Stamp out starving writers, buy their books!

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On January 18th Wikipedia blacked out its site to protest a couple of bills being debated in the House and Senate. The stated intent of the proposed legislation is to crack down on foreign internet piracy. Overseas pirates are stealing some of our intellectual property and selling back to us.  Critical Pages is against piracy. Everyone’s against piracy. Yes, even Wikipedia’s against piracy.  Unfortunately, the legislation currently in Congress is badly written and will inevitably damage free expression and free access to the Internet. The bills can be re-written to satisfy defenders of intellectual freedom and still crack down on foreigners stealing our stuff. By the way, the large media enterprises who advocate for these bills in their current form wildly overstate the financial loss associated with such piracy. There’s time to re-write and get it right.  For more information, the two bills are the Stop Online Piracy Act currently being debated in the House, and the Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act in the Senate.  No need to take our word about these botched bills.  Wikipedia is online again and the rest of the Web is still here for you to go freely and gather your own information.  Let’s keep it that way.

More Notes

Tim Carmody, in his excellent piece, "How Haiti Became Poor", notes that President Trump's racist policies and vulgar language have sullied the word "shithole" which used to be one of the all-time great swear words. He's right. It's another terrible power this careless President wields.