Those of you who have been exploring our website recently may have noticed this black shield logo, visable at the bottom of our webpage.
Well does everyone remember the drama surrounding the SOPA act in late 2011? For those of you who dont remember, SOPA stands for “Stop Online Piracy Act” and it was a law that U.S representitive Lamar Smith attempted to pass in 2011 to help prevent copyright. Although this may sound like a positive thing, it is not quite as simpe as it sounds.
Supporters of the bill claimed that it would help copyright holders (think big record labels) protect their content. However, the bill would also mean a closer monitoring of the internet, something that would fundamentally change the relative freedom of our current internet. And although the supporters of the bill argue it will only target those websites operating illegally, we argue that it will most likely lead to the shutting down of websites which are simply deemed a threat. The internet is loved for the freedom that it provides us and this shouldnt change!
The law failed to be passed in 2011 due to the a huge public backlash and strong opposition from thousands of internet based companies such as Google and Wikipedia. Many companies also put into action the ‘ Internet Black Out’. This was the event that many of us may remember as it was the day 75,000 companies including websites such as Reddit, Wikipedia and Google shut down their sites in protest of the bill, leaving an informing message in its place, providing information on the protest. And it worked! Google confirmed that 4.5 million people signed the company’s petition to protest SOPA. That is some powerful marketing! Maybe there is something we can learn from this strategy for future protests!
So, the bill was rejected you may be thinking… whats all the fuss about? Well, The Internet Defence league was set up following the internet blackout and it was created in order to create a strong community of people who are opposed to any future attacks on the freedom of the internet. There have already been a number of incidents which suggest the US government is continuing to expand its control on the internet, so it is important we all unite to oppose such acts.
How can you help?
You can sign up to The Internet Defence League’s > website < and join the thousands of other websites and people supporting the freedom of the internet. This will allow you to recieve emails updating you on what our governments are up to, and how you can help! If you would like more information on SOPA you can also click the link below.
You can also help by sharing this blog post or any other information you find on SOPA, or on the Defence League’s work. Join us and help to protect the freedom of the internet!
- Sopa and Pipa: they’ll be back (nextlevelofnews.com)
- Taking a Closer Look at SOPA (digitalsurgeons.com)
- Leaked Treaty: Worse Than SOPA and ACTA (washingtonsblog.com)