The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) looks on course to pass later this month in the United States. The implications are pretty serious for internet users. The following quote shows who will be vulnerable to SOPA:
Although the House is supposed to be the mid-winter recess, representatives like House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) continue acting as lobbyists on behalf of SOPA's financers rather than acting on our behalf as elected representatives. Please help thwart the undue influence of media businesses who are trying to circumvent the will of the average American via SOPA. Fight SOPA and tell Congress they need a more effective, less destructive law to handle online piracy.
SOPA can and will effect fanworks and the sites that post and host them. People you know, art you admire, writing you've done, websites like AO3, YouTube, LiveJournal, Dreamwidth, InsaneJournal, Photobucket, Image Shack, Google, deviantArt, Vimeo, reddit- basically any website with user submitted content WILL be affected.
Websites without user submitted content (i.e. hulu, netflix, and other corporations that make money) will be unaffected.
This means that the wild, adorable, terrifying, romantic, otherworldly, realistic, deeply personal, glamorous, infuriating, magical, poetic perspectives that we take on canon will be vulnerable to blocking and blacklisting, lawsuits and censorship.
I added the underlining above, because you can see who this affects. It's us-- whether as creators or consumers of fan-created art. We're the ones with only a personal but not corporate interest in this, and thus our wishes are being ignored.
Please speak up. Contact your representatives, enlist your friends. Where else has this issue come up in the past, you might ask? Parody and satire, already ruled as having First Amendment protection. But the things you and I do, for the most part, are being threatened. Why now? I don't know. This also means I can't come up with any reason why this has suddenly become so pressing that it has come before Congress and is being pushed so hard to pass.
The line in the past has always been "for profit" vs. "not for profit." But now it's "for coroporate profit" vs. everyone else.
If you need more information, please see nrrrdy_grrrl's public resources at her journal. She has a lot of great links and discussion. Please, let's not let ourselves be silently voted out of following our passions.