Fight Against SOPA and PIPA

The following is a letter I sent to my Minnesota Senators concerning SOPA and PIPA

Dear Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken,

I worry about the scope of both SOPA and PIPA. I know that you have both stated that you are against SOPA, but you are both co-sponsors of PIPA. I urge you to read a couple of articles about what happens when sites are found to be infringing. It might be an eye opener and it might require you to better understand and learn about how hosting companies and DNS, Domain Name Servers, work.

The following is an article about a website named Pajiba straight from the horse’s petoot. Their website happened to be hosted on the same hard disk as an infringing website that was shut down by DHS years ago. The hard disk which contained their entire website and all of their backups of their website was confiscated because a completely unrelated website was also hosted on that server disk.

Imagine that happening to thousands of people if SOPA or PIPA passed. Thousands, perhaps tens of thousands. We don’t know how few or how many this bill might affect, but I guarantee innocent websites will face indirect consequences of this legislation.

Also, a blog was shut down for over a year for hosting infringing content when, it turns out, they hosted no infringing content.

They were told they could go through the motion to regain control of their website, which they did, which took them over a year to prove they’d done nothing wrong before they could be operational again.

These are just two examples of what WILL happen if PIPA gets passed. Innocent sites will accidentally be targeted, shut down, erased, dumped. The government is not a tool of any industry. Stand up and fight for honorable people. We already have bad-enough laws, the DMCA, that allows the government to take these actions against infringing websites. Don’t make it worse.

In fact, you can make it better. Instead of removing these sites without a trace why not allow thirty days, or sixty days for a website or person to prove that they are not infringing. Drastically removing innocent people’s and companies’ websites before they’ve been proven guilty is foolish and will lead to terrible consequences for the internet and website operators and maintainers.

Please reconsider your stance on this legislation and all future legislation that aims to curb piracy. It needs to be written clearly, with the help of people who understand the internet and due process, and not by lobbyists in the entertainment industry.

I appreciate your time,
Thank you,

Joseph Halvarson
Minneapolis, Minnesota