Opposed to SOPA and PIPA

The gist on why I participated in the January 18 Internet backout:

It’s a no-brainer, I use WordPress to blog (based in the USA), to publish, to communicate things online that make ME a part of the democratization of publishing and the independent web.  I quote and re-use all over in ways that fall under ‘Fair Use’ (see my Disclaimer).

As WordPress informs me: “More than 60 million people use WordPress — it’s said to power about 15% of the web. We can make an impact, and you can be an agent of change. Go to Stop American Censorship for more information and a bunch of ways you can take action quickly, easily, and painlessly. The Senate votes in two weeks, and we need to help at least 41 more senators see reason before then. Please. Make your voice heard.”

Fight For The Future emailed me this:

“Today was nuts, right?

Google launched a petition.  Wikipedia voted to shut itself off.  Senators’ websites went down just from the sheer surge of voters trying to write them.   NYC and SF geeks had protests that packed city blocks.

You made history today: nothing like this has ever happened before.  Tech companies and users teamed up.  Tens of millions of people who make the internet what it is joined together to defend their freedoms.  The free network defended itself.  Whatever you call it, the bottom line is clear: from today forward, it will be much harder to mess up the internet.

The really crazy part?  We might even win.

Approaching Monday’s crucial Senate vote there are now 35 Senators publicly opposing PIPA.  Last week there were 5.   And it just takes just 41 solid “no” votes to permanently stall PIPA (and SOPA) in the Senate.  What seemed like miles away a few weeks ago is now within reach.

But don’t trust predictions.  The forces behind SOPA & PIPA (mostly movie companies) can make small changes to these bills until they know they have the votes to pass.  Members of Congress know SOPA & PIPA are unpopular, but they don’t understand why–so they’re easily duped by superficial changes.  The Senate returns next week, and the next few days are critical.  Here are two things to think about:

1. Plan on calling your Senator every day next week.  Pick up the phone each morning and call your Senators’ offices, until they vote “no” on cloture.  If your site participated today, consider running a “Call the Senate” link all next week.

2. Tomorrow, drop in at your Senators’ district offices.  We don’t have a cool map widget to show you the offices nearest you (we’re too exhausted! any takers?).  So do it the old fashioned way: use Google, or the phonebook to find the address, and just walk in, say you oppose PIPA, and urge the Senator to vote “no” on cloture.  These drop-in visits make our spectacular online protests more tangible and credible.

That’s it for now. Be proud and stay on it!

–Holmes, Tiffiniy, and the whole Fight for the Future team.”

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