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SOPA - who's staying Open?

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I'm seeing a disturbing amount of misinformation in this thread, as well as posts which don't seem to grasp what SOPA is all about. It's important to know what you are (or are not) protesting. If SOPA or PIPA pass, Etsy can be shut down indefinitely once a copyright holder (such as Sanrio or Disney) files a complaint. It will no longer matter if your shop can afford to be shut down for a day -- under SOPA protections, media corporations will be able to shut Etsy down indefinitely and, in turn, set up a competing "handmade-y" site of their own.

SOPA in a nutshell: "SOPA explicitly states that companies will be liable for everything their users post. Sites like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, Wikipedia, or any sites that allow user generated content CANNOT exist under these laws. Immediately after this bill is passed, you will see the media mafia (MPIAA, RIAA, etc) replacing websites like Wikipedia with commercialized encyclopedia software. Mainstream media outlets will not cover this bill because they are the ones lobbying for it."

Please take moment to familiarize yourself with this legislation before making a decision about it.
Exactly escapepod. Seems like some people think that people blacking out their shop are protesting piracy, but they are really protesting a bill that is made to stop it, but will also shut down many websites that we use, including etsy. So do you want to close for a day and help other understand the impact, and lose a few sales, or do you want to do nothing and HOPE that it doesn't pass, but if it does, lose your etsy shop and make no more sales forever?
I could probably close for the day. I am torn on rather or not me closing for a day will make any sort of a difference though.
For me, it's important to take personal responsibility for things and do whatever I can do, even if there's a possibility that no one will even notice.
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Inactive Etsy Member 5:09 pm Jan 17, 2012 EST
I still have to agree with Justyn and SquidPhotos--it makes more sense to change your banner than to deactivate your listings or put your shop on vacation mode. I get a lot of hits through Etsy search and if I deactivated my listings or put my shop on vaca, no one would visit and see the banner.
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Inactive Etsy Member 6:01 pm Jan 17, 2012 EST
drumchick99 from DrumChickDesigns says
Exactly escapepod. Seems like some people think that people blacking out their shop are protesting piracy, but they are really protesting a bill that is made to stop it, but will also shut down many websites that we use, including etsy. So do you want to close for a day and help other understand the impact, and lose a few sales, or do you want to do nothing and HOPE that it doesn't pass, but if it does, lose your etsy shop and make no more sales forever?
___________

I get what you're saying...just wanted to say that even if I did lose my Etsy shop, it wouldn't stop me from making no more sales forever---I think a lot of people don't use online as their sole means of crafting income.

Closing my shop for one day isn't just about missing out on potential sales for me...I don't want to lose communication with my customers who think they can't still convo me, I don't want people who have open custom orders with me thinking "uh...she just closed her business!!!" not knowing or caring anything about SOPA or any sort of internet movement, and I don't want my regular buyers to be inconvenienced by my shop being "dead" for the day.
I have posted almost exactly the same in at least one other thread here: if SOPA / PIPA pass, your customers would quite likely be inconvenienced 'forever' not one day.

www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/11/whats-blacklist-three-sites-sopa-coul...

Plus you could always email customers with open order to explain what is going on.
Hey all, here's what I'm proposing: don't close your shop, but put this censorship bar over your banner for the day in protest of SOPA/PIPA:

Let's join the blackout tomorrow in our own Etsy way! (See below for a link to a censorship bar you can temporarily add to your shop banner for tomorrow's protest!!)
Banner: www.mediafire.com/?hy9mqb3b1egrks5

Read this:

"The language in SOPA will lead to a shutdown of sites like Etsy, Vimeo, and YouTube. How? Etsy is a storefront for almost a million small hand-made-goods creators. If even one of those almost-a-million vendors is accused of copyright infringement, under SOPA the entire Etsy marketplace would be shut down. Same for YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, and any other user-generated-content-driven site. Seem like a howitzer aimed at a house-fly to you? Yep, it does to us, too.
Here’s what Consumer Electronics Association CEO Gary Shapiro had to say after he wasn’t allowed to testify before the House committee working on SOPA:
“The bill attempts a radical restructuring of the laws governing the Internet. It would undo the legal safe harbors that have allowed a world-leading Internet industry to flourish over the last decade. It would expose legitimate American businesses and innovators to broad and open-ended liability. The result will be more lawsuits, decreased venture capital investment, and fewer new jobs.”
Sounds like a job-killing howitzer to us."
- taken from TECHEAD, www.techead.com/stop-sopa/

"Etsy is an online marketplace for handmade goods, where users can set up a storefront and create listings for things they’ve made. There are over 800,000 active “shops” filled with these handmade goods — far too many for Etsy to monitor manually. Further, because of the eclectic nature of goods listed, it’s difficult to technically filter through the objects listed.
All that means that it’s not feasible for Etsy to proactively prevent listings that may be perceived to violate US copyright or trademark law. That’s a problem, because under SOPA, anybody who is a “holder of an intellectual property right harmed by the activities” of even a portion of the site, could serve Etsy’s payment processors with a notice that would require them to suspend Etsy’s service within 5 days. That means that a trademark violation in one of the storefronts could lead to payment suspension across the entire site. Unlike DMCA notices, which should be targeted to specific infringements, payment provider suspensions will likely target entire accounts. And even if Etsy protests, the bill’s vigilante provisions, which grant them immunity for choking off a site if they have a “reasonable” belief that a portion of a site enable infringement, give the payment processors a strong incentive to cut them off anyway."

- taken from Rock The Capital, www.rockthecapital.com/11/23/blacklist-sites-sopa-put-risk/
I think it's really important that our community as well as our loyal and wonderful customers know about how SOPA/PIPA threatens Etsy.

So Here's what I'm doing about it:

I am voluntarily censoring my shop banner with a black bar with the words "HELP SAVE ETSY! STOP SOPA!" written on it, followed by a link (americancensorship.org) to the website people can go to in order to sign a petition against SOPA/PIPA.

Join me!
If you want the file that you can just slap onto your existing banner, go here: www.mediafire.com/?hy9mqb3b1egrks5

just put this image as a new layer over your existing banner file, and upload as your banner.

Obviously this isn't forever, just until the craziness ends or whenever you feel like un-censoring your banner. I would definitely suggest we do this for tomorrow January 18th, in solidarity with the national internet blackout. But it will give the community and our customers a taste of the dystopian future that will be reality if we don't stop SOPA.

love,
Mariah
For now, SOPA is back to the drawing board. And, as with any bill, what we read today isn't the same language after each step of the process. I am not willing to go dark for a rough draft.
SOPA is no where near the voting part of Congress. And even if it were, there is a House bill and a Senate bill. IF both passed, there'd be a conference committee to merge the two bills before ever going to the President.

There are good parts and terrible parts of SOPA. Citizens SHOULD participate by reading bills and communicating with Congress. But we should also remember the entire process of a bill is a long road. Paying attention to each step and staying current with what language changes is better, in my opinion, than any other form of activism.

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