Keep the Internet OPEN

James Madison
James Madison, Author of the First Amendment, "Father of the Constitution" - Image via Wikipedia

“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” ~ James Madison




Register your protest TODAY:


A picture of Internet censorship:


  • On January 18, 2012, Wikipedia, WordPress, and other sites will go dark to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), proposed legislation that critics say could lead to censorship of the Internet. Senate Bill 968, PIPA, will come before the U. S. Senate next week.
  • SOPA and PIPA are supported by the entertainment industry concerned about online piracy. Critics, however, say both bills would go about fighting piracy in the wrong way.

“Copyright holders want to give themselves and the U.S. Department of Justice the power to block websites accused of infringement. They want to force Internet service providers to create a wall between their customers and these websites. They want to force banks and payment services like PayPal to cut off these websites’ money. They want the websites removed from search results and to ban people from linking to them. And all of that, WITHOUT ANY KIND OF FORMAL HEARING.” [Emphasis added]

  • Congressional support for SOPA has been weakened somewhat by negative feedback from the public, but PIPA is still in good health. San Diego CityBeat states,

“…[B]ills often come in pairs, and SOPA’s twin in the U.S. Senate is the Protect IP Act, or PIPA. Both bills threaten to rip apart the fabric of the Internet, compromise the planet’s digital security and open the doors for China-class censorship. While the SOPA brand is damaged, PIPA has yet to attract similar levels of negative attention. It’s scheduled for a Senate floor vote on Jan. 24 and could easily sneak through under the radar. The most important thing for Internet activists to do, right now, is spread the word that PIPA is the new target.” [Emphasis added]

  • Alternative legislationOnline Protection and ENforcement of the Digital Trade Act (OPEN)—is being proposed. It is the result of a bipartisan effort to protect against online piracy without the threat of censorship.

“The OPEN Act secures two fundamental principles. First, Americans have a right to benefit from what they’ve created. And second, Americans have a right to an open internet. Our duty is to protect these rights. That’s why congressional Republicans and Democrats came together to write the OPEN Act. But it’s only a start. We need your help:sign up, comment and collaborate to build a better bill.” [Emphasis added]

  • provides ways to register opposition to SOPA AND PIPA. Anyone not in the U.S. may protest by petitioning the U. S. State Department. Online forms appear on the site.

  • The following links compare and contrast SOPA / PIPA and OPEN. As the quotation above states, it also requests input from citizens who want to help create a better law. 

Keep the Web #OPEN




More information about SOPA / PIPA:

  • Regarding WordPress’ protest, Jane Wells writes, “…if this bill is passed it will jeopardize internet freedom and shift the power of the independent web into the hands of corporations. We must stop it.”

  • “Wikipedia Blackout: Websites Wikipedia, Reddit, Others Go Dark Wednesday to Protest SOPA, PIPA”

  • “Google Plans Homepage Protest Against SOPA”

  • “Internet Blackout Against US Law Fails to Enlist Big Sites”

7 thoughts on “Keep the Internet OPEN

  1. The points you underline are regrettable and I think I may be changing my mind. However, I DO support measures to stop piracy, if they make sense. If the pirates are not in the US, though, there’s nothing our government can do. I think most of them are not here.


  2. Thanks for this, Kathy. I have no idea how such badly designed legislation has got this far. Our internet may have something of the Wild West about it, but at least it’s free in the widest sense of the word.


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