I’m no longer a huge political crusader–yeah, I used to be heavy into politics even to the point of being a delegate to a particular party’s state convention–but, these sorts of moves in national politics scare me out of my stupor sufficiently to bother all of you with them.  Regardless of your feelings on piracy, copyright, or fair use I can’t imagine someone who honestly believes that the internet ought to be–on any level–policed by the entertainment industry.   There has been a great deal of kerfluffle about new media vs. old media, blogs vs. newspapers, and wikileaks and the like in the past, but I think most of us would agree that the net’s ability to make information available for free, to democratize publishing, and allow for satire and commentary is its greatest strength.  Protect IP isn’t about keeping toddlers from porn sites, bomb-building instructions away from malcontents, or even preventing Rebecca Black from releasing anymore singles–it’s about allowing a private industry to censor the internet to protect its own corporate interests.

Art, literature, music, and video are the building blocks of our collective culture.  PIPA is nothing less than an elastic opening that will be stretched to its limit in order to allow a powerful few ever greater control over that collective culture and a powerful tool to silence critical speech in the future.

So what can you do?
If you’re a citizen of the United States, call your local representatives.  Calling and letter writing will always work better than email.  If you don’t know their number , use this site:
http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

Read up on the law so you can be informed of what is going on:
American Censorship
http://americancensorship.org/infographic.html
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/10/sopa-hollywood-finally-gets-chance-break-internet
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/10/house-takes-senates-bad-internet-censorship-bill-makes-it-worse.ars
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/05/sen-ron-wyden-to-place-a-hold-on-the-protect-ip-act.ars
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3261/show
http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-s968/show

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