Save the Internet

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is one of the most infuriating bills in congress right now.

Ostensibly, it seeks to protect intellectual property and copyrighted material. However, the bill allows for serious action to be taken against websites that enable or facilitate copyright infringement. The way this bill is structured, an entire site like Tumblr or Wikipedia could be shut down just due to the content posted by one user. Even search engines like Google will be liable for infringement and unable to link to many websites. Search engines will no longer be platforms that help to truly “democratize” information.

While the potential implementation of this bill will directly impact my life and hinder my ability to innovate and pursue my passions by blocking startups and web based businesses, it is not just me and my fellow techies. This bill will impact each and every US citizen as well and change the unlimited nature of the Internet as we know it. The Internet is a global network, and this type of censorship will also have an enormous economic impact as it will restrict the growth and success of entrepreneurial, budding industries, will limit our access to information, and will essentially “break the Internet.”

Fred Wilson wrote a great, short piece about how this bill threatens one of greatest aspects of the Internet: its enabling power to provide the “freedom to innovate” without restrictions and without the need for things like permits, permissions, or real estate. Check out his post here. He also provides great list of resources and ways that you can take action and fight against SOPA.

While SOPA isn’t the answer, I do agree that there should be better, protective measures to stop piracy. Shoutout to my Oregon Senator, Ron Wyden, who is working to stop SOPA and created an alternative act, the OPEN act, which will protect IP without stifling innovation and effectively “breaking the internet.”

You can check out the act he is proposing with Congressman Darrell Issa here: and at

Please join me in spreading the word and working to keeping the Internet open and to stop SOPA!

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