Greywulf’s Lair will join countless others on January 18th and blackout in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
These acts undermine the US Constitution and eliminate the burden of proof required in law. All that is required is to claim that an act of copyright infringement has taken place, and these acts can be used to force the “infringing” domain to be taken down. There is no presumption of innocence, and no recourse in law.
If, like me, you are outside the US these acts still affect you. They could be used to take down entire sites such as YouTube, Flickr and Twitter, and it is expected that amoral companies (let’s face it, there’s a lot of them about) will use these acts to disrupt their competitor’s freedom to trade online by “erroneously” claiming copyright infringement. Such companies already use the DMCA to take down bad reviews of their products and services. If you think that the DMCA is bad, SOPA/PIPA is worse.
These acts must be stopped, now. If you are in the US you can make a difference. Go to your Town Hall, contact your Senator and spread the word through local media (the national media, strangely, is silent about the impacts of SOPA – mainly because it is owned by the pro-SOPA lobby).
If you are outside the US, join the protest. Show the world what an internet where whole websites can be taken down on a whim looks like. Contact your domain registrar and find out their stance regarding SOPA. If they support it, move.
If you use WordPress, install the SOPA Blackout Plugin and join the protest. This will not affect your search engine rankings in any way.
Wherever you live, this affects you. Help stop SOPA/PIPA.
Spread the word.
Thanks for listening.
UPDATE: The DNS provision has been pulled from SOPA. This is excellent news, but it is not over until both SOPA and PIPA are well and truly dead!