Disturbing laws are being proposed in the U.S. Congress which threaten the Internet we know and love, including GTPlanet and hundreds of thousands of online communities and social networks like it. Known as the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), these bills grant unprecedented control over the Internet to the entertainment industry and the U.S. government while attempting to thwart online piracy.
If passed, an infringing picture, embedded video, or link posted in GTPlanet’s forums could have the entire site taken offline for weeks. The site’s advertising revenue could also be withheld, making it impossible for me to pay for the servers and technical infrastructure that keep our community online.
Any website, forum, or social network that displays user-generated content would be at the same risk. Even the web’s largest and most useful sites like Google, Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Twitter are gravely threatened by this legislation.
Today, January 18th, website owners are standing against SOPA and PIPA. Google has blacked-out its logo, the English version of Wikipedia has been taken offline for 24 hours, and many other sites are ensuring their visitors are aware of this issue in different ways.
If you are a U.S. citizen, contact your local representatives in Congress at AmericanCensorship.org. For more information and discussion on this issue, see the following links. If you are concerned about these bills, please help spread the word to your friends – together, we can stop it.
- Google’s SOPA/PIPA Resources, “End Piracy, Not Liberty”
- Ars Technica’s Discussion on SOPA & PIPA
- Reddit’s Technical Explanation of SOPA and PROTECT IP