Thursday, January 19, 2012

SOPA and washing away freedoms

Don't be afraid of standing up for what is right. I know that most people are just concerned about their own lives, and little beyond that. Why risk standing up when it could ruin what you've worked for? And beyond that, the only reason some people will stand is because they are taking a stance of their own Id, going by what is most convenient to them. They don't want school uniforms because it creates more laundry for instance. Never mind that it can be restricting and even sexist to create uniforms for children.

With the protests happening in 2011, and by extension the protests online against S.O.P.A. and P.I.P.A., most people aren't going to take the time to worry about it. Someone else will get it. Someone else will stop it. I don't want to take half a minute to sign a petition. Let someone else do it.

And here we are in today's world, watching movies, reading books, thinking "Man, I wish I could stand up for stuff like that. Wouldn't it be so cool to have these morals that we stand by?" Maybe you don't think it, but I do. I wish that the world we live in was brought to think that personal morals are more important than personal gain. That sometimes freedom is more important.

I'm an American, and I know that Mick thinks that it's cool to never live in this country, but I love it. My family lives here, my father worked in the military for twenty years of his life, same as most of my aunts, uncles and cousins. I love to hear of how my founding fathers (a little literally; my line goes back all the way to Thomas Jefferson and beyond) created a land for those who wish to live freely. They set key rules down for us all to live by, and one of them included Freedom of Speech.

They lived in a time when the King could punish them just for speaking their minds. But now in today's world, we should live with no legal consequence to speak what we want when we want (unless what we say leads to some incriminating evidence.)

Until today. With SOPA and PIPA, if a company says that anything you post is infringing their copyright, then they will have the power to take away what you posted, as well as black out the whole site that it was posted on, including Wikipedia, icanhascheezeburger network, reddit, craigslist, ebay, etc. Not just the big piracy and torrenting websites, but if you even have a link that leads to a website that infringes copyright law, then you can be punished in the process.

Think of a world owned by companies. It's horrific. While online pirates should be punished for taking work and claiming it as their own, as well as passing it around for free when it is illegal, the ordinary person and online websites should not have to feel this threat of first amendment laws.

So please, write to your congressman, shout out to them, beg at the feet of even judges if the law gets passed, just make certain that these laws do not get passed. Our freedoms should not be at the whims of poorly written laws.