Pending US legislation – SOPA & PIPA – is the wrong answer to the wrong question
The Internet is an unparalleled platform for innovation, activism and self-expression that creates opportunities, growth and jobs in the U.S. and around the world. In fact, without the Internet’s global access, robust architecture, and freedom of speech, the likes of Wikipedia, YouTube and the Arab Spring probably never would have happened, or would have been very different.
But all this is now at risk because of pending draconian legislation in the U.S. Congress – the ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ (SOPA) and the ‘Protect IP Act’ (PIPA) – as the following video from Fight for the Future explains beautifully…
So on January 18, to protest against this misguided SOPA / PIPA legislation, dotSUB will join hundreds of other websites like Wikipedia, Mozilla, WordPress, Reddit, Twitpic, BoingBoing by going “dark.” The dotSUB homepage will be black for 24 hours with links only to US Congressional representatives to show how constricted the Internet under these over-reaching ‘anti-piracy’ regulations would be. (Our full functionality, inside pages, embedded videos, plugins, APIs and the dotSUB Translation Content Management System used by our customers will remain available during the protest.)
As drafted, this legislation would grant the government and private parties unprecedented power to interfere with the Internet’s underlying infrastructure. What that will do is compromise Internet security, inhibit online expression, and slow growth and job creation in the technology sector. The Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind Wikipedia, provides a detailed analysis of how SOPA will hurt the Internet.
SOPA / PIPA are simply the wrong answer to the wrong question, is also how Tim O’Reilly, founder & CEO of O’Reilly Media, puts it. We agree. It is the wrong question because piracy will never be stopped by new regulations when innovative pirates can satisfy global consumer demand at much lower prices or for free, and those corporations that could legally supply those products and services will not. And it is the wrong answer because the innovations in technology and business models which the Internet fosters will no longer be feasible due to unlimited liabilities that would become possible with SOPA.
What can you do?
1. If you are a U.S. citizen, please contact your representative now to express your disagreement with the proposed legislation!
2. If you are in New York City on January 18 at 12:30pm, come join us for the Emergency Meeting of the NY Tech Meetup to protest outside the offices of U.S. Senators Schumer and Gillibrand at 780 3rd Ave.
3. If you are fluent in languages other than English, and passionate about open, public and global Internet sustainability, please volunteer to translate the short video “SOPA / PIPA Break The Internet” from above. It is very easy to do, and this tutorial shows you how.
4. If you are a citizen of another country, check if similar legislation is being introduced, and make your voice heard!
Meanwhile, let’s protest these unwanted U.S. laws together on January 18!