Why it's critical that we protest internet censorship | UFOP: StarBase 118 Star Trek RPG

Why it’s critical that we protest internet censorship

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Citizens,

The Federation is under attack. And this time, it’s by an enemy more powerful than we’ve ever faced before: the United States Congress.

Two bills are racing through Congress which could eventually shut down our website. In the Senate, the bill is called the “Protect IP Act,” (PIPA) while in the House, the bill is called “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA).

These bills would allow the US government to shut down websites that are believed to be infringing upon copyrights. The process by which this happens is vague and ambiguous. It’s not even required that a website owner be aware that their site is going to shut down before it happens. The bills can also cut off funding to websites, by shutting down their PayPal account.

As an organization whose sole purpose is organized around a “fair use” understanding of someone else’s copyrighted works, we are particularly in danger if these bills come to pass. Under current law, we must remove copyrighted works from our website. Under these new laws, Paramount could have our website shut down without even telling us that something is infringing on their works.

But we can help stop these bills, and ensure that future bills are directed at more sane and rational methods of controlling copyright abuse. Join the protest against these bills. Today is the “SOPA Strike,” an event happening across the net that seeks to educate people about these bills and lobby lawmakers to stop them from passing. Wikipedia, Reddit, and even Google are getting into the action.

We need your help. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Sign this petition against the bills
  2. Use this easy tool to CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE if you live in the United States! This is important!
  3. Read more about exactly what these bills do and why they’re bad
  4. If you have a website, put it “on strike” for the day

Don’t believe people when they say that there’s nothing we can do, or that politicians are “bought and paid for.” They do respond to public pressure if they feel like their vote would make them extremely unpopular. But it’s up to us to make them hear our voices! Please participate today to end these draconian bills that would do little to stop piracy and copyright infringement.

To talk more about this, join the discussion on our forums.