I am so incredibly busy right now, mostly doing stuff I’d rather not be doing*, but I’m going to take a moment to stop all that and urge you to read this:
In a nutshell, SOPA and PIPA make it possible for large corporations to basically control the web. Let’s suppose that I put up a picture of Mickey Mouse. Under current laws, Disney could send me a letter telling me to take it down, or they will sue me for copyright infringement. If I don’t want to be sued, I will simply take the image down. If I want to make a federal case about it, then I would say “go ahead, sue me,” which they presumably would. My lawyers would urge me to take it down, I don’t, we go to court, their lawyers beat up my lawyers, I lose the case, and I take the picture down, which is what I should have done in the first place.
Under SOPA, however, there is no need to go to court, or even for Disney** to send me a letter. They simply have to tell my webhost that I am in violation of SOPA and to shut down my site. My webhost would have to comply. Instead of just taking down the offending image (or sound clip, or movie clip, or whatever), they would take down all of my sites, including:
- www.kjodle.net ***
- blog.kjodle.net ***
- bookblog.kjodle.net ***
- scienceblog.kjodle.net ***
That’s rather a lot for the reading public (i.e., YOU) to lose because of one little image. They don’t even have to take me to court. They can just order my webhost company to shut me down. The point is that large corporations can shut down any site that says something they don’t like. If I want to say that a certain cola tastes like sweetened cat pee, they can shut me down if I mention them by name, because their name is a trademark.
Under United States jurisprudence, the accused is always assumed innocent until they are proven guilty. The burden of proof is on the accuser. SOPA and PIPA completely turn this principle on its head. Under SOPA/PIPA, it is enough just to be accused. The days of scarlet letters and witch burnings will have returned.
So please join me in contacting those official who can put a stop to this. For more information, see the links below:
*I would love to have all this done so that I can get back to doing what I want to do, so send me any spare time/mana you’ve got, okay?
**I don’t mean to single out Disney here, when in fact any and all large corporations could do this.
***These sites will be blacked out on 18 January 2012.