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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Lindsey Auguste

Lindsey Auguste Business Intelligence Specialist

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Blackout Explained: Why DrivingSales Has Gone Dark

 

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. 

Tommy Bay
Well said, Lindsey. I know that you've written about this before on DrivingSales (the SOPA / PIPA issue). For those who still haven't figured out what's going on within these bills but who's curiosities are now sufficiently piqued, here's a video to get you started: http://fightforthefuture.org/pipa Let's all get educated and protect our Internet!
Eric Miltsch
Thanks Lindsey - A very important issue everyone should at least be aware of...
Lindsey Auguste
Thanks, Tommy. Many technology experts and business leaders agree that these bills will cripple the entire internet and stifle innovation. On a more personal note, these bills would negatively affect our community full of dealers, vendors and OEMs all of whom do a significant portion of their business online. The Senate is voting on this next week, January 24th. We invite our community to study and learn about these bills for themselves and decide how the bills affect them.
Eric Miltsch
One of the interesting "battles" is the fight between Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Hollywood is an obvious supporter of privacy protection as it hurts their industry, while Silicon Valley (i.e. Google) is against it as it could literally shut down YouTube. At first glance it seems as if the MPAA simply ran wild with their lobbyists to help drive the original bill - fortunately it was the awareness created online which help bring about the movement we're seeing right now. Somehow I think the lawmakers still underestimate the power of the Internet...good stuff Lindsey!
Bryan Armstrong
This got out of hand LOOOOONG ago! Call your Congressman, take action now or don't BITCH later!!

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