Why SOPA and PIPA Must Die

Today, you’re going to hear a million solid reasons why SOPA and PIPA — the two proposed bills sponsored by the entertainment industry to censor the web — have to die. Wikipedia, Google, Reddit, craigslist, Metafilter, and many, many more have made their cases. Here’s mine.

Virtually every project I’ve ever worked on is threatened by this legislation:

Upcoming.org faced copyright complaints for event posters and listings that users added to the site.

Kickstarter gets DMCA takedowns from artists who find their work used in pitch videos, and from project founders quarreling with each other.

Supercut.org indexes hundreds of video remixes that reuse copyrighted content.

Kind of Bloop faced a lawsuit over the cover art.

And here on Waxy.org, I’ve had a number of battles over copyright. Among them, I received a cease-and-desist from EMI for being the first person to host DJ Danger Mouse’s Grey Album on the web, from Disney for hosting the Kleptones’ Night at the Hip-Hopera, and from Bill Cosby for hosting House of Cosbys, which was clearly fair use as a parody.

Every cease-and-desist and DMCA request I’ve received wasn’t fun to get in my inbox, but it allowed me to deal with the issues directly with the copyright holder or using the due process of the court system.

Imagine, instead, a world where a bill like SOPA or PIPA passes. A copyright holder could bypass due process entirely, demanding that search engines stop linking to my sites, ad providers drop me, and force DNS providers not to resolve my domain name. All in the name of stopping piracy.

The chilling effect would be huge.

Every online community that allows for community-contributed content — discussion forums, imageboards, Usenet newsgroups, photo sharing communities, video sites, and many more — would be forced to pre-emptively self-censor, shut down, or risk getting blown off the net entirely.

That fucking sucks.

Everything I love about the web requires the unfettered freedom to build new ways to let people express themselves, and with that, comes the risk of copyright infringement.

Breaking the web isn’t a solution.

Please take 10 minutes today to call your representatives — or show up in person! –and let them know you won’t stand for this. SOPA and PIPA must die.

5 thoughts on “Why SOPA and PIPA Must Die

  1. I agree SOPA and PIPA must die it is going to do little but stunt the creativity of the masses it only really advantages the big media companies who probably started as small time directors, song writers or programmers. These bills will destroy sites such as funny junk (a prominent source of my entertainment) just for using images that don’t have direct authorization from the original creator

    Where do you think most of the internet’s meme’s come from

  2. I am just amazed at the whole thing!! I thought there were already laws in place regarding this??? I know on some of the sites that I watch movies or shows on they will immediately take them down if there is a complaint. Plus they have already put a stop to so many sites for, what I would call ‘sharing,’ their music. Personally, I think that it revolves around money. And stupidly they don’t realize that most of these sites are MAKING them money & it doesn’t cost them a dime! YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, etc…. is great way to get your music heard, your movies previewed/watched, and gives everyday people a chance to get noticed. It’s great advertising! Unless the main people pushing for SOPA and PIPA are putting out crappy movies and music, etc… & WE don’t get tricked into wasting our hard earned money & time watching/listening to junk.

    Times are rough & if I’m going to take my family to see a movie it better be well worth the $30-$40 dollars I’m spending (an additional $20-$30 for popcorn & drinks).

    As far as buying music – I’m so glad you don’t have to buy the whole CD anymore! You just buy the songs you like – or listen to them online. Oh, and a warning about buying digital music through Amazon – you can only download it once! Doesn’t matter if you ipod was stolen, they won’t let you download it a second time!

  3. I agree SOPA and PIPA are trying to take away the WWW from everyone they have censored freesteam.org (Where i download G-Mod Stuff) T_T

  4. SOPA has officially ruined the internet AND the gaming world for me. They threatened to take you to jail for posting fanart and people got scared and deleted most of the amazing drawings people made! SOPA needs to cut the crap.

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