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Congress Wants to Unplug the Internet with SOPA and PIPA

Next week, congress will vote on SOPA (House version) and PIPA (Senate version).  Both SOPA and PIPA will break both the Internet and your Constitutional rights by enabling private companies to jail you for up to five years for posting something they think might infringe on a copyright. Update: Even the SOPA author US Representative Lamar Smith would run afoul of his own law.

If passed, SOPA will give private corporations the power to:

  1. Shut down entire websites over a single link to a website they claim contains a copyright infringement.  So, @schmucketyschmuck tweets a post linking to a photo from Getty Images. Getty doesn’t like it. Getty has Twitter shut down.
  2. If say, Sony thinks you aren’t doing enough to prevent people from posting content from their artists, they can get a court order shutting down your website.  Yes, this even applies to sites hosted in foreign countries.
  3. Have people jailed for five years for posting copyrighted material. Yes, posting your parrot singing Pumped Up Kicks (or any other copyrighted composition) is an infringement.  Yes, posting a link to a copyrighted photograph could result in five years in federal prison. Posting a clip from Office Space, like one that describes the kind of prison you will be sent to? Five years.

Don’t believe it? Here’s the best two minute video you will watch today:

Oh, and in case you didn’t get where corporations will be able to send you, your kids or your employees if they post a single link that say, the RIAA doesn’t like:

Take a minute to call or SNAIL MAIL your US Representative and Senator today. It is really, really important.

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