PLEASE NOTE……An update of this post for Wordless Wednesday: there is still time to call your Senators and Representatives to make your voices heard and your wishes known.
PLEASE HELP US DEFEND FREE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET:
SAY “NO!!!” TO SOPA & PIPA!
I’ve interrupted the RetroCollage Blog early on in the week to pass on an important message and make a request:
The message is this:
Obviously none of these pictures are censored; I myself put the WORD “CENSORED” across each of these pieces (I did it for the “drama” and to make a point). And these collages have all been created using non-copyright, public domain images, or images for which I own the copyright. And our country protects our right to free expression with the First Amendment to the Constitution.
However, if new laws are passed in the United States — specifically two pieces of legislation pending in Congress — my right to do these collages, your right to see them, and your right to create and display your own creativity on the Net, could all be curtailed or taken away completely — even if you and I have not infringed someone else’s copyrighted property.
If you like and use Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, you may have to say goodbye to these services if the new legislation is enacted. Or you may find that your activities will be actively monitored by the services; that you will be limited in what you may post and write about on them; or that you will be forced to pay compulsory licensing fees to the services, even if you don’t download or share music or visual content on them.
Unlikely as this sounds, the passage of the “Protect IP Act” (PIPA, in the Senate) and the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA, in the House of Representatives) might turn such nightmares into reality. PIPA and SOPA will imperil free expression and freedom of information exchange on the Internet, and might ultimately lead to censorship typical of a totalitarian police state.
PIPA AND SOPA have been heavily pushed and lobbied for by the so-called “content industry” (largely composed of corporations producing and marketing recorded music and motion pictures), which in this case has acted in a monolithic manner and without consulting either the Internet “tech industry” or end users of content. And the form of censorship the content industry is pushing for may have damaging effects more widespread than censorship alone, and might ultimately impair the security of the global Internet.
Opposition to PIPA and SOPA has now transcended the boundaries of party politics: conservatives and liberals, Republicans and Democrats, all realize that these measures threaten free use of and access to the Internet for nearly everyone, regardless of party or group affiliation (the exceptions being the corporate interests of the content industry). And bipartisan and independent groups and citizens are now banding together to fight for freedom of speech and expression, and to oppose censorship.
The request I’m making is this:
Please join with all of us in fighting to keep the Internet free.
- Please spend a little time familiarizing yourself with the threats to free Internet use by reading the articles at the following link: http://americancensorship.org
- The website at the link above contains more ways to oppose censorship. Feel free to explore them: sign petitions, support organizations lobbying for Internet freedom, etc.
- Watch the following short video, which is an excellent summary in plain English of the controversy surrounding PIPA and SOPA, and how they will affect our freedom in particular and the Internet in general: http://player.vimeo.com/video/31100268?title=0&byline=0&portrait=0
- Take the time — TODAY, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2011 — to call your Senators and your Representative, and tell them or their staffers that you oppose passage of PIPA and SOPA. It will take a few minutes of your time; but just consider over how much time you have benefited from the free use of the Internet, and you will quickly see that a few minutes to stand up and be counted is a small price to pay for safeguarding a resource of incalculable value. If you can’t call them today, please call them tomorrow with the same message.
Thank you very much for your support!