA Day. Today, I am grateful for my freedom of speech.

I'm not the rioting type. More like the I'm-quite-content-with-what-I-have-so-thanks-but-no-thanks-type.

But if you have not heard or seen the protest against SOPA and PIPA, then let me break it down for you:

Congress is trying to pass a bill that will try to control piracy and copyright infringement specifically on the internet. Ah, the internet. It is the ultimate platform for learning, sharing, and communicating. It gives everyone a voice.

But it gives EVERYONE a voice. Sometimes there needs to be standards, some sort of guideline that prevents individuals from stealing content while protecting the originator's creations, something that works to limit stolen property without limiting freedom of speech rights.

Bills like SOPA and PIPA seem to have a gray lining to their intent to censoring the content on the internet. In the quest for protecting original content, these bills threaten to wipe out any hint of unoriginal content - which is to say, many of our personal social media sites where we sing our favorite songs or share funny articles with friends may be infringing based on these bills.

Sites like Pinterest or YouTube or Wikipedia could be in danger and a lot of people may be facing possible lawsuits or even jail time. 

There is a big concern with the government having the ability to block certain sites or limit viewing, much like how other countries have limited access to information - our world would be a different place with a scaled down internet. It would be like being limited to the little kids menu while the adults have a large array of fancy smancy choices. Do you want to only get to choose between chicken nuggets and mac & cheese?!!?!

There needs to be a clearer definition to limiting the internet, and if these bills do not offer the right answers - we, the internet, must provide our opinions.

Take action! We have a voice and we need to let it be heard! (Cheesy but true) Sign petitions, call your Senators, share this information, bottom line: do what the internet had intended you to do, make yourself heard.

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