A few years back, before all this internet/smartphone/ubiquitous stuff, I worked for a media development NGO, helping to strengthen public-interest media in the developing world, as a critical part of public debate and social change. One of the ways we used to articulate why it was important to support these independent, public and community media was “imagine a world without media”… Unthinkable.
Now, with the space for individual communication and agency expanding and affecting so many facets of our lives, a flotilla of sites “going dark” is a critical action that demonstrates where we might all end up if this kind of legislation, which seeks to protect archaic modes of production and value creation, at the behest of entrenched lobbies and interests, is not stopped in its tracks. SOPA and PIPA must be stopped.
[And, if laws such as these pass in the US, then these flawed and failed legal standards will then be exported to other nations, with drastic results for free speech, and the creation of value (cultural, economic, and network) worldwide.]