Today, many of the blogs we visit went dark in protest of SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) proposed legislation that could potentially destroy the stunning innovation that has defined the internet. BoingBoing described it best:
“…the US Senate is considering legislation that would certainly kill us forever. The legislation is called the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), and would put us in legal jeopardy if we linked to a site anywhere online that had any links to copyright infringement.
This would unmake the Web, just as proposed in the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). We don’t want that world.”
Manhattan User’s Guide wrote:
“MUG fully supports the intellectual property rights of artists and companies but SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, is ham-fisted and inept legislation that would have far-reaching, deleterious effects to sites like MUG. Today we join the SOPA boycott and urge you to fight this proposed legislation.”
We urge you to sign a petition in opposition to these two acts, in advance of the Senate vote on January 24th.
It only takes a couple of minutes to make your voice heard. Help protect the ability of sites like ours to continue to bring you illuminating content. (Just scroll down our home page to see what’s in jeopardy. Imagine it GONE.)
For an instant “get”, check out An Open Letter from Top Innovators:
We’ve all had the good fortune to found Internet companies and nonprofits in a regulatory climate that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation, the creation of content and free expression online.
However we’re worried that the PROTECT IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act — which started out as well-meaning efforts to control piracy online — will undermine that framework.
These two pieces of legislation threaten to:
- Require web services, like the ones we helped found, to monitor what users link to, or upload. This would have a chilling effect on innovation;
- Deny website owners the right to due process of law;
- Give the U.S. Government the power to censor the web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran; and
- Undermine security online by changing the basic structure of the Internet.
We urge Congress to think hard before changing the regulation that underpins the Internet. Let’s not deny the next generation of entrepreneurs and founders the same opportunities that we all had.
Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz
Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google
Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter and Square
Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr and Hunch
David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo!
Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn
Arianna Huffington, co-founder of The Huffington Post
Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube
Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive and co-founder of Alexa Internet
Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal
Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist
Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay
Biz Stone, co-founder of Obvious and Twitter
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation
Evan Williams, co-founder of Blogger and Twitter
Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo!
Read more about SOPA at The Electronic Frontier Foundation.