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Can you imagine what the world would be like today if Rosa had gotten up.  The truth is, she was simply too tired.  Even she would tell you this. I know because I met her best friend’s grandson. Any other day, she might have just gotten up.

But she was asked on the wrong day.

Well, in this case – I guess it was the right day because it started a movement beyond anything one tired African American woman could have ever anticipated.

So maybe you’re tired – maybe you’re busy – maybe you think you don’t matter.

And maybe you don’t matter.  Maybe you can do NOTHING.

Or maybe you do. And you can.

For me?  I’m WAY too busy today – I have an important business meeting in 37 minutes that I can’t be late for – yet I’m going to be late.

And I’m getting ready to be lazy as I’d love to give a Lori Taylor style rant to get you inspired and motivated to charge the internet with your passion for protecting the little guys!

But I don’t have time to do that justice.  Yet I refuse to totally SUCK and let that be an excuse to do NOTHING. (It’s like being on a diet, eating a cupcake, then throwing your hands up in the air, saying you blew it, as you drive through every fast food joint on the way home.)

So instead, I’m cutting and pasting an email I received today from Danny at Firepole Marketing. And give a HUGE shout out to copyblogger – go there right now, if nothing else it is the COOLEST thing I’ve EVER seen.  And DO. It.

Right now or right after you read this awesome message about SOPA from Danny. Then if you need some inspiration – click on my One Act Video I made below for a client – and DO SOMETHING.

Hi Lori,

Please pardon this break from our usual “marketing that works” messaging, but right now we’re about as close as the online community has come to a real emergency in quite some time.

I know that you’re busy, but I really need you to read this email, and at the very least be aware of the very serious danger that is facing us all.

The danger that I’m talking about is SOPA.

Maybe you already know about SOPA. Maybe you’ve read about it on Copyblogger, or any number of the other places who are outraged by the horror that Hollywood is trying to inflict on the internet.

Or maybe you tried to browse over to Firepole Marketing today, and found that our site is down as part of the day of global online protest.

I don’t usually get involved in politics (particularly American politics, seeing as I’m Canadian), but SOPA is an absolute disaster in the making, and I felt that it was important enough to shut down the site for a day, and disrupt our Marketing That Works Ideas contest to help spread the word.

In case you’re wondering, by the way, SOPA “is the Stop Online Piracy Act, written with the intent of more vigorously protecting copyright around the web. The entertainment industry wants to come down harder on file sharing and the theft of copyrighted material, so it lobbied for a draconian law to add to the many anti-piracy laws that are already on the books.” (quoting Sonia Simone at Copyblogger)

SOPA basically means that anyone (read: Hollywood) can accuse anyone else (read: small businesses like yours and mine) of copyright violation, and punitive action will be taken (read: our sites will be taken down indefinitely) with no recourse, no chance for appeal, and with a “guilty until proven innocent” mentality that is completely antithetical to Western democracy.

Here’s an easy example:

Eugene over at ContentStrategyHub made a joke about me being like Freddy Krueger. I ran with it, wrote a blog post about the experience, and have continued to make use of the moniker. Well, Freddy Krueger is probably copyrighted, and that would be enough for Firepole Marketing to be taken down indefinitely.

(Although, to be fair, the “guilty until proven innocent with no recourse” legislation would mean that the same could be done by an irate reader, without any real justification needed.)

Lots of people have talked about why SOPA is bad news for small business, and why it’s toothless to enforce actual copyright infringement by internet pirates, but I want to mention why it’s particularly bad for American business:

1. The minute that SOPA passes (heaven forbid), there will be an exodus of businesses moving their websites off of American servers, to avoid the risk of arbitrary shutdown (that’s what I’ll do).

2. To enforce this, the United States would have to take lessons from China about controlling what their citizens do or don’t have access to. That’s a recipe for innovation to go offshore.

And that’s just the start. SOPA is bad news. Bad for small businesses, bad for Americans… it’s just BAD.

And it’s going to happen unless you take action to help stop it.

If you’re fine with censorship, arbitrary shutdowns of websites, and the government basically deputizing Hollywood into online law enforcement, then that’s fine – I respect your choice.

If you don’t want to let this happen, though, then please visit, and take one of the quick and easy actions described on the page (there’s stuff that you can do even if you aren’t American, like me):

Seriously, this is important.

Please take a moment to make your voice heard and help avoid online disaster.

Thank you.

Tomorrow we’ll return to our regular “Marketing That Works” programming.

Danny Iny

Firepole Marketing

P.S. Special thanks to Sherice Jacob who agreed to have her “Marketing That Works” contest post bumped to Saturday to accommodate the shutdown. If you care about SOPA, take a minute to check the site on Saturday and thank her.

Now tweet – share – go to copyblogger and call your senator – he practically does it for you.  This is important.  You Count. You Matter.