The Coupon Snob goes on strike against PIPA & SOPA January 18th, 2012

by on January 17, 2012 in Personal Experiences

I posted about this on Facebook briefly today, but wanted to write a full post so that email subscribers will know what’s going on tomorrow if they try to visit my site (today if you’re reading this in your email).

On January 18, 2012, many websites, including mine, will be striking against current legislation known as PIPA and SOPA.

SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act and the other is Protect-IP Act.

On Jan 24th, Congress will vote to pass internet censorship in the Senate, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill – PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House – to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity.

What’s this mean, exactly?

The government wants to be able to control all sorts of information and action on the internet, specifically as it pertains to anything with a copyright or related to intellectual property. They want to work with private companies to create a blacklist of sites that need to be censored. They would be the ones to decide this, of course.

A lot of web content would fall under the watchful eye of this group if the bill passes:

  • The video you posted on Facebook of your cat running around with music in the background? Possibly illegal. Oh yeah, and Facebook would probably be gone, too.
  • Crazy YouTube videos of kids lip syncing to their favorite songs? Possibly illegal. Oh wait, YouTube would be gone, too.
  • The Coupon Snob providing free publicity for a brand by linking to parts of their website and using a product picture to share about a coupon promotion? Possibly illegal. Heck, all my social media would be gone, too.

Anything AT ALL that would have any tie to copyrighted material, NO MATTER HOW SMALL, would be potentially illegal, the site could be shut down, and the voice silenced.

I’m serious. They want to control everything on the web, from IP addresses to the content we create and link to. They want to censor our free speech, our ideas, and the creative platforms we’ve built to share them.

I’m not in favor of the U.S. government controlling any more than they already do.

Some of the big websites, like Google and Wikipedia, are protesting by “blacking out” their sites or posting other types of information in protest to the bills being considered.

I’m small fries compared to most of the sites out there, but my opinion about all of this matters just as much. It isn’t that I don’t think movie and music piracy is an issue, but there has got to be another way to solve the issue. What they’re doing amounts to tearing down the rest of the world wide web to fix something that is no longer fixable.

Need/want more info on SOPA and PIPA?

Here are some links that might help explain things:

http://sopastrike.com – organizers of the strike and a petition, have also posted a list of some participating websites

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future – good video explanation

http://americancensorship.org/ – write to congress, sign the petition. They’ve created a lot of good videos, too.

http://sopacountdown.com – tracking it as it happens

I’ll see you all back here on the 19th.


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