Open Internet Good. Censorship Bad.

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Welcome back internet. I missed you yesterday! I hope a number of folks were able to get up to speed on the SOPA/PIPA legislation that will soon resurrect like a zombie and again start working it’s way through the House and Senate.

Still not sure what it is? You can find a simple explanation here.

I urge you to contact your Senators and Representative to express your concerns over this damaging bill. Signing online petitions is all well and good, but the people whom you have elected need to hear from you directly! Not sure how to do that? This should help get you started.

Here is the letter that I sent to my Senators and Representative on SOPA/PIPA. I modified it slightly for each one. This is the Feinstein version. The version I sent to Rep. Howard Berman expressed NO surprise that he might be swayed by Hollywood money.

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Dear Senator,

I am a professional that works for an audio/video/technology company. We are in the unique position of creating media that we certainly are interested in protecting from piracy, however we also rely heavily on an open internet to disseminate it.

I am extremely concerned about the proposed PIPA and SOPA legislation that is before the house and the senate. I have read them and I see clearly the potential for abuse. The effect such abuse would have on the internet would be real and devastating. Most importantly, I see no concrete structure in the bill for effectively dealing with piracy. I am unhappy that so much time and energy has been focused on a bill that stands to do real damage and effect little to no positive change for the intended goal.

I am also frustrated that the bill appears to have been crafted with little input from people who are deeply familiar with the technology of what you are looking to regulate. That lack of input is extremely clear upon reading the current versions. I find that particularly arrogant and dangerous.

I have been a long time supporter of yours, Senator, because I have often found you to be a reasoned and fair representative. Your stated support of this legislation concerns me, though. I hope that upon further study and review, it will also become clear to you that supporting this is wrong. Should you knowingly continue to support it I will be left to wonder if the significant financial influence of the entertainment industry in California has had an effect on you.

I have never believed that of you before and would hate to do so now but I’m not sure how else to understand your support of this.

I urge you to embrace the technical knowledge that the experts are trying to share with elected officials because if you do, I am confident you will also see the flaws and shortcomings of this legislation. The time we waste on bad legislation to fight piracy, frustrates me as a content creator. The time we spend on potentially damaging, technology-regulating legislation, scares me as a tech worker. This legislation is both of those things.

Thank you for your time,

Heather K. King

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