by

An Open Letter to My Congressmen Regarding SOPA

Below is the the message that I’ve emailed to each of my congressmen regarding SOPA.

Hello congressmen Udall, Bennet, and Polis,

First, I would like to thank you for your service in the US congress. I appreciate the work that you do in representing the state of Colorado and me.

I have recently moved to Colorado from Texas. I moved because my wife got a job in Colorado. I was fortunately unaffected by the move because I am a website developer and designer.

The company that I work for has 40 employees in 12 states; most of us work from home exclusively. We are developing websites for a substantial percentage of Fortune 500 companies. My company’s area of specialization is web content management systems (CMS); we develop the software that manages the websites of multi-million dollar companies.

Though these facts may not seem relevant, each must be considered when evaluating SOPA.

There is currently no functionality in my CMS, or any, which tracks whether a piece of content is pirated. Building this functionality will be incredibly expense and completely impossible for companies other than the richest of companies. The alternative to building this software is hiring massive amounts of employees to take on this task; the HR cost will be greater than an anti-pirating CMS.

With most companies unable to support the cost of monitoring content, they will consider the alternative: no web content at all. As this is my company’s livelihood, we may lose approximately 75% of our clientele. Subsequently, my company will close its doors after just a little over a year being in business.

Content is already protected by the law. Copyrights, trademarks, and service marks all guarantee that the author has a legitimate claim in any court when his or her creative work is stolen. The creative commons license and the subsequent theory of open-source is responsible for the internet you know today. Tim Berners Lee invented HTML so that he could share information with friends; the core language of the Internet was developed as a result of the desire to share knowledge. Now, Google openly shares the code for hundreds of their own applications so that others may learn it and evolve it. Yahoo and Twitter have shared volumes of code with the world so that we can continue the evolution of the web that began in 1993. Websites like stackoverflow.com and smashingmagazine.com share the work of developers, artists, and experts with the web community with the purpose of improving the world wide web for you. SOPA will do to the United States what a trade embargo has done to Cuba.

Please hold fast and strong to fighting SOPA and PIPA. Thank you for speaking out against it and I urge you to influence your fellow congressmen to do the same.