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Contact your Congressmen to keep the Internet (and Independent Clauses) free and open

I don’t get involved with politics on Independent Clauses unless it’s critical, and it currently is critical. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is a proposed law that would give a wide swath of powers to “fight piracy” and “enforce copyright laws” to the government, corporations and individual citizens (with and without a grudge). The rules, which are currently “contact the offending website and request a takedown of offending material” or “pursue due process of law to attack copyright thieves,” would be modified to take out much of the process.

Here’s a worst-case scenario: I run a poor review of a band, accompanied by the band’s album art and a music video. The band, angry at this bad review, calls up our hosting company and complains that I posted their copyrighted content without their permission. At this point, our hosting company may be legally obligated to take down the entire Independent Clauses site. Not the post: The whole site. And since due process of law is eliminated, there’s little to nothing I would be able to do about it.

And that’s not even the part of the bill that includes government censorship of websites. This is very, very bad.

Please contact your Congressmen so that this ambiguous, amorphous future doesn’t happen.