January 19, 2012

Blog Owners Pay Attention! Fight SOPA!

Do you own or run a blog?  Do you own or run a website?  Do you advocate free speech?  Than you need to read and understand this.

Imagine, one day your website is taken down.  You don't understand why.  You just review books.  What's the harm?  But none-the-less, your years of work is gone.  You can't get it back.  And even worse you are facing fines.

It sounds fantastic, but it's a reality that is around the corner.

Imagine a world where you can't preach what you believe on the internet.  You words are erased out of fear.  You can not be heard.  Nothing you say will matter.

Congress is debating a new bill called SOPA.  In short, SOPA will make any website owner responsible for any form of copyright infringement.  Offenders can have their website removed, without trial or provocation.  Offenders can also be faced with fines.

This doesn't sound like a big deal, does it?  You don't promote pirated material on YOUR website.

The sad case is it has already happened.  The DOJ already has the right to remove a website upon complaint of copyright infringement from any copyright owner.  At the moment it is difficult to proceed.  They need a warrant.  Not much cause is needed to obtain these warrants, but they still need one.  Numerous websites have already been removed from existence, many that were not endorsing pirating, because of such complaints.

SOPA will give the DOJ that much more power, they won't need warrants, and they need only a simple complaint.

Why is this a worry to you?  That book review you just did?  The one with the cover that you post as a picture?  That warrants a copyright complaint.  Unless you have signed authorization on file to use that cover, you are committing copyright fraud.  It has already been upheld in the supreme court that bloggers do not always fall under the journalist shield act, so again, you are committing copyright fraud.  Why it this a big deal?  Have you read all those flair up of events of disgruntled authors and agents on Goodreads?  Well, if they don't like your review they can have your website removed.

It's sad, but it is a very real reality.  This is a reality that much higher impacts than that.  Many websites may be forced to close up shop.  This issue is so broad that major websites like Reddit, Google, Wikipedia, and Craigslist have taken action to show their support AGAINST SOPA.

I urge you, our readers, to follow these links.  Contact your government representatives and show your support against SOPA.  It will only take five minutes.  But this is an important decision that can have such a huge impact on everyone.


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