So we all are hearing about the horrible laws that threaten the internet's freedom of speech, SOPA/PIPA. (And if you haven't, take some time to read this article)
However, there is a newer problem bill that has been quietly ushered in: ACTA. What is ACTA? click here for more info.
A lot of this just shows that money-making assholes can control the government. One may ask how can we fight this? Sure there are online petitions you can sign, you can write your congressman, hell, you can tweet the crud about it or join a facebook group, but how much will it matter? There are many that still don't know about this, or just don't care to read despite the answer in front of them. Thus, I plan to do something else.
This plan is far from foolproof. In fact, it isn't even that particularly useful, but it will make me feel like I'm actually doing something. First is to get a list of the supporters of SOPA. Next, get a BUNCH of sticky-notes, preferably larger kinds and gotten from somewhere that doesn't support SOPA. From there, I plan to go to places of business that support SOPA and put a sticky-note on entrances of their buildings, stating "This company supports SOPA." Maybe include something that they don't like freedom of speech, but generally the message is to make these proud supporters of the bill more apparent to the general public.
Sure, such an idea is hardly effective; one could simply take the note down, many ignore such listings. My plan is more to get people's attention. One idea I've thought of is go to a mega store, let's say Target, and go product aisles that support SOPA. One example would be REVLON, the make-up company. So just head to their aisle, grab a stickynote, and post it on their section. Maybe spread it around anywhere I see REVLON.
But not all the businesses that support SOPA are ones selling products (not so directly as make-up anyway). Look at the Motion Picture Association of America. In this case, I will probably no longer watch movies in the theater (unless I have one of those free passes, old giftcards, or otherwise get in at no cost for myself. And only do so two weeks after a movie's opening) nor purchase them on DVD. Instead, I'd take routes that lower their income, such as renting, or perhaps pooling money with friends so we jointly (AND LEGALLY) all own a copy of the movie that we can share, should I desire to see a movie so badly. Buying used DVDs on Amazon isn't a bad idea either. Have some movie parties with friends can be fun and recreate the theater experience, but with people you know and hopefully like!
A message needs to be sent to such companies. They can lose a lot more money than what they claim pirates are taking away from their business.
One of the supporters of SOPA that hurts me some is Nintendo of America. I love Nintendo; they give back to their consumers with free games and items on Club Nintendo, excellent customer service, and fun products I enjoy. What I think I'll do is simply buy games used only should I desire them. I really hate to do that, since I want to support some games, but some sacrifices need to be made (Granted that really isn't much of a sacrifice).
Essentially, if you hate SOPA/PIPA and the new ACTA, but don't know what you can do, try writing your congressman, tweet awareness, or even sign an online petition or two. The biggest thing you can do is boycott supporters of SOPA, AND let them know you are. Yes, SOPA and PIPA were shelved, but that doesn't mean they are gone for good. It just means they will reintroduce the idea when it's not a hot button (or, god forbid, ACTA passes so they don't need it). Less companies supporting it can help make it go away, and show said companies their clients have voices they need to listen to!