An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

There are times in history when a person is required, even if they hate politics, to rise above and beyond the call of duty.  There are times when a person is required to do more than what they had done before.  This is one of those times, because this goes far beyond the world of politics.  It affects the freedoms of each and every one of us!  It affects all of America, and will not only destroy business, but also put our people in bondage.  I am, of course, talking about the Protect IP Act and SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act).

On the surface, both of these acts sound, honestly, dumb.  Piracy is a good thing.  This has been proven.  Without online piracy, websites like Hulu, Netflix, and iTunes would never have evolved.  Napster opened the floodgates on something that is universal – the pursuit of cheap entertainment.  And it has been good business all over the place.  It did bring down the record companies, but they were monopolizing music.  Piracy has changed the world for the better and for always.

However, it is absolutely clear that this is nothing more than a ploy against the freedoms that people have.  With these new bills, websites that are perfectly legal under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) will face legal threats.  YouTube vloggers and channels that put up clips from the news (which is perfectly within the real of Fair Use) will be the first to be censored.  And to prevent any legal action, websites will deliberately block anything that could be construed as violations.

It also goes further.  If just a few links that infringe on these new rules are posted, an entire website can be blocked.  So those who like watching YouTube, that could be blocked.  Reddit, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, any and all of them can be blocked completely.  To protect themselves, websites will automatically self-censor more, preventing startups from launching.  Websites will no longer be able to count on the DNS (Domain Naming System) for security, which was working just fine before.

And if you are a person who posts your own music, you can be sent to jail!  That’s right, if you aren’t licensed to put your music online, you can be sent to jail as a felon.  So independent musicians who post links on Facebook, you could be sent to jail!  Any non-commercial user can be charged with a felony for posting things online.

Since the day when I was able to pay attention, it was resoundly clear that this government hates the First Amendment.  They hate it.  They hate the people can do what they want and tell the government that they are dead wrong.  They have always hated it.  I wonder very much what the Founding Fathers were thinking when they wrote the Constitution.  They must have either been incredibly ignorant, or incredibly wise.  Because at this very moment, their dream of a free nation is about to die.

It is being supported by everybody.  SOPA has 21 Democratic supporters, 16 Republic supporters, and 1 Independent supporter in the Senate, while the Protect IP Act has 7 Democratic supporters, and 16 Republican Supporters in the House.  These people are totally fine with throwing the First Amendment in the trash.  And the mainstream media isn’t covering this!  I haven’t heard one damn story on MSNBC, CNN, or Fox about this.  Only the independent media is talking about this, and the talk is very small.  It seems like this huge affront to the Constitution might just happen and nobody outside of those who are paying attention will know about it.

Companies like the ones who own Reddit Tumblr, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, and many others are fighting back against this.  There are a number of activist groups.  The YouTuve vlogger community has jumped on the bandwagon, from both sides of the sociological and political fence.  There are multiple links that are aiding in the fight against the destruction of the First Amendment, but we need YOUR help!  We need everybody.  I will provide links to opinions and to ways you can fight back.

Opinions –
My Favorite Vlogger
http://youtu.be/ijqjHo3_H8s
Nostalgia Critic
http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/thatguywiththeglasses/nostalgia-critic/33243-top-11-reasons-he-wont-review-digimon
Anonyous’ voice
http://youtu.be/HgTO9Eds09Q
Huffington Post article
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-gagnier/sopa-and-protect-ip-what-_b_1099471.html

Ways you can fight back –
Tumblr
http://www.tumblr.com/protect-the-net
Reddit
http://www.reddit.com/r/announcements/comments/me5e9/
A great website
http://americancensorship.org/

The vote has happened, and it has only been to delay.  There is still time to make yourself heard!  We must rise above and beyond the call of duty now, right now!  This is the only chance we are going to get!  I think I’ll end this with a quote,

“The Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791–don’t let them die in 2011!”  -TJ Kincaid

Peace out,

Lefty

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