WE’RE BLACKED OUT TODAY, JANUARY 18TH, IN PROTEST OF SOPA/PIPA
In a misguided effort to curb piracy, our United States government is considering two bills which will have a devastating impact on free speech across the Internet as we know it today. Collectively, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill proposed in the House of Representatives and the PROTECT-IP Act (PIPA) bill proposed in the US Senate will:
- Give the power of censorship to the US Government (and copyright owners) by allowing it to impose DNS blocking, search engine takedowns, and more on any site merely accused or suspected of piracy.
- Give the US Attorney General the ability (with a court order) to seize any website without due process or a chance for the owner to defend himself, even if that site has merely been accused of infringing on copyright.
- Order ISPs, ad companies and payment processors to block any accused websites (good luck with that, PayPal).
- Allow the imposing of fines or jail time on web users for posting derivatives of copyright works (ex: machinima)
- Make websites such as YouTube, Facebook, and Wikipedia liable for user contributions (in effect killing such contributions).
- Stifle innovation that would've otherwise come from companies suddenly too paralyzed with fear of takedown to take risks.
- Promote "self-censorship" of sites simply so they avoid being targeted for takedown, stifling free speech as we know it.
While we at Video Game Generation are in favor of protecting IP and curbing piracy, we're strongly against both SOPA and PIPA and the extreme measures they take in a misguided attempt to achieve those goals. As a result, we have joined Internet titans including Wikipedia,Google, Reddit, Mozilla, WordPress, Destructoid and more in today's SOPA/PIPA Blackout day in protest of these bills. Video Game Generation will return to its normal publishing schedule tomorrow, but let this serve as a glimpse into the type of oppression and censorship one can expect if either SOPA or PIPA become law. We urge you to get involved to help us insure that this exception does not become the norm.