B.o.B on SOPA: Rapper Calls Act a ‘Blow to the Heart’ for Americans
If you go to Google’s homepage, you will find its logo has been blackened out. What gives? The Internet is in a state of blackout in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) bills that are making their way through Congress. The House of Representatives will hold hearings today (Jan. 18) about the SOPA bill while PIPA will be put to a vote on Jan. 24 in the Senate.
The legislations were created to stop online piracy and intended to protect movie makers, music publishers and other copyright owners of online content. But opponents of the bill say it’s a legal license for the federal government to censor the Internet and could destroy online businesses like Google, Wikipedia and Reddit.
Grammy-winning rapper B.o.B took to his Twitter page to voice his disapproval of the SOPA and PIPA legislation. The ‘Airplanes’ rapper feels if the bills succeed in Congress, it could also affect how independent artists — the little guys, so to speak — sell and distribute music on the Internet. “I’m not usually into politics but …. this has gone too far… we have to fight for our freedom,” he tweeted with a link to Google’s invitation to petition Congress: “End Piracy, Not Liberty.” He then adds, “This a blow to the heart of the American people who have been able to put food on the table from the opportunities provided by web.”
On Wednesday (Jan. 18), House Speaker John Boehner acknowledged there was a lack of consensus on the bills, while House Republican Policy Committee Tom Price believes that the bills aren’t going to pass. “There is real confusion about it, number one, but number two, there are real concerns about whether or not it would it would shutdown the ability of entrepreneurs, new businesses and the like to utilize the Internet for their purposes,” Price told Fox Business.
A fan concurred with B.o.B’s concerns about the SOPA legislation. Follower @itsmayleeyall said, “I was gonna search what SOPA means on wikipedia but um…oops,” to which B.o.B replied, “Exactly… That’s [what] the law [would] do.”
UPDATE: It looks like the protests worked for now. President Obama has come out and said he would not support both SOPA and PIPA bills. Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee has agreed to postpone hearings on the SOPA bill until February.