On Wednesday, January 18th, at approximately 12:00am EST, Shadowville.com will be disabling all free downloads for 24 hours in protest of the PIPA/SOPA legislation. Free downloads will resume at approximately 11:59pm EST.
SOPA is a pending bill from the US House of Representatives that stands for “Stop Online Piracy Act” but has the potential for widespread abuse by large corporations and the government, threatening the very foundations of the internet. PIPA, or ironically “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act,” is from the US Senate and is also related to SOPA. If these bills pass, it may cause a chain reaction across the world to enact similar legislation. Learn more about this issue by watching this brief video:
What is this PIPA/SOPA black out thing every one is talking about?
Not all major corporations are for PIPA/SOPA. Companies and websites like Google and Facebook oppose PIPA/SOPA. Some websites including Wikipedia and Reddit, even go as far as to “black out” (disable) their websites on January 18th, to protest against this bill. Learn more about the PIPA/SOPA black out at http://sopablackout.org/.
Why is Shadowville.com against PIPA/SOPA?
Most of our music have hip hop roots. Traditional hip hop involves musical sampling, or in other words, building new music with pieces of old music. However, if the PIPA/SOPA bill is passed, this means that literally anyone not happy with any single piece of our sample-based works could shut down the entire Shadowville.com website. In fact, anyone not happy with any music on Shadowville.com could theoretically shutdown our website first while strategically bankrupting our small business through court appeals. More importantly, we believe that these bills will adversely affect the freedom of creativity in all artists and musicians. But supporting the Anti-PIPA/SOPA movement doesn’t mean we do not respect copyrights. After all, our business is selling licenses to our producers’ copyrights. We currently remove any copyright infringing works upon request by adhering to the laws of the effective Digital Millennium Copyright Act — so why change something that already works?
Why is Shadowville.com joining the PIPA/SOPA black out?
We want to get the message out there, and let people become aware of the effect SOPA has. On January 18th, there won’t be any free downloads for one day. Now imagine if that was forever. And then imagine if that was the case for every beat providing website out there. Then imagine every single music download site out there…gone. Any social networking site with even a trace of media sharing…gone. Even SoundCloud. Even YouTube. You get the point. And we want to encourage you to take action.
But I thought they just recently shelved SOPA?
PIPA has not been shelved yet. In fact, shelving doesn’t necessarily mean beaten. SOPA might still be re-introduced under strong corporate lobbying by groups like the Motion Picture Association of America or Recording Industry Association of America. Shadowville.com will continue with the black out as planned, just like all the other websites who have committed to the black out.
What can I do to fight against PIPA/SOPA?
Write to Congress or your local representative. Use the pre-written template in that link. It’s that simple. You can also use Google’s action page. Collectively, we can make a stand, but it’s up to you to take action. If you are outside of the USA, you can forward this page to someone you know in the USA, or share it in a US-based forum or social networking site.
Join Shadowville.com against PIPA/SOPA, and don’t forget to share this cause with your friends, family, peers, colleagues, and co-workers!