Sci-Fi Storm

Editorial: About SOPA/PIPA and why we oppose it

by on Jan.18, 2012, under Editorial

You’ve probably noticed that many sites, from major ones like Wikipedia, to our friends at genre-related sites like Airlock Alpha, have “gone dark” today in protest of the SOPA/PIPA acts now before the U.S. Congress.

Sci-Fi Storm has not gone dark, for two reasons – it’s a lot of work to do it without messing up search engines, etc., and it would also mean lost income (and we barely get any as it is…) But it is not because we don’t oppose these bills. In fact, we are vehemently against them.

Note, we are NOT opposed to copyright laws, or the rights of copyright holders. What we oppose is the lack of due process reflected in the bills that can allow a site to be shut down, cut off, blacklisted off search engines, etc. without much recourse for the site owner. And there are questions as to whether the mere accusations of such infringements is enough for the actions to be taken without proper verification or challenge.

If these bills pass, you will probably see a lot less sites on the Internet with interesting content. Not because they infringe on copyrights, but because site owners don’t want to bother having to deal with it. Open forums and comments sites would likely cease to exist, as they’d have to police each and every post made and somehow verify that it doesn’t infringe on someone’s copyright. That tag line quote you attach to all your posts? Probably infringes on a copyright. That lolcatz picture you shared? Probably infringes on a copyright. Even though some of those types of infringements may be protected forms of speech (parody, etc.), you wouldn’t be given the opportunity to make that case.

We urge you NOT to support SOPA/PIPA as they are currently written, and to notify your Congress critters that you do not.

Here are some recommended links for reading more about SOPA/PIPA:

A technical examination of SOPA and PROTECT IP

End Piracy, Not Liberty – Google

Why SOPA Is Dangerous

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