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The freedom to express and share ideas at the stroke of key is likely something you take for granted every day. Every time you check your Facebook page, share a video, or email a link, you are participating in a form of content sharing. Harmless, right?
Maybe you're sharing a clip from your favorite show, a song you just discovered, or a video of a friend with Van Halen playing in the background—all potentially illegal acts. There are currently two bills before Congress, known as the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House, that aim to give unprecedented power of censorship to the government in situations like these. The stated goal is to stop piracy at the beleaguerment of the entertainment industry. But in the pursuit to stop Hollywood movies from being watched for free, the likely result will be endless lawsuits, less personal expression, less sharing, and less motivation for companies to develop new sharing tools and search engines that have become essential for consumer transparency, grassroots movements, and freedom of information—all prerequisite of a modern functioning democracy.
The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. We encourage you to sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.