Today, across America, there are sweeping protests against a pair of anti-piracy bills, SOPA and PIPA. The Stop Online Piracy Act (the House version of the bill) and the Protect IP ACT (Senate version) would give such widespread power to authorities that many content-providing businesses feel it is unconstitutional and threatening to online industry.
Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, Cheezeburger, The Oatmeal, and others are either blacking out their sites or doing similar awareness campaigns today. Nilay Patel of The Verge said it well in their post this morning,
…Although our company invests heavily in producing premium content, we feel SOPA is overbroad, dangerous to the technical operation of the internet, and will ultimately cost us more in compliance costs than it might save by “protecting” our work. It's a bad law, and we think it needs to be stopped.
Tech Cocktail opposes SOPA and PIPA too. If you'd like to protest SOPA and PIPA, here are a few simple ways.
- Google – Google has started a mass petition against both PIPA and SOPA, which takes only a few seconds to fill out.
- POPVOX – This Washington DC-based startup makes it very easy to to show your opposition to both PIPA and SOPA (separate pages) by sending a message directly to your representative. Note: the Google and POPVOX forms of protest aren't redundant as the former is a petition and the latter is a message sent directly to your representative.
- Contact your representative directly – It's an election year; your representative is listening. Let your representative know that you won't stand for laws that infringe upon your rights. Wikipedia has made it easy for you to quickly find your representative's phone number and Twitter account.