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You may have noticed that Uptown looks a little different today. It’s for good reason.

If you haven’t heard, there is legislation pending on Capitol Hill that would essentially censor the internet. Although the thought behind the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is good, the effects of their passing would eliminate the freedom we all have come to find on the internet. In an attempt to stop piracy and protect the entertainment industry, this legislation would cripple those who’ve built business on the Internet.

Can you imagine the government blocking Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, or Google? The ambiguity in the language of this legislation would make all of this possible.

What would that look like for us here at Uptown? Well… we’d never be able to share any music that featured an uncleared sample or unauthorized use of someone else’s production (Goodbye Mixtapes.) We’d never be able to share trailers for upcoming films. We wouldn’t be able to introduce you to new artists without conducting a full out FBI investigation into whether or not their music is 100% original. We would never even be able to MENTION (write, speak) the name of an artist or project without their express written consent. Singing covers and posting them would make you a felon. That super cute video of your baby dancing to Beyonce? Yeah, you’d be a felon for that too. Any link shared that could even be deemed remotely infringing could give the government grounds to shut us down, block us from receiving advertising dollars, and sue us for damages. Do you see a problem here?

Our first amendment rights are at stake. Let’s be clear, though. Piracy is bad. The entertainment industry is a business. They have to make money. But to end thievery on the internet should not cost us our liberty. The video below explains the legislation in greater detail. Watch it, and then find out what you can do to help below.

If you don’t like what you heard, you can do something about it. Sign the petition below, and share this information with all of your friends and family. Our rights depend on it.