(Clearing my throat)

The Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) is the bill being considered by the House of Representatives. The Protect Intellectual Property Act (Pipa) is the parallel bill being considered by the Senate. Both of these bills essentially will bring Iranian/Chinese type censorship to the internet here in the US. If these bills were passed they could crush small websites through lawsuits even if they had done nothing illegal. Bottom line, these bills dramatically increase the role of government on the internet making it a much less free medium. These bills could kill, while in infancy, future Googles and Facebooks.

The bills are supported by music, movie and book publishers who seek to protect their interests.  The bills are opposed by Google, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo, eBay, LinkedIn, AOL and Zynga and thousands of other smaller websites like Lattitude Solutions Dallas Web Design who are concerned about maintaining a censorship free internet.

SOPA And PIPA Have Only Been Delayed Not Stopped. The Fight To Protect Internet Freedom Is Not Over.

These bills, if passed, could be devastating to small online entrepreneurs like ourselves. Because of overwhelming public outcry these bills have been delayed not stopped. (Here is an article which explains how SOPA and PIPA were delayed.

I highly encourage you to contact your political representatives no matter where they are in the world and voice your opposition to these bills. Even though they are US bills they have a worldwide effect and could be used as precedents in countries around the world.

There is an internet blackout scheduled for today! Huge sites such as:

Are going dark today…

Some webmasters are choosing to join them others are finding other ways to protest. Here are all the details on the SOPA blackout including ideas on how you can participate as a webmaster.

If you dont believe there is strength in numbers, check this……Godaddy.com, you know,  the popular domain registrar? Well they originally supported the bill. A boycott was organized in protest to Godaddy’s position on these bills and thousands of webmasters moved their domains to registrars which opposed these bills. The boycott was so successful that Godaddy reversed it’s position and now opposes these bills. We have tremendous power as webmasters if we work together! The internet and social media have been key components in major social change around the world. We need to keep this a free and uncensored medium.

Remember, this is an international issue even though the bills are before US legislators. What happens here will affect the internet worldwide. The good news is that because of a free internet we have power. Let’s not let the government, doing the bidding for special interest groups, take this freedom away. Yall know the “G” game waaay to well!  If we give them an inch they will take a mile .

SOPA and PIPA Bills Are US Bills But They Have A Worldwide Implication

Here are several ways internet marketers and people like yourself can protest PIPA and SOPA:

1. Send an email to your list and let your list know that the US government is shut down the internet as we know it.  Encourage them to get involved and take action themselves. You are more than welcome to use any or all of this blog post. Go ahead and steal it if you wish! I give you my permission. I promise I will not sue you like the government will if these bills pass.

2. Post to Facebook and Twitter encouraging your followers to take action. Again you are more than welcome to reference any or all of this post in your social media postings. There are two hashtags being used for this protest on Twitter– #sopastrike or #stopsopa . Do not stop at just sharing this post with your Facebook and Twitter contacts. Look for Facebook fanpages that both relate to internet marketers and to those who are discussing internet censorship issues. Share this post and/or posts like it on their fanpages. Remember, Facebook is 100% opposed to SOPA and PIPA. Most internet marketers have been building lists and fan bases. Imagine if we all sent emails to all our lists about this issue. Internet marketers could really exercise some power here. I am sending this out to my list of over 30,000 in the Dallas area. How many do you have in your list?

Find The Busiest Facebook Fanpages Dealing With Internet Marketing And Internet Censorship And Share This And Other Related Posts. Ask People To Participate In The Comments Section.

3. Make a blog post about your thoughts on SOPA and PIPA. Again, you are more than welcome to use any material here on your blog post. The important thing to do is to get the word out in as many ways as possible.

4. Place the Stop PIPA pop up on your busiest sites. This pop up is great because it not only helps people take immediate action by contacting their legislators but is brings awareness to this important issue to everybody who visits your website.

5. Join the Blackout. Many webmasters are simply choosing to blackout their site on Jan 18 in protest. You will be in good company with Wikipedia going dark as well as many other high profile websites. Here is an article which will give you plenty ideas on how to join in the SOPA/PIPA blackout. There is even a wordpress plugin designed just for this event.

The Fight Is Not Over After The Blackout. We Must Continue To Put Pressure On Our Politicians And Recruit Others To The Cause To Ensure That The Internet Remains Free Of Censorship.

These are just 5 ways to get the word out. I am sure there are many more and I highly encourage you to share these ideas in the comments area. We must all work together to not just delay these bills but the kill them. I welcome your comments on these issues no matter where you stand.

Here is an excellent video which explains very clearly the dangers of SOPA and PIPA. I encourage you to like and share this video as much as you can. Also please comment on the video as well. It will help the video get more rankings and views.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=HGEUhCfQ464