by - January 18, 2012

If you're reading this, then SOPA/PIPA should be of major concern to you.

But you shouldn't just jump on my bandwagon in protest of these two bills. You should understand what they are and what they could mean for you as a fellow blogger or someone who contributes to my comment section.

In short, what these bills do is make it a felony for the owner of any site to allow copyright infringement. That doesn't sound so bad. As a journalist, I know that taking someone else's work and passing it off as your own is bad, and I'm all for putting a stop to it ... but these two bills are not the way to do it.

The wording is vague, and the language is too broad. The bills basically give the U.S. Attorney General unlimited power when it comes to shutting down websites suspected of allowing comments, content, etc. that violate copyright infringement. He can also shut down a website if he deems it doesn't have enough safeguards to prevent copyright infringement.
And it doesn't stop there. If you're found to be in violation of this bill, there's virtually no way to get out of it. The way this bill is worded, you are all but guaranteed to be slapped with a felony charge. And that, my friends, is a life ruiner.

I recommend reading this article to put things into perspective, and then I recommend that you sign this petition.

I don't know about you, but I don't want what other people leave as a comment on my blog or on my Facebook wall to brand me a felon.

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  1. Big brother is watching you, Ashton. I already wrote to my representatives and signed the petition. I hope everybody will join the fight against this alarming proposal.

  2. Good post! I blacked out my Tumblr yesterday

  3. @Shady: I found it interesting that Fla. Senator Marco Rubio was one of the bill's sponsors but then backed away from it. Maybe if the sponsor realizes the bill is bad, other people will realize it as well.

    @Jessi: Several of the blogs I follow blacked out their entire pages. If I were more tech-savvy I would have done mine.

  4. If you are unaware, there is now another bill by the SOPA sponsor which is cleverly disguised as something helpful but in reality is just an invasion of privacy and takes away rights:

    1. Thank you for sharing. It appears that this bill makes it easier for a person's identity to be stolen. Good job, Congress.