Some of you might be seeing a number of your favorite websites either “going black” with this page or you might get a link to Google asking you to sign the petition.
But what the hell is it exactly and how could it affect BMX?
Well, simply put… The U.S law makers decided that they were sick of hearing the music industry and computer program industry cry about piracy, or people stealing their work and putting it online for people to get for free. Which, I can understand since how many times have you downloaded a song or tried to get a copy of a program like Photoshop or Final Cut for you to edit your photos and videos without paying for it? It happens… A lot.
However, after doing some research, if these two bills pass it will give the government and corporations the right to go on a head hunting mission to eliminate any form of piracy online. Ultimately leaving them in control of creativity and originality online.
I suggest that you read about the SOPA bill here or the PIPA bill here.
So it eliminates piracy? That’s a good thing, right? Yeah, ending piracy is a good thing, but what the government wants to do is make it so that any body who uses a song (like the song you want to use in your edit) or a photo without paying for it and gaining clearance could lead you to being sued. That also means sites like Youtube, Twitter and Facebook could all be shut down because how many times have you seen song posted up? How about a photo the person didn’t take or get permission to share? When was the last time you looked up your favorite video part that was uploaded by “BMX Kid 69” or something? What about a clip from an episode of Family Guy that Seth MacFarlane didn’t upload? Hell, that means if you do your own cover of a song and put it up on Youtube, you are violating these laws because you most likely didn’t get permission from the record label that owns the song!
This also would force search engines like Google to block any website that could share content that was pirated. It would also make it so the government or a corporation could literally look at a website and decide they are promoting piracy through their videos and have the entire website deleted like it never existed.
That means The Union, The Come Up, Vital BMX, Ride BMX, Ride UK, DIG and pretty much every single one of your favorite BMX sites would get shut down because they all share edits that pop up on Youtube and Vimeo that I’m willing to bet 99% of the music isn’t cleared with. They could shut us all down because we are “promoting piracy and using content that is stolen”.
So what can you do to stop this from happening? Well, it’s pretty easy. You can call your local law makers and tell them they won’t be getting your vote if they vote for this and that you don’t want to see it happen. Even easier than that?SIGN THIS PETITION THAT GOOGLE PUT TOGETHER!. Then SIGN THIS ONE by the SOPA STRIKE GROUP.
Letting this happen would give the government and corporations even more control over what we can and can’t do. All I know is I’m saying fuck that! (Gotta take advantage of that freedom of speech before they try and take that away too…)