As today’s blackout event staged by the likes of Wikipedia, Reddit, Google, and many other top online destinations comes to a close, a new group has taken center stage in the legislative debate surrounding SOPA/PIPA: artists.
“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,” wrote a coalition of musicians, writers, actors, and filmmakers that includes Nine Inch Nails/How To Destroy Angels leader Trent Reznor, author Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, MGMT, comedian Aziz Ansari, and many more in an open letter to congress. “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.”
While not partaking in formally written opposition, Radiohead — a band whose late-career dominance arguably best illustrates the benefits of the web in its current state — offered a link atop their website with further information on how they feel these laws in their current incarnation would be harmful.
SOPA/PIPA detractors have made significant strides in fighting for their cause in the past 24 hours, with a notable number of senators and representatives distancing themselves from or outright opposing the proposed legislation, but we can undoubtedly expect this discussion to heat up and continue on indefinitely with such large costs at stake. We’ll keep you posted as further details develop, but in the meantime, check out the full letter posted by a host of our favorite artists here.