SOPA AND PIPA: A THREAT TO ONLINE BUSINESS

 
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The consensus among many experts, Internet users, web companies and even the White House, is that SOPA (and PIPA) is too restrictive, too dangerous, too complicated and too big of a threat to our privacy (mashable.com.)

A great, catchy song to sum it up in a few minutes is Sopa Cabana by Dan Bull:

For a more lucid description of SOPA and PIPA, I’m going to quote the blacked-out, protest landing page on Wikipedia.com:

SOPA and PIPA put the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won’t have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn’t being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted, which means they won’t show up in major search engines. SOPA and PIPA build a framework for future restrictions and suppression.
In a world in which politicians regulate the Internet based on the influence of big money, Wikipedia — and sites like it — cannot survive.
Congress says it’s trying to protect the rights of copyright owners, but the “cure” that SOPA and PIPA represent is worse than the disease. SOPA and PIPA are not the answer: they will fatally damage the free and open Internet.

I couldn’t have said it better myself. The SUCCESS and SURVIVAL of small business on the web is dependent upon the precedent of freedom to create content. Imagine going through airport security every time you want to post something to the web:

  • Take off your shoes
  • Take off your belt
  • Remove all items from your pockets
  • Listen to some disgruntled employee yell in your ear about coats, laptops and whatever else

Sounds like fun right? SOPA and PIPA are like a TSA strip search before you log on to Facebook or Twitter. Very bad news for people in my line of work. To give you a more “unbiased” view, here are some links with more information on SOPA and PIPA:

Ultimately, it comes down to us, the people, to make sure something so toxic like SOPA and PIPA is not passed. Today is the day to take a stand, and Wikipedia makes it easy. Just visit Wikipedia, fill in your zip code, and Wiki will provide you with the contact info of your local senators and reps:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Here’s an example of what I wrote to Massachusetts Representative William Keating:

Hi Billy,
I don’t know if you remember me, but…[my dad and I] used to fix your bikes out of my garage on Massapoag Ave. Now, I’ve taken my dad’s sense of entrepreneurship to the Internet and work as an online marketing consultant.
I’m writing you because the proposed SOPA and PIPA acts are truly a threat to my livelihood as someone who works on the Internet. Passing these acts would endanger the jobs of a great number of online entrepreneurs and small business owners.
You’re probably receiving a great deal of correspondence, especially today, but I hope that you’ll look back on the times when you’d come up our driveway with your bikes and help my father’s small business. You’d be doing the same for me today by taking a stand against SOPA and PIPA.
Wishing you nothing but the best.
Sincerely,
Bryan Caplan
bjc@bjcbranding.com
(910) 227-9227
 
Jake Burns