I had planned for RKP to join the protest against SOPA and PIPA, but got home from a trip up north last night to discover that our wireless router had died. While it didn’t prevent the site from operating, it made responding to comments the only RKP activity realistically possible.

In truth RKP doesn’t have much to fear from this legislation. We produce our content in-house except for the images shot by John Pierce and his team at Photosport International. So why should we care? Easy, the far-reaching consequences of these provisions mean that we’d have to nix one of the more interesting aspect of Internet publishing: links. We’d have to kill every link that wasn’t self-referential, that is, didn’t lead to another page within this blog. Should we link to material published without the express consent of the copyright holder, we could be erased.

That some Draconian rule could shut this site down in perpetuity for simply linking to other content is ludicrous. There are a great many complaints about how the U.S. government over-reaches. I don’t agree with all of them, but I hope each of you out there can agree that while protecting copyright is important, these bills would be a constraint that would ultimately damage the propagation of knowledge. We hope you’ll take the time to contact your representative to voice your opinion on the bills.



  1. randomactsofcycling

    Hi Padraig. I’ve not had time to research this at all but as a curious onlooker from Australia (where our politicians just love to follow the example of our United States cousins), how would this proposal affect something such as…I dunno, say a Club has a STRAVA widget embedded in their homepage. Is this kind of link in danger too?
    I’m not sure I understand how copyright works in the U.S.A. but isn’t an embedded link more or less the same as referencing someone else’s published work then listing it in a bibliography?

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