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Speak Out About Legislation in Congress

Dec 13, 2011

by Chad Dickerson

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

I hope everyone is having a really successful holiday season. I know that this is the busiest time of year for the Etsy community and everyone is busy packing and shipping packages, but I wanted to draw your attention to an important issue. On Wednesday, November 23, we posted a letter urging everyone to speak out against the Stop Online Piracy Act in the U.S. House of Representatives and the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate. This legislation would grant copyright owners unprecedented power to block or shut down websites entirely for copyright infringements that are already being successfully addressed via existing laws. I know that the Etsy community is concerned about this, too. I encourage you to read the letter to understand our position.

Now SOPA is up for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, December 15. To help defeat this bill, concerned Etsy sellers based in the United States should contact their representatives as soon as possible to voice their strong discontent. We have the best chance of making a difference if we can push phone calls into the House of Representatives between now and Thursday. It’s crucial that our voices are heard before the bill enters the voting stage in the House Judiciary committee.

Fight for the Future (created by the founders of the Participatory Politics Foundation, creators of Open Congress) has built a tool to make contacting your representative by phone very easy. To call your representative, fill out the form at the Fight for the Future website. Their system will call you with a short message of recommended talking points read by David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, one of the companies that is leading the fight against this legislation. Then you will be connected by phone to your representative’s office. The talking points are helpful, but the only thing you really need to say is, “Hi, I’m [your name] and I’m a constituent of [your representative] and I’m calling to urge him/her to fight the SOPA bill this week.”

I’m confident that we can work together to defeat this legislation. Please share your thoughts with us in this Forums thread. I will be participating.