I want to keep my personal opinions here separate from work and HIF-related crap. But this is one of those situations that causes me to roll my eyes and scream “you’ve got to be f*%#ing kidding me!” Even worse, it’s one of those things that affects Hey, It’s Free! in that it could kill it. That’s why we need to stop SOPA now.
I’ve made companies mad before. Big companies. Apparently they get their little widdle feelings hurt when some random guy makes fun of them. And the way companies are turning into conglomerates, it’s fathomable that one of them may have ties to Internet providers and block HIF as retaliation. But that’s only IF we let Congress pass SOPA, or the Stop Online Piracy Act.
What does this bill do? It allows the entertainment industry to censor sites that allegedly “engage in, enable or facilitate” copyright infringement. It sounds vague because it was intended to. The theory is that the entertainment industry wants to kill online piracy. But what if I link to a coupon that a company didn’t intend to release and we HIF it? Instead of facing a PR backlash and trying to explain how they screwed, they could say what I did was a piracy-friendly act and have heyitsfree.net blocked. The next time you tried to visit HIF, it’d say I was a pirate and the loving entertainment industry was protecting you for your own good.
It’s no surprise that every major online company as well as Internet and First Amendment legal experts are against this. This isn’t a left vs. right thing. It’s a “once giant industry not knowing how to move into the 21st century so they decide to lobby Congress to help them kill anything new” thing. I looked around at some of the most liberal and conservative blogs and they’re all in agreement – this bill is moronically stupid and needs to be killed.
So what can you do? Call your local Congressman. This is especially important if you live in Texas, Michigan, Vermont, or Iowa. Send them an email. Or at the very least, tell your friends about this. Tweet, share, email it and let people know they need to do something.
Having the government make sure there isn’t lead in my toys or mercury in my food is nice. It’s cool when they tell companies to stop dumping sewage in my back yard. But we don’t need them or the entertainment industry “looking out for us” on the Internet. We can take care of ourselves on here, thank you very much. Don’t let them censor the Internet – I promise you won’t like it.