This SOPA thing

I’m not a political blogger, and politics in the USA often feel like something going on on the backside of the moon to me, with everyone speaking in acronyms and referring to things I’ve never heard of, and assuming things I would never in a million years assume (because things are different over here.)

So I’m not going to attempt to make any sort of coherent summary of this, except to say that there appears to be a bill going through the American government at the moment which will give the American government or Hollywood, or someone, power to take down anyone’s website without any kind of due process if that website ever embeds or links to any kind of copyrighted content at all. (Eg, if I talk about seeing The Avengers, and include a YouTube video of the trailer, or a still from the film, to illustrate the post, that will be illegal and will mean my entire site can be taken down. I can only get it back by suing somebody in America.)

That’s my understanding, anyway. This appears to me to be a very bad thing, so I have signed a petition to stop the bill from going through. Here are some links to people who do appear to thoroughly understand what is going on, and can hopefully explain it better than me.

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2012/01/18/why-sopa-and-pipa-and-other-anti-piracy-bullshit-measures-matter-to-writers/

http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/013466.html

http://thehathorlegacy.com/stop-sopa-hollywoods-attempt-to-kidnap-what-google-has-rightfully-stolen/

http://thehathorlegacy.com/sopa-supply-and-demand-doesnt-work-anymore/

http://vimeo.com/31100268

http://sopablackout.org/learnmore/

Even if big corporations in the US can’t take down the sites of people in other countries (which I damn well hope they can’t) do we really want our friends in the US to be living under such a regime? I wouldn’t trust my government with the power to silence me at will, let alone some faceless unelected corporation.

It’s not too late to join the strike http://sopastrike.com/ but I’m not sure if I have the technical competence for that, so instead I’m passing on links and info, and suggesting that if you haven’t bothered reading about this yet, it might be a good time to start.

This is where I found the petition to sign http://americancensorship.org/ There is a “contact your senator” box for Americans and an “if you’re not from the US, sign here” box for everyone else.


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