Everything You Need to Legally Protest SOPAS

SOPA sucks. PIPA sucks. The proposed anti-piracy bills are terrible in pretty much every way. But they aren't laws yet, and there's plenty we can do to keep it that way. Here are six tools to help you fight SOPA online.

Everything You Need to Legally Protest SOPAS

Petitions

One of the more effective things we can do to protest the passing of SOPA/PIPA legislation is to sign as many petitions as we come across (and whose statement/organization we agree with). Ars Technica found one on the White House's petition site which already has 50,000 signatures. AmericanCensorship.org also has another which is presumably racking up a fair number of signatures thanks to Wikipedia support. And of course, Google has its own petition, which will carry some serious clout. Don't just add your name to one, but rather all three.

Everything You Need to Legally Protest SOPAS

Congressional Directories

If you think your district representative or state senators are in favor of this asinine bill, give them a call or send them an email directly. If they're doing their job correctly, they should be taking your opinions into account when they make decisions on Capitol Hill. You can find listings for Senators and Representatives here and here, respectively. You can also visit AmericanCensorship.org and it will automatically send your letter to the appropriate representative once you enter your ZIP code. Make your voice—your own voice—heard.

Everything You Need to Legally Protest SOPAS

Wordpress Plugins

Have a WordPress blog? Check out this collection of plugins that will let you stamp your disapproval of SOPA on it without having to bang out a lick of code. WPMU has compiled a great list of ribbons, block ads, and, if you still want to, ways to black out your entire blog.

Everything You Need to Legally Protest SOPAS

Sopa Strike

Speaking of blackouts, if you don't have a Wordpress blog, but want to blackout any other site you run for what's left of the day, you can acquire a snippet of HTML code from SopaStrike.com, which will toss up a splash page over your own and encourage people to get involved. More than effecting direct change, this protest is about raising awareness and encouraging a wider audience to constantly resist the legislation in small, meaningful ways.

Everything You Need to Legally Protest SOPAS

Boycott SOPA App

Hate the companies who have publicly voiced support for SOPA and want to stop supporting them? Use the Boycott SOPA app, available in the Android Marketplace. It will let you scan the barcode of any product you're considering buying and will tell you if it's made by a company who supports SOPA. Corporate fat cats respond to fiscal bottom lines anyways.

Everything You Need to Legally Protest SOPAS

DeSOPA

DeSOPA is really a last resort, to be used in a distant future when something has gone very, very wrong and we're all limited to an internet contained within a walled garden. The current tactic SOPA backers want to use to conquer pirates is to shut down sites at the domain name level. But apparently, their plan doesn't account for the actual IP addresses. So there's a Firefox plug-in called DeSOPA that will find the server IP address for any site, and re-route you around the block. Keep this one in your back pocket.