Joscelyne: “There is a real danger to the survival of community sites”
From 12 noon to 12 midnight today, GMT–7AM to 7PM in Eastern Standard Time–top Sonic site The Sonic Stadium plans to operate “in protest” of hotly debated anti-piracy legislation in the United States Congress.
While staff have clarified a total blackout will not take place, the site will be standing somewhat in solidarity with similar protests meant to criticize both the US House’s Stop Online Piracy Act, and the US Senate equivalent, the Protect IP Act. Though the measures directly targets non-US sites like The Pirate Bay, critics believe if the legislation passes, corporations will be allowed to exercise overpowering, if not unconstitutional authority on websites they believe infringe on the copyrights. In part due to that negative reaction reaching Capitol Hill, debate on SOPA has been delayed to next month.
“I believe that such blanket legislation is absolutely nonsense, and as the owner of a fansite dedicated to a character or media owned by various companies, there is a real danger to the survival of community sites and fan culture,” said TSS founder Svend Joscelyne in a statement both on the website’s front page and on the SSMB, where the day of protest will also extend. “On behalf of fansites around the world, whether Sonic-related or no, I owe it to myself to do my part to defend our free speech rights. Although The Sonic Stadium is a UK-based website, the effects of SOPA and PIPA will be felt globally.”
Other websites participating in the day of protest include Wikipedia, Destructoid, and TSSZ affiliate SonicRadio.net, along with Sonic Radio’s sister website Sonadow.com. We reported last week that the other major Sonic website, Sonic Retro, planned to stage a protest today as well, though in what, if any capacity remains unknown as of this article’s publication. UPDATE: That has since changed.
For the record, TSSZ will not be participating in any SOPA or PIPA related protest today. While we understand the ramifications such legislation, if enacted, could have on a site such as this one, we also believe it is in everyone’s best interest to report the day’s events and keep you informed on the larger issue from start to finish, rather than outright participate.