We would like to be clear that we do not support piracy, but we stand strongly against censorship. Our main reason for protesting SOPA is that we believe the world looks to the United States to set the bar of what is acceptable in terms of online censorship. Already, the Chinese Communist Party has used SOPA as a cover to expand its systems for censorship and monitoring.
Thus, while SOPA could cause harm in the United States, its impact around the world could be much more severe. Countries that already have systems for monitoring, censorship, and arrests for online activity, could further these campaigns if the standard is lowered in the U.S.
There has also been speculation that tools to circumvent Internet censorship could be threatened, since, in addition to allowing users under oppressive rule to break through Internet blockades, such software would also allow users to access websites blocked by SOPA. The fact is, we do not know how far things could go if SOPA and PIPA are passed, given their broad reach, and given the forces at work behind them.
We at TechZwn.com are also strong supporters of the public domain—which we believe, based on current trends, will be impacted by SOPA and PIPA.
One of the main sources of public domain content, Archive.org, for example, was included on a list of offending websites, falsely blacklisting it as a hub for piracy.
The list mentioned above includes more than 2,200 websites. The fact that a website like Archive.org would be included on a list of websites allegedly dedicated to piracy, and up for censorship should sound a warning bell to the potential reach of censorship bills being pushed by companies that have their own financial interests in mind, namely the entertainment industry, which has taken a blow from the proliferation of free films, books, and videos online—created by users or that exist freely in the public domain.
And so, we encourage users to educate themselves about SOPA and PIPA, and also take a stand against censorship.