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Why SOPA and PIPA Matter More Today Than They Did Yesterday

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Yesterday, sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, and Craigslist blacked out in protest of SOPA and PIPA, two anti-piracy bills that would cause tons of Internet censorship. Countless blogs also joined the protest, and major sites like Google and Pinterest put up notices about the bills, even though they didn’t shut down completely.

Today, the Internet is, for the most part, back to normal. I’m still seeing a few tweets here and there about SOPA and PIPA,and a few sites are still alerting users/readers, but it’s back to business as usual for most people.

I have to be honest. That scares me.

SOPA and PIPA protests are more important today than they were yesterday. I saw many reports (mostly in mainstream media, like on the news) saying that the SOPA/PIPA protest yesterday was a giant failure. While I don’t believe that’s true, I do think that getting angry on Twitter and Facebook for a day doesn’t really matter. What matters is the follow through.

BlogWorld Expo is a conference for content creators. Last night, we held a Twitter chat to talk about SOPA and PIPA and one of the points brought up by Curtis Silver is that it is our responsibility, as content creators, to make sure this issue continues to stay on people’s minds. Others made similar points and they’re absolutely right – yesterday, several members of Senate pulled their support, but PIPA could still pass next week and SOPA could as well next month. We need to continue to voice our opinions against these bills.

Have you called your state’s elected officials? Tell them that you will not vote for anyone supporting SOPA or PIPA. Even an email or hand-written letter helps get your voice heard. Believe it or not, these politicians do listen to the people they represent because – surprise surprise – they want to get reelected. By saying you won’t vote for them, you’re threatening their jobs.

If you’re a content creator online, don’t let your readers/listeners/viewers forget how important SOPA and PIPA are. And no matter who you are, continue sharing this information on social media. Yesterday was only a battle. Let’s make it our goal to win the war.

Could Facebook Shut Down? Understanding SOPA and PIPA

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If you haven’t seen it yet, check out our video explaining what SOPA and PIPA are and why you should care about these bills:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zCNa1XSwdw[/youtube]

Pass the video on to all of your friends so we can fight SOPA/PIPA together! Even if you aren’t from the United States, these potential laws affect you; they affect every Internet user.

Please head to http://www.blogworld.com/SOPA to find out more about how you can join the fight against SOPA/PIPA and join us on Twitter this Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012 at 9 PM EST for #bwechat, where we’ll be talking about these bills and what they mean to you.

25 Brilliant Bloggers Talk about SOPA

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Brilliant Bloggers is a weekly series here at BlogWorld where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every week, we’ll feature three of the most brilliant bloggers out there, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: SOPA

SOPA has been causing a stir in the new media industry since the day it was introduced. I’ve written about why SOPA scares me (and should scare you too), and thanks to domain name owners boycotting GoDaddy, we’ve already made a difference! The bill is still likely to pass, though, so we have more work to do. A group of major players online including Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Google have said they’re considering a black out – that’s how big of a deal this is.

For today’s Brilliant Bloggers, I wanted to highlight posts from other bloggers who are also talking about SOPA. This is a super important issue, so if you aren’t familiar with what SOPA is and what it means to you (and to anyone who uses the Internet), take some time to check out these posts.

Advice from Brilliant Bloggers:

How SOPA/PIPA Can Affect You by Jamal Jackson from 1stwebdesigner

First things things first; before you can start reading all the brilliant opinions out there about SOPA, it’s important to understand exactly what SOPA and PIPA are and what they mean for you as a blogger, a social media profession, and even a consumer. This post by Jamal Jackson from 1stwebdesigner is a great place to start, since he breaks down the proposed laws into very easy-to-understand terms. It’s a long post, but trust me: it’s worth reading and understanding this. Everyone online, from those who use it for work every day to those who just log in to check their Facebook occasionally, is affected by SOPA and PIPA. It’s even important if you’re not from the United States. Writes Jamal,

The U.S. government officials and private corporations aren’t only concerned about how these bills will work out in America, they are hoping that they will have the influence to get other nations to follow suit with these acts passing. That means if these acts pass, then the next country this could be coming toward may be yours.

You can find more from Jamal at Five Alarm Interactive and follow him on Twitter @5alarmint.

SOPA, GoDaddy and the Bottom-Up Democracy (or Mob Rule) of the Web by John Paul Titlow at Read Write Web

Once you understand what SOPA is and how it can affect you, check out this post by John Paul Titlow on Read Write Web. He talks about the recent “mob” mentality that helped convince GoDaddy and other companies to stop supporting SOPA – and he takes a closer look as to whether or not this was a good thing. Undoubtedly, GoDaddy’s change of heart was good for those opposing SOPA, but is mob mentality on the Internet potentially harmful? He writes,

To be sure, some of what goes on amongst the Reddit is questionable and not every member of that particular community has their facts straight at all times. But they’re far from the only player in these scenarios, even if they do often provide a solid launch pad for digital protest campaigns. What’s more remarkable is what the architecture of the Web generally, as well as its social tools, are beginning – yes, only beginning – to enable.

Check out the full post on Read Write Web, and then follow John Paul on Twitter @johnpaul. You can also find out more about him at JohnPaulTitlow.com.

Preparedness In a Post-SOPA World by Chris Richardson at WebProNews

One of the most infuriating things about SOPA is that it isn’t going to actually cut down on piracy, which is the whole goal of the bill, according to those supporting it. People are already finding ways to work around the censorship, should the bill pass. In this post, which is one of many great SOPA posts on WebProNews, Chris Richardson posts an entire list of IP addresses that you can use to access some of your favorite sites in case the top-level domains aren’t working anymore. The list isn’t in and of itself as important as actually understanding why this kind of thing pretty much negates the entire point of SOPA and just makes things more difficult to everyone online, whether you’re a pirate or a legitimate business owner. Writes Chris,

Hopefully, the Louis Pasteur quote subtitling this article [ “Fortune favors a prepared mind”] motivates you enough to prepare yourself for a post-SOPA world, one where the Internet, as we know it, is rendered into a smoldering ruin that’s overtly governed by the copyright gatekeepers. Hyperbole? Perhaps, but then again, being prepared for a potentially real future could make the transition to a SOPA-controlled Internet much easier to navigate.

You can find more from Chris by adding him to your circles on Google+.

BONUS BRILLIANT BLOGGER: It’s a very long and in-depth post, but if you have time to read it, Don’t Break the Internet at the Stanford Law Review is one of the best explanations of SOPA out there, in my opinion. Check it out!

Even More Brilliant Advice:

  1. 25 Things You Need To Know About SOPA by David Pegg (@iamdpegg)
  2. Boycotting SOPA Supporters is All or Nothing by Kelly Clay (@kellyhclay)
  3. Coders are Already Finding Ways Around SOPA Censorship by Adam Clark Estes (@adamclarkestes)
  4. Google’s SOPA press stunt: Can we truly hold them liable? by Charlie Osborne (@ZDNetCharlie)
  5. Net Artists Warned Us About SOPA 15 Years Ago by Will Brand (@wrbrand)
  6. No SOPA for You: This Chrome Extension Shows You Who Is Pro-SOPA as You Browse by Adrianne Jeffries (@adrjeffries)
  7. Online Piracy and SOPA: Beware of Unintended Consequences by James Gattuso
  8. Piracy is not a problem; SOPA is not a solution by Terry Hancock (@TerryHancock1)
  9. Public Service Announcement: Writers, Censorship, and SOPA by Melissa Donovan (@melissadonovan)
  10. SOPA: All Your Internets Belong to US by Michael Geist (@mgeist)
  11. SOPA: An Unfair Advantage for GoDaddy, but Reddit and Facebook are Safe by Brad McCarty (@BradMcCarty)
  12. SOPA, Freedom, and the Invisible War by John Biggs (@johnbiggs)
  13. SOPA is the end of us, say bloggers by Tim Mak (@timkmak)
  14. SOPA isn’t the Answer to Our Problems byDaniel Herzig (@techblitznews)
  15. SOPA, Middlemen and Freedom of Art by Mark Birch (@marksbirch)
  16. SOPA’s most frightening flaw is the future it predicts by Omar El Akkad
  17. URGENT: SOPA will Kill Your Mom Blog and WAHM Business by Linsey Knerl (@lknerl)
  18. What Journalists Need to Know about SOPA by Tracie Powell (@tmpowell)
  19. Why is SOPA a big problem for everyone? Just ask DaJaz1.com by Ken Priore (@priorelaw)
  20. Why We Must Stop SOPA by End of the American Dream
  21. “Wow, I had no clue SOPA was such a bad idea…” by Rosie Siman (@rosiesiman)

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about SOPA? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link!

Next Week’s Topic: Pinterest

I’d love to include a link to your post next week – and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

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