Activism, Protests & Rights

WordPress Comes Out STRONGLY Against SOPA/PIPA

I have been doing the “happy dance” since I read that WordPress is now strongly voicing their opposition to SOPA/PIPA.  If you are not sure what SOPA/PIPA (yeah, I know… saying SOPA and PIPA consecutively sounds like a Mexican fried pastry)… anyway, if you are not sure what it is, please click on my SOPA/PIPA category in the top menu and side bar to catch up on what has been going on.  Basically, rather than corporations, such as Disney, Viacom, Nike, and many others, using their attorney’s to file suit against those who infringe upon their copyright’s, these supporters want the government to do their dirty-work for them – thus saving all that precious money and profit even more.  On a simple accusation, these bills will allow any corporation to shut down any website WITHOUT PROOF of infringement.  As WordPress says:

Every time you click Publish, you are a part of that change, whether you are posting canny political insight or a cat that makes you LOL. How would you feel if the web stopped being so free and independent? I’m concerned freaked right the heck out about the bills that threaten to do this, and as a participant in one of the biggest changes in modern history, you should be, too….

If you are reading this because you have a WordPress blog… then this means YOU!  (In addition to every site owner in the country)

According to TechDirt:

As Lamar Smith continues to pretend there’s no real opposition to SOPA and PIPA, yet another massive online player has come out forcefully against SOPA — and urged its users to do the same. WordPress.org has taken a break from its usual “we don’t take political positions” position and come out strongly against both bills.

Normally we stay away from from politics here at the official WordPress project — having users from all over the globe that span the political spectrum is evidence that we are doing our job and democratizing publishing, and we don’t want to alienate any of our users no matter how much some of us may disagree with some of them personally. Today, I’m breaking our no-politics rule, because there’s something going on in U.S. politics right now that we need to make sure you know about and understand, because it affects us all.

And if you think WordPress is just some small tech player, you haven’t been paying attention. WordPress is huge:

We are not a small group. More than 60 million people use WordPress — it’s said to power about 15% of the web. We can make an impact, and you can be an agent of change. Go to Stop American Censorship for more information and a bunch of ways you can take action quickly, easily, and painlessly. The Senate votes in two weeks, and we need to help at least 41 more senators see reason before then. Please. Make your voice heard.

Yeah, but no one’s really against these bills, right SOPA/PIPA supporters? As Jane Wells, who wrote the post about this, notes, she’s “freaked the heck out,” because this bill threatens some of the fundamental principles of the internet, the same principles that democratized publishing and the independent web.

Every time you click Publish, you are a part of that change, whether you are posting canny political insight or a cat that makes you LOL. How would you feel if the web stopped being so free and independent? I’m concerned freaked right the heck out about the bills that threaten to do this, and as a participant in one of the biggest changes in modern history, you should be, too….

Some thoughts:

  • In the U.S. our legal system maintains that the burden of proof is on the accuser, and that people are innocent until proven guilty. This tenet seems to be on the chopping block when it comes to the web if these bills pass, as companies could shut down sites based on accusation alone.
  • Laws are not like lines of PHP; they are not easily reverted if someone wakes up and realizes there is a better way to do things. We should not be so quick to codify something this far-reaching.
  • The people writing these laws are not the people writing the independent web, and they are not out to protect it. We have to stand up for it ourselves.

Blogging is a form of activism. You can be an agent of change. Some people will tell you that taking action is useless, that online petitions, phone calls to representatives, and other actions won’t change a single mind, especially one that’s been convinced of something by lobbyist dollars. To those people, I repeat the words of Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.

People are speaking out in droves. Will Congress still ignore them?

Here is an example of the monies being paid by Motion Picture production supporters to our politicians…


So, please… re-blog this… copy/paste this post… I do not care.  Nor do I  care about a link back, either.  All I am concerned about is getting the word out and fighting our country’s first major form of censorship.  The internet will never be the same again.


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5 replies »

    • With WordPress.com sites, we cannot download plugins. Do you have another option with a code for those of us who upgraded and may edit our CSS? Also, I do have wordpress.org sites…. is this plug in available in the plug in search options within the dashboard? Personally, I am just leery against downloaded from a site I’m not familiar with. Please let us know. Thanks!

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