Like Wikipedia, Flickr and many others sites, we have shut down our website in protest against two proposed anti-piracy laws, SOPA and PIPA. In short, we are on strike.

SOPA and PIPA, if passed, give both U.S. government and selected corporations the right to seek legal action against any website that they suspect to be enabling copyright infringement.

As these laws can be used to target and block or completely shut down sites that do not actually infringe on copyrights, every site or service in existence becomes a potential target for a SOPA lawsuit.

Not only are the proposed measures overpowered, they are also badly drafted and open for exploitation. Thus, these laws can, and will, be wielded and misused for censorship, mischief and even extortion. The targeted websites do not even have to be on U.S. soil.

As an example, SOPA and PIPA would allow the U.S. government and the empowered corporations to press charges against e.g. YouTube for having videos on it that show copyrighted material, or Facebook because its users discuss where to find good torrent sites.

The proposed laws represent a dangerous precedent. When you put companies in charge of upholding a law while handing other corporations the power of upholding the law by being not only the jury, but also the judge and the executioner, you create a system that reeks of conflict of interest.

What is most important, the targeted sites are presumed guilty, and have only limited, if any, means to prove that they are not guilty. This is unconstitutional, and the fact that these sites have mere days to defend themselves is stupefying. And the more power these corporations gain, the more pressure they can apply.

Corporations should not be allowed to have this kind of power, especially when it serves only their own interest.

Both SOPA and PIPA pose a grave threat to the freedom of expression, which is something we, as filmmakers and as private citizens, hold very dear.

We urge you to sign the petition against both these legislations right here:

Read more about why SOPA and PIPA should be opposed:

We reopen the site tomorrow, Thursday Jan19th 14:00 CET.

-The Iron Sky Team