Kill SOPA and PIPA

Posted: January 18, 2012 in News, Views
Tags: , , , , ,

In response to two bills on the table (Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act), I just emailed this letter to all of my supposed representatives. If these bills become law, our freedoms will be limited and indie artists will have another uneccessary obstacle in our way as the tool we rely on the most becomes restricted. In that light, I encourage everyone to send similar messages to their representatives in the House and Senate.

In the hopes that my supposed representatives in government will actually listen to reason and the voice of their constituents, I strongly discourage the support of SOPA and PIPA. Any bill proposing to restrict people’s internet access and/or content sharing is not only a violation of our freedom and first amendment rights, but also an obstacle to the evolution of our globally-linked culture. The bills are based on obsolete laws that cannot be properly applied to the internet age. I speak, not just as a concerned citizen, but as an owner of intellectual property myself.

I am a small business owner in New York State, working in the arts and entertainment industries. The internet has become my most reliable tool for nearly every aspect of my business. As such, the issues brought up by SOPA and PIPA affect me personally. If people are restricted in their internet access and not allowed to freely share content, then the future of my career and that of other businesses like my own is extremely bleak. In these rough economic times, it’s difficult enough to keep any small business up and running. When we can’t afford other means of marketing and promotion, us in the entertainment industries rely heavily on word-of-mouth exposure and social media sharing to attain new customers and streams of revenue. Don’t let the larger companies convince you otherwise; much like the bills in question, their policies and procedures are based on obsolete ideals from a time long since past.

I could write a book on the subject (one that I would want the world to share over the internet in the knowledge that a certain percentage of those people would indeed buy it), but I know you’re busy, and so I shall sum up my position. If you support SOPA and PIPA, you are encouraging legislation that could potentially make it much more difficult for me and thousands of NY business owners like me to feed ourselves and provide for our families. You will also be displaying a disregard for the freedom of the people you represent and helping to increase social inequality by supporting bills designed to cater to large corporations rather than small businesses. Once again, I urge you to not support these bills or any similar bills in the future. Thank you for your time, and in advance for doing the right thing.

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