Fax your people in Congress about SOPA/PIPA

I used this website to send a free fax to my Senators and Representatives about SOPA/PIPA. The fax started out with a generic blurb, but there was a section where I could add my own thoughts. Here’s what I wrote:

Copyright holders already have ways to deal with infringing content, through the courts. Their real problem is their refusal to eschew their dated business practices and their insistence upon running to the government for help rather than finding better ways to market and distribute their content. Please don’t reward this backwards thinking by using taxpayer money on even more big government.

Blacking out tomorrow

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:

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:

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.

Megatokyo frenzy!

Today, Scott Kurtz posts a reaction to the Internet furor over his snipe at Megatokyo (quoted here).

Mega-blow up

It looks like there’s been a lot of fall out from the stupid joke I cracked this weekend about the parting of Megatokyo founders Rodney Caston and Fred Gallagher. First, Fred vomited up this big “confessional”, followed by a sort of apology for over reacting. Then Rodney’s blog got slammed by Fred haters and my inbox got flooded with people who wanted me to do everything from issue a written apology to prepare for a lawsuit over my “slanderous actions.”

The internet means never having to forget what highschool was like.

I have to tell you, I think Kurtz is hilarious. He is almost an Internet badass.

I say “almost” because (at least, according to this guy) he removed his original post about MT. A real badass would, like Eric Burns, stand by his words, whatever they were. This has the bonus effect of making you, perhaps, think before speaking.

I have personally decided never to delete anything off my site, though my reasons are more egotistical than anything. Basically, I love myself, and I want to share all my thoughts with the world. All of them. Even the ones that would hurt people. Which is why I didn’t delete this post, or this one, or this one, even though I hurt people’s feelings with them. Ultimately, I’m leaving them there for history, so that my biographers will have a complete picture of what kind of person I was.

(Please don’t call the guys in white coats on me for expecting to have biographers. It’s my happy ego-dream.)

Since those three posts I have been more careful about what I write here, thinking long and hard before mentioning someone by name. That’s a part of who I am, too; while I’m not fond of censoring myself, I realize that this journal isn’t just for me and my biographers. It’s read by people right now, and I have to respect those people.

How far can you go? That’s a question I’ve struggled with; the line is being constantly negotiated by every single person who self-publishes on the Internet. But to me, making a hurtful post is less of an offense than deleting a post. The first is excusable (and even funny, like Kurtz’s rants), but the second just seems like lying, or covering up the evidence. Once something’s been published, you can’t ever take it back. Not in the Information Age. Trying to do so only makes you seem untrustworthy.

So that, my friends, is my one and only beef with Scott Kurtz’s rants.