Defend our freedom to share

OK, the one day protest against SOPA and PIPA in US is over. I know the protest created some inconvenience to some people. I never realized that I relied so much on Wikipedia until yesterday.
Some people criticized Wikipedia’s 24 hours blackout. But I think the Wikipedia blackout bring awareness to the issue to the general public. Most of the tech savvy and social media people know the damaging effect of SOPA/PIPA. But we are the minority. A lot of people don’t know about SOPA/PIPA until yesterday’s Wikipedia blackout. I have a few friends asking me about SOPA after they discovered that Wikipedia was blocked.
The SOPA/PIPA protest yesterday is, in my own opinion, quite successful. I understand that several SOPA supporters in US Congress have changed their stand after yesterday’s event. A lot more people are aware of the damages that SOPA/PIPA will do if implemented. But the battle is not over.
Some people asked why didn’t I take part in the SOPA/PIPA protest. There are a number of WordPress plugins readily available to blackout your page during the protest period. I thought of taking part but decided that it is useless.
Firstly, most of the people who read my blog already know that SOPA/PIPA are bad. There is no point for me to preach to those who are already enlightened. Also, as a Singapore citizen, the US Congress won’t give a damn about what I feel about SOPA/PIPA. So why bother?
But although this is a US bill, the effects of SOPA/PIPA will be worldwide if implemented. Cause if SOPA/PIPA are approved in US, chances are other countries will implement a similar law. Last weekend, our Singapore law minister said this at some Intellectual Property event.

“For example, in the US, they tried the voluntary regime. It’s not as effective as people wanted it to be, and so there’s legislation pending before Congress, to give powers to block sites. But that legislation is facing intense criticism, you can understand why – it raises wider concerns.
It’s something we’re all trying to work on, because we believe our next phase of development and growth in Singapore has got to support creativity. And in order for creativity to be supported, you need a legal framework where you protect creative work.”

I’m worried about the additional legal framework that will be implemented. What if they are just as bad as SOPA/PIPA? Do we, Singapore citizens, have the power to stop our parliament from implementing something like SOPA/PIPA? I doubt so. But if ever something like SOPA/PIPA is being mentioned in Singapore parliament, we have to speak up the same way everyone did yesterday.
Here’s an excellent TED video by Clay Shirky on why SOPA is a bad idea.

Get ready. Because more is coming.

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