SOPA–the Stop Online Piracy Act–is a bill that’s trying to get pushed through the US House of Representatives. If this bill goes through it will give the government full authority to remove any website they deem in violation of copyright law at their discretion and without due legal process–no joke. How? Well, if the government feels like removing a site (or is lobbied to do so) they can cry “piracy” and take it down. This bill extends to all links on-site–yes, even a single ‘pirate’ link found on an otherwise pristine website. That’s right webmasters: even if you unknowingly post a link to something in past, present, or future violation of SOPA then your website could (and would) be SHUT DOWN. This could potentially mean the end of Walker Guitar because just about any lesson on this site (even though designed for the personal enrichment and education of the world) could be twisted by big business as copyright ‘piracy’–anything I’ve written, a link on a blog entry or someone’s forum post content, a partner site on my Links page, anything at all. Hell, I bet even playing a Gibson guitar in my lessons could potentially be in violation if the big dogs didn’t like my smile, or were crabby from a bad ham sandwich they had at lunch. And yes Gibson, Fender, Taylor and MANY others you probably know ARE on the list of supporters…
Here’s a formal list of the companies openly lobbying to pass this bill, all big businesses which will directly profit and be protected under SOPA legislation. Here’s a less formal list of those involved, and an even bigger one here. Recognize anyone? If SOPA passes these companies (and many others) will be able to use ‘piracy’ against any competing business they choose, any site that challenges their objectives. Say goodbye to any independent websites, underdogs, small businesses and anyone who can’t afford to pay legal fees to attempt to fight back (assuming that’s even an option at all–oh wait, it would be government policy so it’s NOT.) No more free marketplace as we know it.
This is obviously a big deal, so hence the letter and call to action.
Currently this bill hasn’t passed yet, but it almost did this December and is has a lot of support. It’s important that people get involved with this–the House has decided to vote on this AFTER their winter recess (because the bill was beginning to get too much attention and they want to push this through with as little resistance as possible…) I assume we have very little time to get our ducks in a row before they vote. Here’s what you can do:
Learn more and fight back HERE. Send an email to those in control!
Some other articles worth reading:
How SOPA would affect you? FAQ
Let’s give ‘em hell.
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