This site isn’t actually blocked. Don’t worry.
But it could be.
Under PIPA and SOPA, sites which contain or even only link to copywrited materials can be blocked indefinitely without trial or notice (or even possibly any legal recourse).
Here’s the thing. The folks who decide to block a site using PIPA or SOPA don’t even have to be right. It’s that whole without trial or notice.
Here’s another thing, it doesn’t stop piracy at all. You’d still be able to access blocked sites directly using their IP address. Pirates would not be slowed down. The only thing these bills do is put huge censorship powers in the hands of a few. Those few are determined to control what you do on the net. Those few insist that, whether you infringe or not, they have a right to determine what you see and to have their hands in your wallet.
You’ll hear a lot of “These bills aren’t meant for censorship. We will only use them to fight piracy, we promise”. We’ve heard that before. Heard of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act? That was meant to fight piracy, it hasn’t much, and it’s mostly mis-used to unfairly stiffle competition among corporations.
Remember, these bills don’t really do much to fight piracy, but they DO allow for a whole lot of censorship, without trial or legal recourse.
I eventually want to make my living from my writing, so I’m sympathetic to copyright issues but this isn’t the way to deal with them.
If you live in the US, write to your representatives NOW. The mainstream media is mostly ignoring this issue and the narrative that is there is being led by big money lobbyists and corporations, the opposition is mostly online. It’s up to you to pick up the ball and make sure your voice is heard. The PIPA and SOPA supporters, up until very recently, denied there was any significant opposition. Show them there is!
If you do not live in the US, stay aware and informed. There is reason to believe that the US is putting pressure on other countries to pass similar legislation. Do not let them.
It’s up to you.
I’m a big fan of Cory Doctorow and I found this quote on the Make The Light blackout page (unfortunately it does not adequately source it):
“Big Content haven’t just declared war on Boing Boing and Reddit and the rest of the “fun” Internet: they’ve declared war on every person who uses the net to publicize police brutality, every oppressed person in the Arab Spring who used the net to organize protests and publicize the blood spilled by their oppressors, every abused kid who used the net to reveal her father as a brutalizer of children, every gay kid who used the net to discover that life is worth living despite the torment she’s experiencing, every grassroots political campaigner who uses the net to make her community a better place — as well as the scientists who collaborate online, the rescue workers who coordinate online, the makers who trade tips online, the people with rare diseases who support each other online, and the independent creators who use the Internet to earn their livings.
The contempt for human rights on display with SOPA and PIPA is more than foolish. Foolishness can be excused. It’s more than greed. Greed is only to be expected. It is evil, and it must be fought.”