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Posted on January 17, 2012 by Christine Crosby in 

GRAND Joins SOPA Blackout Jan 18, 2012

All of the websites affiliated with Pop Culture Madness – including celebritymagnet.com, pcm-tv.com, pcm-music.com, pcmlifestyle.com, grandmagazine.com, worldofpopculture.com, and popculturemadness.com have joined Wikipedia, and many other websites to protest SOPA, and it’s ugly little brother, PIPA on January 18, 2012.

What is SOPA and how does it affect me?

Our friends at BoingBoing.net said it perfectly:

“We could not ever link to another website unless we were sure that no links to anything that infringes copyright appeared on that site. So in order to link to a URL on LiveJournal or WordPress or Twitter or Blogspot, we’d have to first confirm that no one had ever made an infringing link, anywhere on that site. Making one link would require checking millions (even tens of millions) of pages, just to be sure that we weren’t in some way impinging on the ability of five Hollywood studios, four multinational record labels, and six global publishers to maximize their profits,” says BoingBoing.

This is true for nearly every news website – we are all at risk – even schools, bloggers, anyone with an opinion. This goes beyond censorship. There are issues of ‘fair use’ and the very principal that some company lawyer or egghead can have anyone’s voice clamped shut online, for a single accusation.
Yes, an accusation – you are presumed guilty. A single sentence or picture on a single page can have your entire website shut down.

Enforced, accusation-based copyright control, run by a blind bureaucracy can be an ugly thing. In some of our experience, we have gotten material from major movie/record companies, asked to promote said movies and bands, on our website, even our youtube accounts only to have the same companies, weeks later demand we take down their intellectual property. We have literally had to close a youtube account for this very reason – doing what they asked for, without any compensation, and risking a lawsuit from them for doing exactly as they asked.

Most of what we do, in entertainment news and regular news, is get information from the major (and minor) entertainment conglomerates, interview those involved, and present the information. Then, on a whim, we, or any website, can be basically shut down by one of a handful of corporations based on an accusation.
Keep on your congressmen and senators – regardless of political party – this is something that every freedom-loving liberal, conservative and libertarian should agree on – we have every right to disagree.

This law, and any variation of it (and they will come!), is wrong, immoral, unconstitutional, and to use a four letter word – EVIL.

Sorry for any inconvenience this strike may have caused you.

Joe Hummel, III
webmaster/ web publisher for Pop Culture Madness and affiliated websites

Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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