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Over 1500 websites, including WordPress, Craigslist, Wikipedia, have gone dark today to raise awareness about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and it’s cousin, Protect IP Act (PIPA). Both of these bills are well intentioned: they aim to put a stop to unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content. Remember Napster? These bills hope to punish sites like that, which promote online content theft. The difficulty arises in that most of those sites are hosted overseas, meaning the US government doesn’t have jurisdiction over their actions. With hands tied, legislators are pushing SOPA and PIPA forward, holding domestic sites responsible for any near infraction regarding copyrighted materials.
DrivingSales fully supports anti-piracy. Plagiarism and content theft of any kind are disrespectful and cowardly; however, the current state of these bills has consequences far greater than providing financial credit to a deserving artist. The verbiage in these bills grants far-reaching power to the government to censor websites and even block their addresses from being accessed – all with little oversight.
This is why we’re joining the thousands of websites all across the country in the strike against SOPA. Our website will be blacked out from 8am to 8pm local time to show our opposition to these bills. You are still able to access our site past the blackout page, but we are steadfast in our support against these bills as they are written today. The passing of SOPA or PIPA could dramatically change how DrivingSales does business, how effectively we can serve our community, and how our community can interact with us. It will undoubtedly affect your own online presence and Internet strategy as well, when the sites you share inventory on and where you socially engage with your customers get pulled down, too.
Join us and thousands of other websites across the country in helping to raise awareness against SOPA and PIPA, in educating ourselves and our industry about the dangers of these bills with regard to censorship and free-speech, and protecting the kind of innovation that only the Internet can engender.