Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Online Protest Day

"Once the technical means of control have reached a certain size, a certain degree of being connected one to another, the chances for freedom are over for good. The word has ceased to have meaning."
- Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow, page 548
While I would never deny my three or four readers my website by going dark in protest, you should pay attention to the horrible bills working their way through the US Congress: PIPA and SOPA. As Barry Ritholz eloquently puts it:
It would greatly damage the linking structure of the internet, allowing companies to close down websites on flimsiest of premises. It would criminalize even pointing to any site that itself points to a site where there is a Copyright violation.
Over the years, the copyright cartel — this includes Disney and other major content companies — have bought themselves a Congress. They prevented works that were scheduled to enter the public domain, as envisioned in the US Constitution, from doing so.
SOPA is the latest attempt to censor the public’s access to independent information and manipulate copyright laws. The new law works to their own benefit and the public’s detriment.
Don't passively accept Pynchon's warnings about the dominance of technology, because IMO the battle is not yet over. Work to keep information free by killing off this poorly written legislation by signing the petition and contacting your representatives today.

Update: For a more detailed look at why the bills are so bad, check out Mashable's reporting on SOPA.

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