If you enjoy this blog, and reading about history in general, it’s urgent that you join millions of others to call your representatives in the house to stop a bill called SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act). This bill is a censorship bill that threatens to destroy the internet as we know it by criminalizing all kinds of activities we now take for granted, like linking to copyrighted works and posting snippets of those works in blogs. The type of research I’ve been doing online will be directly impacted. The bill is terrifying not just for what it tries to prohibit and the insane penalties it proposes, but also because it bypasses due process and allows for-profit companies to decide that they can simply make certain website disappear.
All of this is being done to prop up the government-granted monopolies that we have given through copyright laws to the music and movie industries. Roxbury played a crucial part in the struggle against unjust monopolies in the Revolutionary War and it’s time for us to go back to our roots and stand up against them now.
The many problems with the bill are nicely summarized in this NY Times Op-Ed piece.