Today is a very big day for users of the Internet everywhere. Across the wide network of tubes that makes up this confusing frontier, sites are shutting themselves down, blacking out and rising together in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act – two US bills, one for the Senate and one for Congress, that threaten to undermine the very fabric of what makes our web so great and facilitating towards human creativity.
I enjoy a near-gratuitous amount of freedom as the founder and owner of this website. I am free to make whatever stupid comments I want, crudely Photoshop together a picture of a 3DS printing money, or boldly declare that all publishers are whillywhipplesnappers, which is a word I just made up. If SOPA or PIPA pass, I would be held liable for the dumb things I say. My website, Toastervision as a whole, could be shut down because of a copyright claim on the picture of that 3DS, if Nintendo felt it was inflammatory. The site would be blocked, blocked from search engines and DNS look-ups – search engines bring in most of our traffic as it is, and that alone could spell an untimely demise for something that I thoroughly and entirely enjoy doing.
For the rest of the day, Toastervision will be joining in the Internet-wide blackout. We refuse to stand idly by while our government attempts to place lockdowns and destroy the livelihood of millions of people who rely on the Internet to do their jobs, interact with others, and make a living. If SOPA and PIPA pass, the wrong people will be punished while the entirety of the Internet will be both less safe and less reliable.
As a final notice, Toastervision has made the expressed decision to join in the boycott of the Electronic Entertainment Expo, run and organized by the Electronic Software Association (ESA). The ESA has lobbied in favor of SOPA/PIPA, contributing $190,000 towards PIPA lobbying. For an organization that claims to represent the gaming industry, a decision like this is inexcusable and does not reflect the opinions of “gamers” as a whole. Because of this, the Toastervision staff will not be attending E3 or covering the convention in any capacity. Until they revert their stance on these disappointing bills, our decision on this will remain firm.
In short: Fuck SOPA. Fuck PIPA. We will not be attending or covering E3 unless the ESA pulls their support from these bills. We believe in a free and unrestricted internet, and we hope you will too.