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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Saving the World. Before Bedtime... sort of.

This week was a pretty exciting week.  

On Wednesday , I joined Wikipedia, Reddit, and other in the Anti-SOPA “black-out” in protest of the U.S. Senate vote on S. 968., otherwise known as the PROTECT IP Act or PIPA. I emailed both my Senators and I called their offices (using an innovative phone app provided by to voice my concerns. This email from the office of Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) in response to the one I sent pretty much summarizes the views PIPA supporters hold.

If you came here or went to Siege of The Dead on Wednesday, you would have been treated to this call to action page. Of course, other sites had more creative and laudably artistic protest screens. [Check out this Mashable article for a slide show featuring some of the "best" protest screens.]

Originally slated for a vote on Tuesday January 24th, a yes vote on PIPA would have given the Department of Justice the ability to shutdown websites that violated copyright laws and/or encourage online piracy. Both legislation purported to give all copyright holders the ability to stop unauthorized use of their works. This in itself is not a bad thing and as a writer and artist, I support anti-infringement legislation.  But as written, PIPA and its sister bill in the House was too vague and created an environment rife with opportunities for censorship and Due Process abuses. Even posting a link to Facebook could get you into trouble. Opponents of the measure even went on to say that those who would benefit most would be Big Hollywood rather than individual artists. Simply put, PIPA and SOPA were too poorly written and geared to protect Big Business interests.

Luckily for us, because of the protests and the attention brought to these bills by you and me and big internet companies like Facebook, Google, and others, BOTH bills are dead in their respective houses as of Friday. For now. 

Stay tuned.