[IMPORTANT] SOPA and PROTECT IP threaten our very existence, take action now!

[IMPORTANT] SOPA and PROTECT IP threaten our very existence, take action now!
I would prefer not to mix LDraw and politics, but in this case, a piece of legislation threatens the very thing that holds our community together... the internet.

If SOPA and the PROTECT IP Act are passed, it would allow a third party to accuse LDraw.org of hosting copyrighted material, which would cause the entire site to be "taken down" for American users (the DNS entry for ldraw.org would no-longer resolve to where the site is hosted).

We are particularly susceptible to these bills because we are dealing with a product (LEGO) whose rights do not inherently belong to us. Note that it would not necessarily need to be The Lego Group that would initiate the takedown. Something as simple as posting an image of a MOC made by somebody else would be enough to (under the proposed legislation) warrant a takedown of the entire site!

Imagine Peeron being taken down. Imagine Brickshelf being taken down. Imagine BrickLink being taken down. Imagine Lugnet being taken down. Imagine LDraw being taken down. That is what could and most likely would happen if these bills get passed. We certainly want to avoid that!

At first glance, the bills might seem to be a good thing, claiming to address the issue of piracy and copyright infringement, this is really just the veil under which they attempt to censor the internet in the United States. I am completely morally opposed to piracy, and would support legislation which actually addresses the issue properly, however the side-effects of these bills are much too devastating.

If these bills are passed, they would most certainly have very profound adverse effects on the LDraw community (as well as other AFOL communities), which is why I urge all US citizens to take action against this legislation. If these bills get passed in the United States... similar legislation in Europe (and other places) would not be far away.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has provided a convenient page which goes into detail about the implications of the bill, as well as provides a very simple way for you to contact your representative with a minimal amount of effort (it takes less than 60 seconds). Please... if you like LDraw, and you want it to continue to exist without any legal interference, take action and oppose this legislation!

Please help this get as much publicity as possible, we need to show support against this because as it stands now, lobbyists from the recording industry, etc. have a very strong grip on the situation in congress. If someone would be so kind as to cross post/link to this on Lugnet (perhaps lugnet.announce not lugnet.cad) so it can gain more visibility (as it could potentially effect the entire AFOL community, not just LDraw) that would be great.

Again... I really hate to mix lego and politics, and I apologize for doing so, but I feel that this is a very important issue.
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[IMPORTANT] SOPA and PROTECT IP threaten our very existence, take action now! - by Jean-Philippe Ouellet - 2011-12-30, 8:55

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