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November 20, 2011
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Congress might kill my livelihood.

Journal Entry: Sun Nov 20, 2011, 11:45 PM







As I'm sure most of you know by now, the US is very possibly about to pass a bill that would give its government and corporations the power to censor the internet in the name of copyright protection. A cause that is noble in idea, but we all are too aware of how terribly these powers get abused. Especially when corporations are given a hand in it (and from the get-go!).

Now, the House of Rep.s has announced they are ignoring all petitions and protests of these bills in their ruling.
And, the petition going directly to the Obama Administration is only limping along toward their 25,000 signing goal.

Normally I don't like to post about politics here on DA, but I feel it's desperately necessary this time since--
Well, no. Let's so this:

Dear men and women of the US Congress, House of Representatives and Obama Administration,
I'm appalled by S.968 and H.R.3261 because of how devastating it would be to everyone in the US- but to an even greater degree, to people like me.

As an artist, my livelihood is built around my presence on the internet. The creative communities and blogs that I've built my reputation and business around are threatened by this bill. My husband and I already have found these last couple years hard because of the shaky economy, but if sites like DeviantArt and Tumblr were to be threatened, or god forbid, censored from us and our US viewers, you will have wiped out our entire means of living. My personal portfolio site cannot do all that these communities have done for us and our business. These sites let us connect with people in a way you could never do with traditional gallery-work or exposure. With these sites, we are accessible to our fans and customers, and as such they become more that just fans and customers to us. Thanks to these online communities, the massive networking and exposure had lead to us getting freelance work from well-known media companies, as well as simply sell personal work to support ourselves. Because of these resources, we make our living doing what we love, what we are passionate about. What we do for a living is more than just our job; art is our life.

By passing this bill, sites like YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter, Blogger, DeviantArt, SoundCloud, and pretty much any site that allows independent users to post or edit content, is threatened to be censored to American viewers. It's ridiculous enough to think this threatens people's basic rights to express themselves online, but there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people in the US and worldwide who rely heavily on these threatened resources to sell their legitimate goods and services.

If these sites get blocked, or worse taken down all together, you have effectively left my husband and I without means to support ourselves adequately.

All these corporations that are effected by internet piracy have continually been making billions of dollars, regardless. Their losses because  of copyright infringement has not come close to sinking their ships.

Many, many, people's livelihoods are threatened with extinction if censorship of the internet is allowed.

My sincerest hopes,
Shy Custis,
Illustrator,
Columbus, Ohio.

My words will be ignored by congress, just like all the others who have said similar, and the petitions that people have flooded with protest. It's naive to write it anyway, but I'd like to have at least said something on a public forum.


:iconcoeykuhn: :iconloftylace: :iconzoroko: :iconsoulspoison: :iconbobbyfasel: :iconrah-juu-rah: :iconqueenofbishies:

:iconshycustis: :heart: :iconcoeykuhn:

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:iconninjabunny07:
NinjaBunny07 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2011
my mom wrote to obama saying that she couldn't get health insurance for me & herself because, apparently we draw too much money (my dad gets SS and can't work anymore because of a back injury a few years back), and they end up writing a letter back explaining what health care is & all this horse shit. and it only took them, what, i think half a year to get back to us? yeh, i understand the prez is super busy & probably gets thousands of letters, but c'mon, at least get the head honcho to READ OUR LETTERS HIMSELF. meaning everybody, not just my family in case that came out weird.

i'm sorry, but everyone's just become so........how do i put this nicely........over-sensitive and so damn copyright happy these days. i mean, look at whats happened to YouTube over the course of a few years. a site that used to be for making funny videos, pet videos, how-to's, and fanmade videos is now a graveyard for anyone who even thinks about putting up a video that has media of any sort in it. its ridiculous. and now, they want to censor everything because, good lordy, something might offend someone or get sued for god knows what
Reply
:iconkaiverta:
kaiverta Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2011  Hobbyist Artist
Wow... That's just... epically bad. -_- Thanks a lot, congress.
Reply
:iconginnyree:
ginnyree Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011
I still can't believe this is actually happening...
Reply
:iconbite-insane-iam:
bite-insane-iam Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Professional General Artist
To get your hopes up (or shot them dead, you decide):

They have tried something like this 4 times in the pass year, each time getting shot down and not making it far enough up to do anything.

This whole censorship will do them no good and congress should really see that it would not even help them.
There's people still occupy city hall in my city and even if it did go through (big if) there will be more people. More people to the point that they would take up even more room than they already have.
So far they haven't said anything since the last I heard of this.
Reply
:iconshycustis:
ShyCustis Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Professional
That's the thing that's concerning me though. This bill has much more backing that the other attempts had. So much of congress has been bought out by these corporations. If this one doesn't pass, how long until the next one that's even more powerful comes along?

The only sure-kill is if Obama's Administration were to make it an amendment in the constitution that the net it off-limits. So here's hoping.
Reply
:iconbite-insane-iam:
bite-insane-iam Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2011  Professional General Artist
That is true, but let's take it on the account many of these people aren't internet savvy, Later in the years, new people will take the stand, people who know how to use this and what benefits it gives to the people and themselves. The more they censor, the more they can't get their own name out there, so while protecting "rights" they are going to lose their own name being placed out there. There will be no communication, no one trusting anyone.

That would be nice, but then that would have to pretty much go through the same process so it would take a long time for that to even work.
Reply
:iconkuddlekinss:
kuddlekinss Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I see rioting in the streets if this bill goes through. 8<
Reply
:iconvinesdarkly:
Vinesdarkly Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2011  Student Digital Artist
I'd think it might get more violent than riots, as this would seriously impede most of what happens on the internet
Reply
:icond-woo:
d-woo Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
......Is Europe going to censor the internet? Because I'm just going to move there.
Reply
:iconshycustis:
ShyCustis Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2011  Professional
TAKE ME WITH YOU.

And there's nothing that I know of that threatens to censor the net in any European countries at the moment, but if this passes in the US, that means it could happen in any other first world nation.
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