Like many sites across the internet, pixelscribbles will be blacking out on January 18 from 8am to 8pm Eastern US time in protest of proposed US legislation that ostensibly seeks to stop online piracy but would ultimately result in curtailing free speech across the world.
I’ll be using the SOPA Blackout WordPress plugin. However, I wasn’t a fan of the default intro text, so I wrote my own. Here’s what I came up with; please feel free to use it yourself. I encourage writing your statement in your own words if you can, though; that makes it all the more powerful.
pixelscribbles.com is currently blacked out in protest of SOPA and PIPA, two fundamentally flawed pieces of legislation currently being considered by the US government. If enacted, these bills or others like them would have far-reaching consequences across the globe. Their flawed reasoning and careless wording would give censorship power to corporations, blocking the free flow of information from country to country, isolating us from one another. It would put US citizens’ knowledge of important events such as the Arab Spring in jeopardy. You can watch the video below for more information, and this blog post summarizes the timeline of events. I’m including links to more information below.
Many of the sites I’m linking to are likely blacked out in protest today–Wikipedia is just one such example. If that’s the case, please save the links and read them later.
SOPA, HR 3261: The Stop Online Piracy Act, was until recently being discussed in the US House of Representatives. It has been shelved, for now, due to the online backlash.
PIPA, S. 968: The Protect IP Act, is a bill in the US Senate with similar problems. This bill has not yet been shelved.
Here is more detailed information and analysis about the bills:
- Joi Ito: Why we need to stop SOPA and PIPA
- Reddit: A technical examination of SOPA and PROTECT IP
- Mashable: Why SOPA is dangerous
- The Guardian: Stop Sopa or the web really will go dark
While this legislation has many supporters in the entertainment industry (click here for a list as of January 14), many other companies have come out against it, including Facebook, Twitter, Google, Mozilla, Wikipedia, and Reddit. Here are a few articles on the subject:
- Facebook, Twitter, Google, Mozilla, join together against SOPA
- Silicon Valley execs blast SOPA in open letter
- Reddit: Stopped they must be; on this all depends.
Where do your Senators and Representatives stand on PIPA and SOPA? Click here to find out. You can then use the form below to contact the people who are supposed to be representing your interests, not the interests of big companies.