You may have noticed that many websites (including this one) went "dark" yesterday. This is because there was a concerted effort by many technologists and civil libertarians who feel that it is important to take a strong stand against two pieces of pending legislation, SOPA and PIPA. The folks at O'Reilly have explained the issue very well so below is their black-out message.
Today, we’re going dark to show the world that O’Reilly Media does not support the Stop Online Piracy Act(SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives or thePROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate.
We believe going dark is the principled action to take.
We’re in one of the greatest periods of social and business transformation since the Industrial Revolution, a transformation driven by the open architecture of the Internet. New technologies, new companies, and new business models appear every day, creating benefits to society and the economy. But now, fundamental elements of that Internet architecture are under attack.
These legislative attacks are not motivated by clear thinking about the future of the Internet or the global economy, but instead seek to protect entrenched companies with outdated business models. Rather than adapting and competing with new and better services, these organizations are asking Congress for cover.
Any forward-looking country must encourage its emerging industries, not protect its laggards. Yet, in a time when the American economy needs to catalyze domestic innovation to succeed in a hyper-competitive global marketplace, members of the United States Congress have advanced legislation that could damage the industries of the future.
Over the weekend, President Obama’s technology officials told the American people that they do not support SOPA or PROTECT IP as drafted. The White House’s response to a "We The People" e-petition included a strong rebuttal against the DNS provisions in the bills. While it is heartening to hear from the White House that it "will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet," we believe these bills must be abandoned, not amended.
We urge you to keep the pressure on today and in the weeks to come.
Here’s what you can do:
1) Learn if your U.S. Representative or Senators support SOPA or PROTECT IP through SOPAOpera.org.
2) Use the tools at AmericanCensorship.org, Engine Advocacy and POPVOX to tell Congress where you stand.
3) Participate in Better Activism Day, a free livestream of experts discussing ways to "improve your power in Washington from people who’ve been succ
essful at moving it."