I write to you today in hopes that I can convince you to sign a petition
against two upcoming United States legislation known as SOPA
. These laws, which are designed to prevent online piracy, would throw a serious amount of cold water on the freedoms we all enjoy on the internet. These laws pose a threat to this community because, as the sole income provider for my family, I cannot -- and will not -- risk the liability that these laws would place upon me personally for any actions of any member on the forums or the wiki. If any of the users, regular new or old time users, were to utilize my services in a manner designed to illegal trade in copyrighted materials, regardless of whether I was aware of the activity or not, I can be personally held liable. That is simply something I am not willing to risk. Even if the users did not openly post in the forums, but instead utilized the private messaging system to trade in links to sites where illegal copyrighted materials are maintained there is still the chance that the owners of that copyrighted materials could hold me liable for the activity going on here. I simply cannot spend the time and resources to monitor user activity to that degree and would, in all likelihood, shut down the forums until such time that I can ascertain whether my personal livelihood would be in jeopardy, and/or, until the US Courts intervene and -- I pray -- strike these stupid laws down should congress be stupid enough to pass them, and should our President be short sighted enough to sign the laws if congress does pass them.
I beg each of you to not only sign the petition but to pass the information about these two laws to everyone you know. Post links to the petition on your facebook, google+, twitter pages, etc. Post it on forums, shout it from the rooftops, do whatever you feel you must to stop this insanity before it takes root and destroys the very fabric of freedom that I so love about my country. Even if you do not live in America, pass the word on and urge your leaders to step in and try and talk since into the leaders of my country. If enough voices, from around the globe, speak up at once, even Congress will shut up and listen. Call your local congressional representative. Write and mail (yes, mail a real letter) to them. Write to the White House. Email them as well. Have your parents do the same. Speak up before they silence us.
For information on your local congressional representatives go to the Wikipedia Congressional Lookup page
and enter your zip code.
To paraphrase Martin Niemöller famous "First they came" statement:First they came for the software pirates, and I did not speak out for I was not a software pirate.
Then they came for the internet whistle blowers, and I did not speak out for I was not an internet whistle blower.
Then they came for the bloggers, and I did not speak out for I was not a blogger.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Let's not let it come to this ... Please. Speak up now, while there are millions of us who can still do so.