January 17, 2012

Closed for SOPA and PIPA

Yes, this may seem far from Dryden, but if SOPA (H.R. 3261), PIPA (S. 968), or something similar passes, you may not be able to read the existing Living in Dryden site much longer, and I'd have to write anything new in a very different way or risk getting shut down for copyright violations.

Unfortunately, Dryden's Congressman, Richard Hanna, seems to believe that commercial speech should be welcome to trample over plain old free speech. It's not just Republicans, either - both of our Democratic Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, support the Senate version, PIPA. Schumer's office seems to enjoy being rude about it, too.

SOPA is sort of kind of on the shelf, slightly defanged, but PIPA still has debate scheduled for later this month.

I agree with the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

This bill, and its House counterpart, cannot be fixed -- they must be killed.

Wonder what it's all about? Try this, or this, or watch this.

I do think piracy is a real issue, as another Dryden publisher eloquently explains. I just don't think it's a good idea to make the Internet deeply fragile in order to protect a small crowd of businesses who already have plenty of power and money, but not much business model, as my co-worker put it.

Want to help keep American laws sane and sites like this one (and many many more) available? Write or call:

Congressman Richard Hanna
Cortland Office
18 Tompkins St.
Cortland, NY 13045
P: 607-756-2470
F: 607-756-2472
 Senator Chuck Schumer
15 Henry Street
Room M103
Binghamton, NY 13901
Phone: 607-772-6792
Fax: 607-772-8124
 Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
100 South Clinton Street
Room 1470
PO Box 7378
Syracuse, NY 13261
Tel. (315) 448-0470
Fax (315) 448-0476

Normal service will resume Thursday. Until then, I've censored (most of) the pieces that might lead to this site vanishing under SOPA or PIPA.

Update: I'm glad to see One of Nine with a banner about SOPA and PIPA across its top, and Dryden Daily KAZ with a piece opposed to it as well. Like KAZ, I make my living with intellectual property, but this law goes way too stupidly far.

Update 2: Senator Gillibrand tweeted:

Thx for your views on #PIPA. I agree there are real concerns with the current legislation & I'm working to make impt changes to the bill.

We must work to strike a balance btw ending online piracy to protect #NY #jobs & ensuring Internet freedom so our tech commty can flourish.

But what that actually means in terms of action, I have no idea. 140 characters does make it tricky to say, though.

Update 3: Hanna's now trying to sound mushy, as are Schumer and Gillibrand. We'll see.

Posted by simon at January 17, 2012 7:00 PM in
Note on photos