This is off-topic for our blog but both these laws being considered in Congress right now, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), must be stopped. If these acts were to be signed into law they would dramatically change the Internet as we know it, putting in jeopardy a countless number of (legitimate) websites and businesses which thrive on the openness and innovation of the internet.
The gist of these bills is that they would put the US behind a firewall much like China, allowing the government to order internet service providers (ISP’s) to block websites and charge individuals with a felony plus fine for linking or showing copyrighted materials (regardless of whether the copyright holder wished to pursue either of these actions against someone). This will criminalize a huge swath of the internet which is currently legal under the DMCA and expose these sites to the same kind of ridiculous lawsuits that the MPAA and RIAA have been bringing against websites and individuals.
Both of these bills were considered a slam dunk to be signed into law not even a month ago until a whole host of companies, organizations, individuals, and legal and internet experts created enough publicity to make our lawmakers reconsider these bills. I would urge everyone to contact their elected representatives to express their displeasure with both of these bills.
Another effective way to combat this is to check the list of companies (link here; thanks to Gizmodo for the link) and contact them to let them know you will be boycotting their products.
Every voice is needed. These bills were created and are supported, sponsored, and guided by a ridiculous amount of corporate money and influence.