I’ve been educating myself as much as possible about SOPA. The consequences for truly valuable and well-meaning information sources could be staggering. As an information junkie, I’m terrified at the thought of this act passing.
If your favorites sites have gone dark today, consider watching this informative video:
I got that video from a wonderful post on Open Culture, which nicely sums up the problem for those who haven’t heard about it:
Backed by the Motion Picture Association of America, SOPA is designed to debilitate and effectively shut down foreign-based websites that sell pirated movies, music and other goods. That all sounds fine on the face of things. But the legislation, if enacted, would carry with it a series of unexpected consequences that could change the internet as we know it. Among other things, the law could be used to shut down American sites that unwittingly host or link to illegal content — and without giving the sites due process, a real day in court. Big sites like YouTube and Twitter could fall under pressure, and so could countless small sites. Needless to say, that could have a serious chilling effect on the openness of the web and free speech.
Please take a moment to sign this petition.
Kudos to Wikipedia and the other major sites going dark today in protest (I wish facebook had taken action and gone offline with an informative message about the issue…sadly, that probably would have gotten FAR more people to pay attention).