If you are seeing this, it is because you are here before 8 AM or after 8 PM Eastern Time January 18, 2012 because I am joining many other bloggers and websites in the blackout to protest the SOPA and PIPA bills that are moving through Congress. Why should a kitty care about what is going on in Washington, DC… and why should you care? Because it would destroy the internet as you know it.
Boing Boing has a great explanation about what would happen if these bills were to pass into law. I will quote directly from that page here because they will be blacked out today and you might not be able to see it otherwise:
“Boing Boing could never co-exist with a SOPA world: we could not ever link to another website unless we were sure that no links to anything that infringes copyright appeared on that site. So in order to link to a URL on LiveJournal or WordPress or Twitter or Blogspot, we’d have to first confirm that no one had ever made an infringing link, anywhere on that site. Making one link would require checking millions (even tens of millions) of pages, just to be sure that we weren’t in some way impinging on the ability of five Hollywood studios, four multinational record labels, and six global publishers to maximize their profits.
“If we failed to take this precaution, our finances could be frozen, our ad broker forced to pull ads from our site, and depending on which version of the bill goes to the vote, our domains confiscated, and, because our server is in Canada, our IP address would be added to a US-wide blacklist that every ISP in the country would be required to censor.”
Many of the very same things could happen to me, even though I’m just a kitty. Or rather, it could happen to my human, who manages my food and living arrangements. And it’s not just fun sites like mine or Boing Boing — this also impacts your freedom to protest against anything you believe to be wrong and your ability to connect with like-minded humans, whether it is concerns a disease you have or an app you are making.
Why would anyone support such an awful thing? The entertainment conglomerates think it will put an end to piracy, but they are wrong because humans who commit illegal acts will do them no matter what. For example, sending out spam emails is against the law, but it is still going on! The bottom line is the entertainment industry was too lazy and slow to adjust to the changes brought about by the internet and they are now suffering for it. But instead of using their sizable resources to adapt and adjust to this now not-so-new reality, they are trying to cripple it.
Don’t let this happen! Contact your congress people and let them know they must say no to SOPA and PIPA! Time is of the essence — the Senate may vote on this as early as January 24! Click here for an easy way to contact Congress if you are in the US, or to contact the State Department if you are an international visitor.
Purrs and kitty thanks!