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SOPA / PIPA <i>Will</i> Affect Everyone (You Too) and What You Can Do To Help Stop It

SOPA / PIPA Will Affect Everyone (You Too) and What You Can Do To Help Stop It

SOPA in a nutshell:
Do you like sharing pics on Facebook? Love watching YouTube videos? Do you list your old couch on Craigslist or Ebay? If so, pay attention. The internet we know and love is in very real danger. The sites you love could be shut down – Facebook, Youtube, Reddit, Wikipedia. Any website that thrives on user generated content is in serious jeopardy.

Wait, what???  Why?

Designed to fight online piracy, bootlegging and knockoffs, SOPA and PIPA are bills currently being considered to protect copyrighted material on the internet. Obviously that is a terrific idea but the blanket design of the bills could spell disaster for sites that rely on user generated content.

Currently individual websites like Facebook are responsible for investigating a potential copyright violation by one of its users and then deleting the offending content and potentially blocking the user. WIth SOPA, the entire site could be shut down (yes Facebook and Youtube) and the offending user which could be you (even non commercial users) could actually face up to 5 years of jail time if you intentionally or inadvertently post something that is copyright protected (like uploading a video of yourself singing a pop song).

SOPA Supporters and Detractors:

Watch this short video for a quick explanation of what SOPA is about.

What you can do
This is really important and time sensitive. Just do it. Send an email and make a phone call to stand up for our rights. Do it now – Do it on January 18. Deluge your senator and house representative with phone calls. Let your voice be heard.

1. Start at Popvox. Fill out the super easy form and tell them what you think about SOPA. This will simply email your representative who may be for or against SOPA/PIPA.

2. Locate your Representative to see if they are supporters or opposers. There are multiple points of contact listed including phone numbers, fax numbers, Facebook and Twitter pages and homepages. Thank the opposer and plead with the supporters. - send emails, contact through their homepage and write on their Facebook walls.

3. Call. The Senate switchboard number is (202) 224-3121 (reference PIPA, Bill S.968) and the House switchboard is (202) 224-3121 (reference reference SOPA, H.R. 3261).

4. Build awareness – This was the idea posted by Paul Tassi from Forbes.com to make a difference on Facebook. Create an online photo album on Facebook (because an album gets more space in the newsfeed than just changing your profile pic). Upload the image three times and link it to: http://americancensorship.org/

Facebook Users Can Help Stop SOPA

Facebook Users Can Help Stop SOPA

5. Like the following Facebook pages:

6. Attend this event:

7. If you have a website or blog, please consider joining the internet blackout on Wednesday, January 18 2012 from 8am to 8pm U.S. Eastern time by blacking out your internet presence to replicate in the effect SOPA could have on the web and its users if SOPA/PIPA moves forward.

Reddit and Wikipedia are blacking out. A Much Better Way is blacking out. The most powerful supporters would obviously be Google and Facebook but experts agree that it is unlikely that they will shut down for a day, despite fiercely opposing the bill.

WordPress users can use a simple plugin (that is how we are participating).

Blogger users can change your theme background and foreground to black or use a blackout theme for blogger.

Sara Jo Chipps has an easy way for others to participate.

Drop the following code in between your two HEAD tags on your site, your users will be redirected to the blackout page that describes what you are doing and why. Then, when the protest is over, simply remove the added code.

<script> var today = new Date(); if((today.getDate() == 18) && (today.getMonth() == 0) && (today.getFullYear() == 2012)) { window.location = "http://protestsopa.org"; } </script>

If you know of more ways to help, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment on this post.

I make my living and support my family with the internet.  I am not the only one.  The internet is a vital and thriving part of our economy.  Not only that but  the sites I love the most are the ones most at risk.  Please do you part to help save the internet.  Thank you.


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Sheryl is the CEO/President of A Much Better Way LLC and the natural family living superstore, Betterra.com. Sheryl blogs for fun about ecommerce, eco and kid friendly travel, attachment parenting and anything else that she finds fascinating.


  1. Anon · January 17, 2012 Reply

    Sign the petition https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/

  2. Catherine Jones · February 19, 2012 Reply

    I don’t feel like we’ve won anything. Once Megaupload went down i said to myself “ok, it’s just one in a sea”, but then a lot of other filehosting websites started to close just by being afraid something like that could happen to them too. Those owners didn’t go to prison, they closed shop with their own hands.
    Catherine Jones recently posted..Heavy Machinery

  3. Amalia · February 22, 2012 Reply

    SOPA and ACTA are BAD.
    ACTA had move forward in Europe despite protests.
    Amalia recently posted..Goldsenze

  4. Stephaine · December 8, 2012 Reply

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    Stephaine recently posted..Stephaine

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