PIPA/SOPA  Social  Justice  Talking  Points1  

Background:     The  "Stop  Online  Piracy  Act"  and  the  "Protect  IP  Act"  could  fundamentally  change  the  Internet,  as  we  know  it—limiting   the  openness  and  creativity  of  the  Internet  that  our  communities  have  fought  for.    Among  other  things,  these  bills  could   censor  websites,  limit  innovation,  and  kill  jobs—outcomes  that  our  communities  cannot  afford.       Congress  has  the  power  to  stop  these  bills—but  they  need  to  hear  from  us.    They  need  to  know  that  OUR   communities—communities  of  color,  rural  and  tribal  communities  and  America’s  poor-­‐-­‐care  about  technology  and  the   role  it  plays  in  social  and  economic  inclusion.            We  can  play  a  direct  role  in  determining  the  future  of  the  Internet!    When  you  call  your  elected  officials  let  them  know   the  following:       Talking  Points:       Though  these  bills  are  designed  to  protect  content  creators'  rights,  their  “all  or  nothing”  approach  could  exacerbate  the   challenges  that  our  communities  face  due  to  a  continued  digital  divide,  and  will  have  consequences  for  how  the  Internet   functions  as  a  whole.  Historically  marginalized  communities  should  not  have  to  face  additional  obstacles  in  their  struggle   to  close  the  digital  divide.           As  intellectual  property  becomes  increasingly  tied  to  national  and  economic  security  its  more  important  than  ever  that   proposed  rules  promote  standards  of  social  and  economic  equity  that  benefit  everyone.    Social  and  Economic  justice   cannot  take  a  backseat  to  property  rights  with  a  law  that  limits  the  role  creativity  plays  in  the  health  and  wellbeing  of   our  communities.       For  artists,  innovators  and  cultural  workers  the  Internet  serves  as  a  global  store  for  ‘creative  works’  and  an  affordable   digital  platform  to  create,  distribute  and  promote  work.    Our  communities  cannot  afford  a  closed  and  proprietary   Internet  that  limits  our  ability  to  work.       The  "Stop  Online  Piracy  Act"  and  the  "Protect  IP  Act"  are  supposed  to  target  foreign  websites,  but  the  vague  language  in   them  could  impact  websites  that  are  owned  and  operated  by  American  companies.  For  these  reasons,  SOPA/PIPA  could   harm  small  businesses  that  could  have  their  entire  site  shut  down  with  little  remedy  or  no  due  process  before  these   impacts  are  felt.       Communications  is  a  fundamental  human  right,  and  access  to  a  fair  and  open  Internet  is  a  major  human  rights  issue  of   our  time.  The  United  States  should  not  engage  in  rulemaking  that  leads  to  censoring  the  Internet  and  disabling  people's   ability  to  access  lawful  content,  whether  it  resides  on  sites  hosted  inside  or  outside  the  U.S.,  because  such  blocking   would  limits  the  role  that  a  free  and  open  Internet  plays  in  strengthening  global  civil  society.  
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 Talking  points  created  by:    Center  for  Media  Justice,  Public  Knowledge  and  Free  Press.  

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