SOPA and PIPA as a comic artist/DIY enthusiast

I use the internet as a way to promote my work, share ideas, and  obtain information that isn’t readily available through corporate controlled media. I (along with many other creative types, activists, critical thinkers, and people in general) utilize sites such as WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, Wikipedia, and Vimeo, (just to name a few) to get the word out and to educate one another. These are probably the main reason I use the internet.

As many of you probably know, the ability to do such things are under attack by SOPA and PIPA, two acts that are designed to basically further promote corporate interests and increase internet censorship. If passed, these bills will kill anything DIY and user-created on the internet. Small websites would have difficulty starting up and defending themselves and corporate knowledge control would be expanded.

And hell, could I even share my comics via the web anymore? Every way in which I would be able to do that, say SOPA and PIPA passed, would be shut down. Even if I could still share my comics on the web, how would these laws determine the content of what goes in my comics, especially focusing on issues of autobiography, the quotidian experience, and dissent? Would my experience and the way I establish a sense of place in my comics be deemed copywritten? (something that reminds me of the guy who had a 4 second clip of the Simpsons in the background of a video made, not on purpose, and FOX asked for $10,000 for it. Read more about this in Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig.)

An excellent point brought up by my friend and DIY poet Lillie on her blog is that at least zines still exist, and you can’t really censor zines once they’re out. Also, it makes me REALLY appreciate places like the IPRC that support self publishing and media literacy.

However, the web does offer a more instant means of sharing work amongst different communities across the country and even the globe, which is important because in this day and age, things happen fast. (But then, is part of this bill trying to prevent such information from being distributed so quickly when people need it the most?)

Learn more about SOPA and PIPA, how it will affect you, and what you can do about it:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

https://www.eff.org/

-https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/01/january-18-internet-wide-protests-against-blacklist-legislation

http://portland.craigslist.org/

https://www.google.com/

Also, I am curious about thoughts, discussions, questions, and comments about how SOPA and PIPA will affect the sharing and distribution of creative work and information in this day and age.

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