Rep. Jared Polis, Web entrepreneur, on SOPA (Q&A)

Here is the Wikipedia page on SOPA.

Here is the list of major companies who are SOPA supporters: click.
And here is a more complete list: click here.

Take a look at that list. Disney, Marvel, Time Warner (who owns D.C. Comics), Visa, Mastercard, and the NFL are ones that really pop out at me.

If I may, below is the American Library Association’s Code of Ethics:
As members of the American Library Association, we recognize the importance of codifying and making known to the profession and to the general public the ethical principles that guide the work of librarians, other professionals providing information services, library trustees and library staffs.

Ethical dilemmas occur when values are in conflict. The American Library Association Code of Ethics states the values to which we are committed, and embodies the ethical responsibilities of the profession in this changing information environment.

We significantly influence or control the selection, organization, preservation, and dissemination of information. In a political system grounded in an informed citizenry, we are members of a profession explicitly committed to intellectual freedom and the freedom of access to information. We have a special obligation to ensure the free flow of information and ideas to present and future generations.

The principles of this Code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.

We provide the highest level of service to all library users through appropriate and usefully organized resources; equitable service policies; equitable access; and accurate, unbiased, and courteous responses to all requests.
We uphold the principles of intellectual freedom and resist all efforts to censor library resources.
We protect each library user’s right to privacy and confidentiality with respect to information sought or received and resources consulted, borrowed, acquired or transmitted.
We respect intellectual property rights and advocate balance between the interests of information users and rights holders.
We treat co-workers and other colleagues with respect, fairness, and good faith, and advocate conditions of employment that safeguard the rights and welfare of all employees of our institutions.
We do not advance private interests at the expense of library users, colleagues, or our employing institutions.
We distinguish between our personal convictions and professional duties and do not allow our personal beliefs to interfere with fair representation of the aims of our institutions or the provision of access to their information resources.
We strive for excellence in the profession by maintaining and enhancing our own knowledge and skills, by encouraging the professional development of co-workers, and by fostering the aspirations of potential members of the profession.
Adopted at the 1939 Midwinter Meeting by the ALA Council; amended June 30, 1981; June 28, 1995; and January 22, 2008.

Oh, yes, THE ALA ITSELF (well, a representative of) has written a letter warning about SOPA! (click here). You know that legislation is messed up when librarians get pissed off!

(Here is a short list of supporters and opposition)

Basically anyone who knows anything about the internet is opposed to SOPA/PIPA. Companies and people who live in fear of the power of the internet are those who support it. What, is the government afraid that there will be a rebellion on Facebook & Twitter? Actually, I suppose that there is some valid fear there; considering how Freedom of Speech was curtailed in regards to the Occupy movement, where else can like-minded people gather to discuss issues?

I think that what is needed, instead of legislation, is education. Pfizer stated that part of their support of SOPA is because Americans have been hoodwinked (my word, not theirs) into buying drugs from non-American-based websites. I think that if the average American were given instruction on how to use websites and confirm authenticity, then they would be better off. Students in elementary and high school are given instruction on how to confirm a site and authenticate it. For example, a .com site is generally less reliable than a .edu site, since .edu is a domain reserved for academia. Of course, students in colleges can create their own websites usually off the school server, so it is important to double check.
For example:
My School WebSite
My School Wiki Page
Sure, they have .edu domains, but it is pretty clear that they are NOT official Simmons College web pages. Therefore, I could have easily lied on them and the information might not be 100%.

Students at the high school I volunteer at are taught that Wikipedia is a useful tool, however, they are also taught to double-check the facts found on Wikipedia though the links at the bottom.

You would think that an adult would be able to figure out when a site is Canadian drugs.

My point is that education is more important than legislation. If the children of America can figure out that a site might not be reliable, then why can’t adults?



Filed under library, politics

2 responses to “SOPA & PIPA

  1. PIPA Act will definitely adversely affect the web which is the most effective truthful vehicle for freedom of expression.

  2. Very useful post. It was very useful. I was searching exaxtly for this. Thank you for your effort. I hope you will write more such useful posts.

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