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.

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