Today I was going to write a review on The Wildwood Tarot I received for Christmas. In order to do that I would need to use images like the ones on the left. If the SOPA and PIPA bills pass through the US Congress on January 24, 2012, my blog might need to be shutdown and blocked because of infringement issues.
And it wouldn't just be blogs that review tarot decks. If your website uses images from RWS or other decks in card of the day postings, spreads or in free classes the US Government would have the right to block access to your website.
What about Tarot organization websites like American Tarot Association, The Tarot Guild, TABI and Tarot Town? Yep, they could also be shut down or blocked if they use images they do not own on the websites.
Or retail websites like Llewellyn or US Games? They also could be shut down or blocked. As well as websites like Aeclectic Tarot. Wait you say, the retail sites have the legal right to use images for the products they sell. They wouldn't be shut down. Wrong!
The way SOPA and PIPA are written allows the US Attorney General to shut down or block any website they believe might have infringed on other's material and/or intellectual property without due process. Guilty until proven innocent.
But what about websites like TABI and others that are hosted outside of the United States? SOPA and PIPA would require separate DNS servers for foreign websites. They would require all websites that list or hyperlink to websites believed to infringe on copy written material and/or intellectual property to remove the link or banner ads. This means sites like Google, Bing! and Yahoo! would not only lose a significant part of their listings, but also would lose ad revenue.
Social Media sites like Facebook, Google+, or Twitter would be required to suspend any user thought to post or link to infringed property. You Tube would also have to suspend user accounts. If these sites do not suspend the users, they would be subject to fines and penalties up to and including shutdown.
Beneath the noise pollution being spouted by Congress, AFL-CIO and MPAA is a serious threat to freedom of speech and to innovation. Any group with a large enough wallet or loud enough megaphone could claim any site the do not agree with uses infringed material and Viola!! Disappearing website. Windows and Mac OS for years have allowed users to develop their own extensions for their operating systems. It is because of the ideas of others that we have modern operating systems with multi-threading and other features. Innovation often involves improving on an existing product or service.
What might not be so highly known is that Hollywood gave Congress $94,000,000 to draft and pass the bills. As Reddit Founder Alexis Ohanian said on CNBC the other night:
“Why is it that when Republicans and Democrats need to solve the budget and the deficit, there’s deadlock, but when Hollywood lobbyists pay them $94 million dollars to write legislation, people from both sides of the aisle line up to co-sponsor it?”
Please support the anti-SOPA movement. If you live in the US contact your Congressman and tell him to vote NO on SOPA and PIPA. And visit SOPA STRIKE to find out more.