Oppose SOPA / PIPA

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

I usually do not take political stands here on GenealogyMedia.com, but two proposed laws could have a chilling effect on the openness that has allowed the Internet to flourish. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA, PDF) in the US House and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA, PDF) have the stated goals of protecting property rights and stoping piracy of intellectual property. Most people do not disagree with those goals.

Reddit, BoingBoing, Mozilla, WordPress, TwitPic, MoveOn.org and the ICanHasCheezBurger network, as well as Geneabloggers, have gone offline in protest against SOPA/PIPA. Google has blacked out their logo.

Please look into these laws, and contact your Congressperson and your Senators. We have plenty of laws to control piracy, and do not need more. We especially do not need laws designed to limit the security of the Domain Name Service by forcing Internet service providers and content providers to remove links to or not direct traffic to sites accused of having allowed or participated in piracy. This law simply goes too far, and threatens the free dissemination of ideas that has made the Internet thrive. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, GoogleReader, Reddit, WordPress, and Tumblr are among some of the obvious examples of innovative websites that would not have been able to stay in business if constantly harassed by the kinds of laws that SOPA and PIPA represent.