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A group of some well-known industry actors, filmmakers, musicians and authors, including Trent Reznor, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Andy Samberg‘s rap group The Lonely Island, OK Go and Aziz Ansari, posted an open letter opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).
In the letter, posted to anti-PIPA site Stop The Wall on Wed. Jan 17, denounced the acts the acts, calling them damaging and accused both of imfringing on creativity and innovation. “Online piracy is harmful and it needs to be addressed, but not at the expense of censoring creativity, stifling innovation or preventing the creation of new, lawful digital distribution methods,” says the letter.
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Gaiman reposted the letter to his blog today, urging his 1,667,579 Twitter followers to retweet and share. Like many groups, the artists’ letter was timed to coincide with today’s “blackout” protest, which included sites such as Wikipedia, Google and Reddit going dark in protest of the bills.
Also earlier today, Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg spoke out against SOPA, saying “We can’t let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the internet’s development.” Facebook, however, did not actively participate in today’s blackout.
While the Director’s Guild of America sent correspondance to senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer expressing their displeasure at the protests, saying “We are greatly offended that our advocacy for this bill has turned into an implication that we promote censorship.”
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Reznor’s group letter begs to differ: “We fear that the broad new enforcement powers provided under SOPA and PIPA could be easily abused against legitimate services like those upon which we depend. These bills would allow entire websites to be blocked without due process, causing collateral damage to the legitimate users of the same services – artists and creators like us who would be censored as a result.”
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