I’ve remained silent in this issue for a while, and I get messages about it all the time. I just wanted to let everyone know I’m aware and to make others aware too.
Congress is trying to pass two bills that will change the face of the internet. One is called Protect IP, but the one that’s been a real hot topic lately is SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act.) It’s an attempt to stop online piracy. Of course, I do not support piracy, but the way the bill is written is very broad and open for interpretation.
Here are the way some others have interpreted it.
I usually prefer to stay out of politics. But this seems like something that could affect the internet in a bad way. The bills should target piracy and do just that. But many seem to think it would affect doing movie reviews, video game reviews, or anything of that nature. There already exist fair use laws that permit the partial use of copyrighted works for criticism or educational value. Like I said, the language in the bill is very broad, but many say it means fair use will no longer exist on the internet. That would mean no more AVGN videos. Nothing. That would mean mass job losses for all small companies online. The internet’s been a source of innovation and the bills have been criticized for being being very badly worded. Until they’ve been revised, it’s best that these bills do not pass in their current form.
I just want to provide entertainment. I want you to come to this site, laugh and enjoy my videos. The last thing I would ever want to do is send everyone into a panic. It’s especially hard for me to write this, since it comes during the holiday season. I thought I’d be able to wait until January to speak up, but the supporters of these bills are rushing them through as fast as they can. They aren’t taking enough advise from tech experts. And they don’t seem to be open to any changes to the bills. The way in which they are going about it seems very wrong.
The current status on SOPA is that it will continue debate in early 2012, but anything can change. Keep an eye on it.
Until these bills get revised, they shouldn’t be rushed into passing. Here’s some links I found for various petitions.
http://www.house.gov/ (Enter your zipcode to find your representative)
Here is a petition to get SOPA vetoed. This goes directly goes to the whitehouse. It already met its 25,000 signature goal, but having more signatures really helps. So please register here and sign this petition.