EDITED TO ADD: See below the original post for updates.
I'm sure readers are aware of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), currently being debated in Congress, and its companion bill, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), which is being debated in the Senate. They haven't received very much attention from the mainstream media, largely because the companies that own the mainstream media want the Acts to be passed. Unfortunately, the Acts represent a very serious danger to our First Amendment rights, and are inimical to free speech. (I urge you to follow those two links and read the details for yourself.)
That being the case, Reddit has taken the lead in urging Web sites and operators to "go on strike" on Wednesday, January 18th, 2012, in protest against these Acts. SOPA comes up for a vote in Congress on January 24th. It's hoped that sufficient opposition, expressed sufficiently strongly, will persuade our Representatives to reject it. A Web site, Sopastrike.com, has been set up to spread the word about the "strike". You'll find a list there of all the companies and Web sites supporting this initiative. It's also hosting an online petition to express opposition to these acts.
I fully support this initiative. I'd like to urge my fellow bloggers to do the following:
- Show your support by "going on strike" on Wednesday, January 18th. Don't post any articles except one outlining the dangers posed by SOPA and PIPA, and asking your readers to contact their Congressional representatives and Senators, urging them to vote against these acts. (If you can put up this Sopastrike overlay [I'm not sure Blogger will allow that], please do so as well; otherwise, please link to that page.)
- Put up a link to Sopastrike.com, and ask your readers to sign the e-petition.
Please, dear readers, spread the word to your friends and colleagues about this: and please contact your Representative and Senators to express your opposition to these crony-capitalism laws, which threaten to further restrict our already-endangered Constitutional rights.
UPDATE #1 - January 16th, 2012, 11.55 p.m.: It looks at this time as if the "strike" will go ahead. Wikipedia is indicating it'll proceed with its shutdown, and other sites that previously announced their participation have not yet said they will withdraw, even though the two bills in the House and Senate have been shelved for now. (Of course, that doesn't mean they can't be brought back at any time, or attached to some other piece of legislation and slipped through by the back door.) If the "strike" goes ahead, I'll be participating. I'll post another update tomorrow evening.
UPDATE #2 - January 17th, 2012, 12.55 p.m.: The "strike" is on, according to a report at Politico. I've posted an updated article about it here, and I'll be participating in the "strike".