Image licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
With Wikipedia, reddit, Internet Archive (not yet down as of 9:21am ET), the lolcats over at Cheezburger, and others blacking out today to protest PIPA*--the US Senate's anti-piracy bill threatening free speech and innovation online--you may find yourself with some extra free time.
You could use these precious quiet moments to shake the petrified food out of your keyboard or redesign your email signature with ASCII or do actual work, but here's what we plan to do:
- Buy all your favorited items on Etsy or fund a Kickstarter project before it's too late. PIPA could pose a threat to both sites due to items that infringe on copyright.
- Watch all of YouTube, which would take approximately more hours than you have left to live. (Really.) Right now, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act only requires YouTube to pull down infringing videos; PIPA could put the entire site in danger.
- Tell a digitally savvy teacher good luck. PIPA may hinder sharing educational resources and slow the growth of technology adoption in the classroom.
- Hug your favorite blog editor. PIPA could make them work overtime policing comments because any link (including ones left by commenters) could be problematic.
- Share information about PIPA on social networks that aren't blacked out. Change your icon, tweet links (that actually work, so not to Wikipedia!), and participate in discussion threads.
- Message your Congressperson and let them know what you think about PIPA. Here's the Senate, the House, EFF's action center, Protect Innovation's petition, ProPublica's SOPA and PIPA page, and American Censorship's resources.
- Make a batch of cookies. You'll be hungry after all doing all that and cookies make everything better; bonus points if you share your cookies and permit remixing under Creative Commons licensing.
* What about SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act, HR2361), you ask? It seems to have been staved off until late February, depending on what legislative body you ask. PIPA (Protect IP Act, S.968) is currently scheduled to come up for a Senate vote on January 24. Slashdot is posting updates throughout the day as things change. Viva la internet!
Looking for reasons to support PIPA and SOPA?
Fark presents a compelling argument for the anti-piracy bills thusly: