Two bills are currently being considered in the U.S. Congress: PIPA the “Protect IP Act” and SOPA the “Stop Online Piracy Act” Both are designed to address a legitimate problem – foreign-based websites that are engaging in digital piracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods. Unfortunately, we and many others believe that these bills miss the mark. These bills have the potential to stifle innovation, require censorship of search results, impose monitoring obligations, and change the way information is distributed on the web. Government regulation of online activities is a slippery slope and these proposed bills fall down that slope without truly addressing the issues that ignited this debate.
With the pending votes on these bills, Flickr is joining other sites on the web on January 18th to help raise awareness about the potential impacts of this legislation.
If you would like to participate in this awareness campaign, Flickr is letting members darken their photos — or the photos of others — for a 24-hour period to deprive the web of the rich content that makes it thrive. Your symbolic act will help draw attention to this issue and let others know about the potential harmful impacts of these bills.
A few notes,
members can darken 10 photos**. It will only be hidden on the photo page so you can still see it in the Lightbox or slideshow. If you don’t want others to darken your photos, you may choose to opt-out from any photo.
If you are a concerned about these bills we encourage you to learn more at netcoalition.com.
If you are a U.S. Citizen you can also get information on how to contact your representatives in congress at protectinnovation.com.
** Update 9:27am January 18, 2012: We removed the 10 limit, you can darken to your dark heart’s dark desire.