Artists opposing the PROTECT-IP / SOPA Act

An open letter to the US Senate and House of Representatives

Fight For The Future
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TO members of the United States Congress

We, the undersigned artists, have all been empowered by the Internet. Today, artists can reach large audiences and make a living because the Internet and digital tools have democratized the means to create, distribute, and promote our work.

We write to you today because we are concerned with S.968, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). Copyright law exists to promote the arts, but the new penalties in PIPA could be used against the new social media channels we depend on to make a living, and endanger freedom of expression.

PIPA creates new penalties against sites dedicated to infringing activity, but we worry it will be abused to attack legitimate sites we rely on. Many trailblazing social media websites could look like piracy havens to judges unfamiliar with the Internet. In the past, music and film companies have attacked many new technologies - like the VCR and MP3 player - claiming that they were tools for piracy. Recently, these same companies have sued video hosting platforms like Veoh and YouTube.

We use online video sites, file hosts like Dropbox and Mediafire, and online music communities like Soundcloud to host our work, collaborate with others, and build a community. We fund our work with services like Kickstarter and Flattr. We publish our work on sites like Tumblr, Wordpress, and Blogger. Any one of these services could be sued under PIPA.

Congress needs to hear from Artists!

The PROTECT-IP act would censor the net, in the name of protecting "creativity" (read: copyright). The law would let the government or corporations censor entire sites-- they just have to convince a judge that the site is "dedicated to copyright infringement."

The law could definitely pass, but it's close.

  • * Artists (musicians, actors, writers, media-makers, etc) need to speak out against the law. Your statement is powerful because the corporate music and film lobbies push these laws in your name.
  • * The copyright lobby say that this bill is written in your name to protect "creativity". If you're an artist that believes the government and corporations should not have the power to censor the internet in your name, you need to sign.
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  • Joe Mogel, Author
  • Larisa Mann, Surya Dub
  • Joseph DeGeorge, Joe DeGeorge
  • Daniel Sabatinelli, Moped Artist
  • Jeff Toste, Detroit Rebellion
  • Nick Carter, Artist, Drummer of Cool World
  • Paige Bradley, RISD
  • Ian Cozzens, Secret Door Projects
  • Tom Bubul, Writer, Painter, Illustrator
  • Liz Squillace, Paradox ink
  • Wayne Marshall, Wayne & Wax / Beat Research
  • William Colwell
  • George William Myers
  • Nick meyer, Nick Meyer Photography
  • Ben Sisto
  • Neil Young, Cloaca, Fat Worm of Error
  • Lauren Pakradooni, Pak
  • Greg Leuch, Greg Leuch
  • Roald Bünermann, Jam Pir
  • Lauren Leibowitz, Blogger
  • Stephen Knapp, Artist
  • David Nader, BatCity Press and Masqued Parade
  • Jenine Bressner
  • Jori Ketten, Community MusicWorks
  • Donny Shaw, Fat Worm of Error
  • Paula Harrison
  • Chris Corsano
  • Alexis Acaro
  • Matt Zaccarino, Bone Zone
  • mindy stock, what cheer? brigade
  • Alexander Heir, Death/Traitors
  • Thomas Van Buskirk, Javelin
  • Sam Posner, Sammy Bananas
  • William Cashion, Future Islands
  • Geert Lovink, Institute of Network Cultures, Director
  • Don Stewart, DS Art, LLC
  • Julian Oliver
  • Mickey O'hara , The Firehouse Housing Co-op
  • Daniel Trudeau, PREGNANT
  • Nathan Price, DiggUp Tapes, NAPS
  • Rob Pecchia, What cheer brigade
  • Veronique Cote, Fine Art
  • Zachary Bauman, Oh Foot
  • Otto Arsenault FVMMO FILMS
  • Aharon Segal, The Big Picture, DJ Gonzo
  • Styles Munson, Guardia
  • Rain Phoenix, Papercranes
  • Jason Yoon
  • James Acey, Solos Collective
  • Greg Burbank, What Cheer? Brigade
  • Andy Cary, Golden Girls
  • Vishal Agarwala, Garage Mahal Presents
  • Zachary D Tetreault, Levek
  • Rob MacInnis Rob MacInnis
  • Paul S. O'Connor,
  • Janice Tanaka, Media Artists
  • Joseph Newlan, Q.E.D. publishing services
  • Christopher Forgues, CF
  • Bill Nace
  • Tatyana, KnitPlants
  • Angela Zammarelli
  • Jean Noel Montagne, Montagne
  • Scott Stuckey, Pancake Mountain
  • Maria DiFranco, Maria Katherine
  • Andy Ross, OK Go
  • Alexander Chaparro,
  • Giancarlo Norese, Lu Cafausu
  • Scott Kirby, Music Revolt. Org
  • Kevin Carpio, LAVAR_LAMAR
  • Peter Lutz, AS 220 Community Printshop
  • Susan Sakash, What Cheer? Brigade
  • Cher, Lait de Poulet
  • Jeff Stark, Nonsense NYC
  • Lars Jan, Early Morning Opera Art Lab
  • J Green, Artist
  • Hana van der Kolk
  • Ashiq Khondker, Magnet City Kids, Stairway to Freebird
  • Kia Rahimian, Vacay Vitamins
  • Mary Wilson, Brown University, Creative Writing MFA
  • Nalini Abhiraman, NA
  • Michael Guadagni, Mike knives
  • Nate Donmoyer, Passion Pit

The copyright lobby have been expanding copyright's reach in order to "protect creativity". This bill would cost us $47 million tax dollars a year for a fix that won't work, disrupts the internet, stifles innovation, shuts out diverse voices, and censors the internet. This bill is bad for creativity and does not protect your rights.