WordPress release on SOPA and PIPA

I am adding here both excerpt and full link to the WordPress appeal to Help Stop SOPA/PIPA. Many people use the WordPress brand from design-level through to hosting. I have used it since 2006 in numerous ways including being part of a group blog, personal blogs and with PEN. The question has to be about who benefits from internet-repression? What vested interests are secured by taking down the innovators , and of course why Congress would attempt laws as repressive as those they have criticised globally ?

It really should not be a case of codifying domestic laws that one appears opposed to on the international stage, nor are the media discussing the possible ramifications of censorships on innovators. As is usual there appears to be an inability to examine the issues.

The  Wordpress excerpt follows :

  • In the U.S. our legal system maintains that the burden of proof is on the accuser, and that people are innocent until proven guilty. This tenet seems to be on the chopping block when it comes to the web if these bills pass, as companies could shut down sites based on accusation alone.
  • Laws are not like lines of PHP ; they are not easily reverted if someone wakes up and realizes there is a better way to do things. We should not be so quick to codify something this far-reaching.
  • The people writing these laws are not the people writing the independent web, and they are not out to protect it. We have to stand up for it ourselves.

Blogging is a form of activism. You can be an agent of change. Some people will tell you that taking action is useless, that online petitions, phone calls to representatives, and other actions won’t change a single mind, especially one that’s been convinced of something by lobbyist dollars. To those people, I repeat the words of Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

We are not a small group. More than 60 million people use WordPress — it’s said to power about 15% of the web. We can make an impact, and you can be an agent of change. Go to Stop American Censorship for more information and a bunch of ways you can take action quickly, easily, and painlessly. The Senate votes in two weeks, and we need to help at least 41 more senators see reason before then. Please. Make your voice heard.

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4 comments

  1. The best way to take action is to study how people are responding to these forms of censorship. I say censorship, because it involves people who have developed, managed and worked on sites like WordPress for years being jumped on by people who appear not to fully understand that repressive censorship was never part of the U.S.

    Indeed, the U.S have criticised nearly everyone else for censorship for generations! The proposed Bills are akin to thievery imo. OR Piracy of other’s work, if you will. The idea of ‘Vested interests‘ plays a role also : who benefits from congress repressing innovation ?

  2. When I hear that business wish to stop people using writer’s tools like WordPress in cases of arbitrary isp-blocking , I think that they are the biggest pirates and really wish to steal and monetise the hard work of developers. In small countries like Ireland business and government are very close – I’d black out my site sooner than write on the sites of people who *think* that they have anything to offer me as a writer. Mostly their media-concerns offer a diet of misogyny,celebrity-tat and twisted repression. OR worse some type of darby-o-gill projection of Irishness that seems to think that cash is art: pragmatism and piracy.


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