The Internet is Going on Strike

You may or may not know about the SOPA/PIPA bills that are floating around Washington right now. If you’re like I am, you let the latest political buzz make a little noise without really taking much interest at first. But after a while, certain bills make me sit up and take notice. This is one of them.

SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act. That was the House’s version. The Senate has it’s own take on the matter and they call it the Protect IP Act (PIPA). PIPA basically gives the government the authority to block people’s access to any site that a corporation doesn’t like. It allows corporations and the government the authority to censor websites and cut off advertising and payments if they deem necessary.

Stop SOPA: Internet Goes on Strike

For example, in an effort to block movie piracy and illegal downloading of music, the record label or film company can sue any website where piracy is taking place (YouTube anyone? Facebook?) It would also mean any individual can face a 4 year prison sentence for posting music to their blog. (Um, excuse me?!?!)

Now hear me out. I don’t support media piracy. I don’t think it’s worth it to sell your character for the few bucks the music or movie costs. But these bills have far reaching effects that will give the government and big corporations way too much power. And do you really think this will stop hackers? (Let’s all say it together . . . no.)

Check out this video that explains it all in simple layman terms and graphic representations:

SOPA Strike: Laurel of Leaves is Joining

So here’s the deal, peeps. Starting at 8am eastern (7am central) TOMORROW, January 18, 2012, this site will be joining thousands of others in a blackout protest against the SOPA and PIPA bills. The strike will end at 8pm eastern (7pm central). That means no one will be able to access the content on this site for 12 hours.

In that time, there are tons of things YOU can do to make your voice heard:

  1. If you are a blogger and want to join the strike, check out the JavaScript to make it happen or the WordPress plugin.
  2. Tweet about this using the #SOPASTRIKE hashtag.
  3. Link up to this page on your Facebook profile.
  4. Contact your Congressmen and express your opposition to these bills.

Happy Striking!

What do you think of the SOPA & PIPA bills? Are you joining the strike?