After much research, I decided to join yesterday’s Internet-wide protest of SOPA/PIPA.
On the surface, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP) are anti-piracy bills. Antipiracy is a good thing; it’s necessary, and when administered properly it protects artists, writers, musicians, etc. The problem with these bills is that they are so broadly written they go too far and allow for abusive control and censorship — not good things.
SOPA was shelved before yesterday’s protest, but it’s not dead yet. PIPA goes to vote on Tuesday, but support is fading fast. We do need antipiracy laws in place. We most certainly do, but not at the expense of free speech.
As I researched SOPA/PIPA, I remembered a post I did back in June 2010 on Areopagitica, John Milton’s passionate essay on the right to freedom of speech and expression. I thought it was worth repeating:
Enjoy Freedom of Speech? Thank John Milton
For more details on SOPA or PIPA, this video from Fight for the Future does a great job explaining it.