Why I support an Internet #Blackout Protest
If the Internet looks a little dark today, it’s because of the self imposed censorship in protest against SOPA and PIPA. I’ll be participating today in this protest, because both of these legislations are broken at the core, and threaten the very premise of the Internet itself (Not to mention SecondLife) on all levels by putting in the hands of corporate interests the right to circumvent due process and existing methods of piracy alleviation through the mere whim of corporate holders. It’s legislation that elevates the premise of Web 2.0 and social media to a Felony.
This is what SOPA and PIPA look like. Strangely, they may be the inspiration for Silent Hill 3
There will be no due process, no proof, and nothing short of total obliteration without recourse of entire websites and services online wholesale for the most trivial of infractions. The worst part about SOPA and PIPA, in any form they wish to take, is that neither will have any of the intended effects that they claim to have in curtailing piracy. If anything, they will both serve to actually destroy the Internet, and exasperate the problem ten fold through what is known as the Streisand Effect. (Note: Wikipedia is blacked out today Jan 17th in protest)
I do not support even an amended version of SOPA or PIPA, because at the root, they are both designed on a foundation that is a destructive premise. While I agree that piracy should be fought, I must concede that SOPA and PIPA are both the very wrong way to go about doing so.
They both represent an industry that would very much like to buy their way out of being a better company, and problem solving in the digital age, instead of evolving without the premise of stripping away freedom of speech and many other perfectly legal means.
If anything, PIPA and SOPA constitute one of the highest forms of insult to a free world.
SOPA, which is currently being considered in the House, purports to protect “prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property.” But this bill, along with the Senate version called PIPA that’s being put up for a vote on January 24, would likely destroy much of the creativity fostered by the Internet. It could cripple not only the sites you use today but also other companies that are part of the glorious thing we call the Internet through unintended consequence. That’s why Google, YouTube, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, Vimeo, Reddit, and many other companies and organizations are opposing this legislation.
While the recent statement from the Whitehouse condemning SOPA and PIPA is encouraging, that is not to say that an earmarked and amended version wouldn’t pass, much like the situation with the National Defense Authorization Act. As far as I am concerned, in any form, these pieces of legislation are both toxic and shouldn’t be considered at all, even in part.
If there is one thing we should know as gamers, it’s that you don’t kill zombies through apathy or doing half a job. They’ll just rise again and come back to bite you, and unless you suddenly like the taste of brains and the smell of rotten flesh, you better do the job right the first time. No, you have to make certain that those zombies don’t get back up looking for a meal at all if you want to win that fight.
I urge you to contact your member of congress and arm them with the tools needed to kill this zombie before it’s too late, before the Internet turns into a real life Silent Hill, and before places like Second Life are snuffed out of existence entirely in what constitutes a corporate pissing match.
This is your fight, and in the immortal words of Dan Brown – Please don’t be a zombie.
Today I’ll be joining that protest. I won’t be updating Twitter, Google+, Facebook, etc… and this single blog entry is my explanation for anyone who is curious as to why. If anyone needs me, I’ll still be available in Skype for the day.