Wednesday, January 18, 2012

S.O.P.A. & P.I.P.A.

Imagine a world where you have to worry before talking about your favorite musician, reviewing a local restaurant, or criticizing a political candidate online. With legislation like SOPA and PIPA making its way through the House and Senate, we are on the verge of these worries becoming a realty. These systemic changes would forever allow censors to determine whether a person's thoughts and words deserve to be on the internet. Under the guise of ending Piracy, certain big businesses are pressuring the government to take complete control of the internet rather than adapt to the new economic opportunities and difficulties. Below is an open letter going around from various Artists and Creative Professionals expressing their oppostion to SOPA, PIPA and any similarly oppressive proposals.

An open letter to Washington from Artists and Creators

We, the undersigned, are musicians, actors, directors, authors, and producers. We make our livelihoods with the artistic works we create. We are also Internet users.
We are writing to express our serious concerns regarding the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
As creative professionals, we experience copyright infringement on a very personal level. Commercial piracy is deeply unfair and pervasive leaks of unreleased films and music regularly interfere with the integrity of our creations. We are grateful for the measures policymakers have enacted to protect our works.
We, along with the rest of society, have benefited immensely from a free and open Internet. It allows us to connect with our fans and reach new audiences. Using social media services like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, we can communicate directly with millions of fans and interact with them in ways that would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.
We fear that the broad new enforcement powers provided under SOPA and PIPA could be easily abused against legitimate services like those upon which we depend. These bills would allow entire websites to be blocked without due process, causing collateral damage to the legitimate users of the same services — artists and creators like us who would be censored as a result.
We are deeply concerned that PIPA and SOPA’s impact on piracy will be negligible compared to the potential damage that would be caused to legitimate Internet services. Online piracy is harmful and it needs to be addressed, but not at the expense of censoring creativity, stifling innovation or preventing the creation of new, lawful digital distribution methods.
We urge Congress to exercise extreme caution and ensure that the free and open Internet, upon which so many artists rely to promote and distribute their work, does not become collateral damage in the process.
  • Aziz Ansari
  • Kevin Devine, Musician
  • Barry Eisler, Author
  • Neil Gaiman, Author
  • Lloyd Kaufman, Filmmaker
  • Zoë Keating, Musician
  • The Lonely Island
  • Daniel Lorca, Musician (Nada Surf)
  • Erin McKeown, Musician
  • MGMT
  • Samantha Murphy, Musician
  • OK Go
  • Amanda Palmer, Musician (The Dresden Dolls)
  • Quiet Company
  • Trent Reznor
  • Adam Savage, Special Effects Artist (MythBusters)
  • Hank Shocklee, Music Producer (Public Enemy, The Bomb Squad)
  • Johnny Stimson, Musician
  • Matt Katz, Creator of
I hope its not illegal that I straight up added myself to the bottom of the list. I do however agree that broad legislation on an infinite and dynamic community such as the internet could have devastating effects on people's ability to speak their minds without fear of being censored or punished. Formulate your own opinion by doing your own research

Today's song is blacked out, just like much of the rest of the internet. But enjoy being serenaded by some of the history's foremost punks and dissidents, The Clash. Strummer would NEVER have let anything like this happen.

The Clash - Clamp Down

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