Dé Luain 23 Eanáir 2012

SOPA Ireland -- How much more can we take?

Anti-ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) -- information on legislation about to be written into "law" that will affect personal liberties and civil rights, freedom of speech, the sharing of information and will introduce censorship and surveillance.

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is the name of a piece of US legislation that has now hit Irish shores -- our own ministers are about to sign this legislation into law WITHOUT IT BEING VOTED ON IN THE OIREACHTAS.

If you want to protect your rights as an intellectual being, then please sign the online petition against SOPA. I was going to recommend visiting http://www.anti-acta.com but it seems to be down. (Huh, I wonder why...) Here's the article from the Irish Sunday Business Post explaining the situation here in Ireland. We are not happy about this, and we will not let it get through. But we only have TEN DAYS to let ourselves be heard.

Think about it; we have passed down information like stories, songs, recipies, proverbs through word of mouth, as "folklore". Modern online communications have allowed us to share our knowledge with people all over the world. Twitter, for me, is a tool for modern folklore. If this legislation is passed, the progress that we have made in communication and knowledge-sharing will become redundant. 

Ever since print was introduced, modern society has become obsessed with the ownership of knowledge and 'originality' in creativity. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS ORIGINALITY. GET OVER IT. Have you ever heard of intertextuality? Every type of human expression is not isolated, is not 'original'; it is an extension of everything that has come before, everything that is contemporary, and believe it or not, everything that is to come. This is intellectual freedom, not this slapping a copyright label on something and restricting its uses. Our ancestors were more progressive than we are -- we need to get with it, and stop trying to own everything. We all own everything and nothing.

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