Yesterday I participated in the voluntary boycott against the SOPA and PIPA acts. Wikipedia, Google, Reddit, Wordpress, and even Mozilla along with other websites joined in along side ordinary people like myself and went dark. If you bounced around, I'm sure you saw the blacked out screens, or image blacked out like Google did to protest these acts. If you don't know why we did it, let me explain.
Imagine if every day on the internet was like yesterday. Sites gone or blacked out because their freedom was gone. YOUR freedom was gone. Congress is saying that they are trying to protect an industry, but it's only a veil in front of 1984 waiting to happen. Soon, anything you use that could be considered someone else's, like a picture for example, could land you in hot water. Not fun, right?
The U.S. government will have control over our free internet if these acts pass, which means rules and freedoms will be changed and taken away. Sure, there could be some good to come from this. But does that out weigh the bad? Will that good come at the price of our freedom? I'm not willing to risk it. No good can come out of Big Brother watching/policing the internet in this way.
They're wanting to crack down on people who pirate movies/music/books/and so on, you say. Well, I agree that's something that should be stopped, not like this. They're not wanting to go after the people who are pirating these things, they're wanting to go after the people who receive it. So, lets say for example that you win a free copy of Harry Potter from someone. You're excited, right? Well, what if they pirated that movie and to get it you must pay $5 for something to deal with the contest. The movie is a download. Guess what. The government is coming for YOU for downloading it.
But you didn't do anything! I know, but you downloaded it. You weren't the one who pirated it! Doesn't matter. You downloaded it and broke the law. You're the one in trouble and yet you weren't the one who started this whole mess.
Shouldn't they go after the one who actually pirated the movie? Yes, but it's so much easier to come after you. You, the downloader, should have known better. You should have known that it was pirated. You should have bought the movie yourself instead of thinking you could get something for a few bucks. After all, Hollywood needs more money and so does the government.
Lets face it folks. The people who pirate these things don't sale them online. They sale them out of the trunks of their cars or someplace where they won't get caught. It's going to be the innocent ones or the ones trying to save a buck who will be punished. The ones who are the start of the problem will be left free to do it all again. No lesson learned. Only profit made. This to me isn't right.
I'm not for breaking the law. In fact, I hate piracy. Go to your local library, rent the movie from Redbox, borrow a CD from a friend. There are many ways to get these things for free or very cheap. Piracy isn't the answer. These acts are also not the answer. I encourage all of you to contact your Congressmen/Congresswomen and let them know that you're not for these acts. Tell them that if they vote for it, then you will not vote for them. Your freedom depends on it.
Do you want that?
Crazy note: A friend told me this. Under SOPA, you could get 5 years for uploading a Michael Jackson song, one year more than the doctor who killed him.
Happy reading/writing everyone.