No "New Food Wednesday" postings today; they'll be back next week (hopefully).
So by now, most of you have probably logged on to facebook or twitter and seen the mass of postings regarding the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). But what is it and what does it mean for us "casual" internet users?
SOPA (or House Bill 3261 as it's know in the U.S. House of Representatives) is intended to "promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and other purposes."
It's authors assert that the piracy of U.S. intellectual property is hindering the development of commercially viable and profitable ideas protected under a granted copyright.
Under current U.S. law, copyright holders are responsible for monitoring the use of their property and litigating when necessary to prevent the infringement of their copyrights.
If SOPA becomes law, this burden will fall to the websites/ internet services (i.e. Google and Facebook) that post content. A single lawsuit could cripple these sites, allowing a court to disallow such sites from access to U.S. networks.
The free exchange of information and ideas has changed the world. It started with the spoken word, grew with the invention of written language, flourished with the creation of the printing press, expanded with telecommunications...and then came the internet. The human element aside, the internet is the next evolutionary step of communication. It merges information, opinion, and visual images into a single, ongoing stream of consciousness.
Yes, Hollywood actors and inner city rappers need to buy their fourth house complete with stables and a butlers panty for the butlers pantry, but not at the expense of a free internet.
The internet has become the great equalizer in our society. With it everyone is equal. Through it everyone can easily have a voice and express their opinions. I acknowledge that as an American I really shouldn't be preaching on this subject, but do we really want to live in a society that values Hollywood dribble over the new ideas from small a town in Kansas, or a tiny hamlet in New Hampshire, or an independent food blogger in Alabama? I don't!
Sing the petition to stop internet censorship by clicking the following link: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/
To write your Congressman or Senator please click this link: http://www.congress.org/
Eat good food. Drink good beer. And above all, KEEP THE INTERNET FREE!