Okay, this is obviously not an official blackout of the blog — but I do support all the blackouts today, as well as any other efforts to defeat SOPA and PIPA.

What are we talking about? SOPA = the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House of Representatives. And PIPA = the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate. They sound real nice, but the way they’re written, they’d have a good chance of shutting down large chunks of the Internet. If passed, they would damage Internet security, make things much rougher for online innovators and businesses, and have a strong chilling effect on free speech. I consider both of these bills some of the most anti-First Amendment and anti-American bills I’ve ever seen from any Congress.

I’m not going to waste your time by going over all the issues and dangers that SOPA and PIPA pose, especially when the Electronic Frontier Foundation has already done it so much better than I could.

I do consider these bills to be something that could affect blogs just like mine. Most of my content revolves around comic books, and both DC and Marvel have come down in favor of SOPA and PIPA. If they wanted to, they could use laws like these to demand that my blog be blocked for posting scans of comic covers or interior panels — which have been permitted for decades as “fair use.” This isn’t something that will only affect downloaders — it’ll affect people who use Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, YouTube, Vimeo, Etsy, Flickr, DeviantArt, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Amazon — frankly, I think it could end up affecting almost every website in the country.

The House has temporarily retreated from SOPA, at least until they think no one’s watching them, but the Senate is still working to pass PIPA. Both of these bills need to be crushed out of existence.

And to be honest, we all need to ask our Congressional representatives why they’ve been working so very, very hard to pass anti-American bills like this. We have to ask them why, we need to hold their feet to the fire, and they need to know we’re angry.

Call your Congresscritters. Be polite or they’ll ignore you. But tell them you’re angry. And tell them to oppose any bills that censor the Internet.

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