Anyone that knows me probably knows that politics are not my “thing.” Oftentimes I find it depressing and just prefer to keep out of it all together. Today, for me, is not that day.
I would like to quote a co-worker of mine, Dan Jolley, who has expressed this concern in much better words than I can:
“A number of Internet sites will not be available tomorrow, as they will go dark in protest of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) legislation pending in Congress. I personally agree with SOPA opponents that both bills represent an egregious assault on free speech. This is to let you know some of the sites that will be blacked out tomorrow (censoring themselves the way our government will be able to arbitrarily censor any site if the legislation passes). Some will be going black for most of the day (such as 8 am – 8 pm), while others will go black for 24 hours.”
Several popular sites include wordpress.com, wikipedia.com, The Internet Archive, and Mozilla.com
As a librarian, archivist, and fiber artist, I know many sites near and dear to my heart that would be shut down, impeded on, or penalized by this legislation (etsy.com, North Carolina Digital Heritage Center, and other archival research websites).
I believe in copyright and the right of a creator, and I also abhor purposeful and harmful plagiarism. But in the academic community, we support fair use of information for the growth of research, education, and critical thinking.
As a librarian, I am not supporting mayhem in the streets. A proper and appropriate balance can be met between protecting copyright holders and educators/artists/researchers. In the words of the Library Copyright Alliance, “There are millions of Internet users who are neither criminal infringers nor content conglomerates, and policies to punish the former or protect the latter can affect broad swaths of innocent users.”
I hope a happy medium can be reached in the future…..and that I won’t lose the joys of etsy anytime soon.
I now, respectfully, descend from my soap box in order to get back to other things….and don’t worry, this is probably the last time you’ll ever hear anything political from me again….after all, this blog is mostly about an old house and chickens. 🙂