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Internet Blackout

Blue Lochiel has gone dark for January 18, 2012 to protest SOPA/PIPA and Internet Censorship. The text of this notice will remain here after the blackout.

While piracy is a problem, giving large entities the power to silence websites is not the answer. We have already seen how the DMCA can have a chilling effect on Free Speech. The DMCA’s implementation allowed lawsuit happy organisations to have content removed from the web without proving that copyright infringement had taken place. With SOPA/PIPA that will be expanded to entire websites. Web forums, personal blogs, social media sites… all would be under threat of SOPA/PIPA takedown due to a user linking content.

The only people who would benefit from SOPA/PIPA would be Rights Holders (not even the Content Creators, but the Rights Holders) who are unable to change their business model to deal with the realities of the modern world. It would create a Pay To Play internet, where Content Creators would have to seek approval of competing Rights Holders, or face huge legal fee’s while their website was down. It would stifle innovation and destroy the modern age of information in order to preserve the business model of the last era.

Blue Lochiel is down because I am unable to afford a lawyer to prove my innocence every time I am accused of piracy, especially in a system that does not place the burden of proof upon the accusers, does require a trial, and does not punish false accusations.

The fact is that most American’s opposed SOPA/PIPA. But because Congress is listening to lobbiest and not their constituents, this ugly piece of legislation is being pushed forward. Unless your Congressional Rep. is Jared Polis, please give their office a call. Ask to speak with the Legislative Associate in charge of the issue and give them an earful about destroying the Internet.

Shamus Young has a good commentary about SOPA/PIPA on his website.  Reddit has a great technical breakdown of the two bills. Might as well go read them and educate yourself. The Internet is down today.

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