Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Strongly Worded Letter

The SOPA/PIPA blackout seems to have been quite successful, with the websites of several congressmembers going down, phone lines being tied up, and general wailing and gnashing of teeth in Washington DC.  I remember a time when people of my generation were considered politically and socially apathetic, ensconsed as we are in our "virtual" world of vidja games and websites.  Now I see people complaining because we're speaking out against things we don't like!  I guess that means we're doing something right!

And, along the theme of Doing Right, I'll give you a link to an inspiring screed from professional internet troll, Maddox.  I'd apologize for the Myspace inspired, migraine-inducing layout of his blog, but I think that's actually the point.  Anyway, he's published a list of companies that supported SOPA, with an injunction to pick two or three of these companies, and hit them where it hurts: their wallet.  Take a look, play along.  I'll even add to that:  send those companies a letter letting them know that they've lost your business, and exactly why.  Send companies that you're not really able to boycott a similar letter, expressing your displeasure with their stance on this policy.  The point is to rub their noses in it in a way that will actually make a difference.

Here's the companies that I've chosen to deal with, from the list of supporting companies on the Wiki article:
Disney Corporation (Disney is evil anyway, but I really love me some Pixar)*
Harper-Collins (Ugh, no more Neil Gaiman, even though he's against it)
Pfizer (Mah OTC drugs, nooo!)

And here's the letter I'm going to send to them:

Dear (fill in blank here),

Due to your company's support of the Stop Online Piracy Act or the Protect IP Act, I have decided to no longer patronize your company.  Your support of these acts indicates that your company approves of the restriction of free speech through censorship under a thin guise of weak copyright protection.  I'm very disappointed as I've come to rely on your product for (fill in blank), and hope that you reevaluate your stance.  Please strive to do better in the future.


Of course, before you go off half-cocked, make sure that the companies you've selected are actually supporting one of these acts.  New Balance, for example, shows up on Maddox's list, but I haven't been able to find any other indication, through googling, checking their website, or the list on Wikipedia that they're flaming jerkwads in this regard.  This is good, because I really want to buy a new pair of running shoes for my birthday, and had hoped to get them from New Balance.  Score one for fact-checking!  This is why I've used the wiki list as a reference, rather than the Maddox list.

Thank god google and amazon oppose this, or I'd be completely screwed for anything to do with my day.

* OH GOD.  Disney owns ABC, which shows "Grey's Anatomy." FUUUUUUUU....

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