On Wednesday 18th January 2012 many internet sites intentionally blacked out for the day in protest against the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act] and PIPA [Protect IP Act] legislation now being advanced in the USA. The day of protest has been judged a success by some of the major organisations involved. Wikipedia stated:
More than 162 million people saw our message asking if you could imagine a world without free knowledge. You said no. You shut down Congress’s switchboards. You melted their servers. From all around the world your messages dominated social media and the news. Millions of people have spoken in defence of a free and open internet.
Meanwhile Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg urged people to protest saying:
Tell your congressmen you want them to be pro-internet. We can’t let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the internet’s development. Facebook opposes Sopa and Pipa, and we will continue to oppose any laws that will hurt the internet.
Of course the internet with sites like YouTube, Facebook and the rest is a powerful tool for distributing activism against social injustice, including using songs as a vehicle for protests. Needless to say the SOPA / PIPA protests have led to the creating and posting of songs. The following examples demonstrate just how easy it can be to make protesting voices heard – no expensive equipment is required, no record industry moguls have to be grovelled to, no media pawns of government have to be persuaded – just do it and post it.
The first sample uses the age old method for creating a song of social justice – the adoption and adaption of an existing well known tune and lyric – in this case Don Maclean’s American Pie. Created by LaughPong, The Day The LOLcats Died – #SOPA #PIPA Protest Song includes some pertinent lyrics:
Why, why are laws a thing you can buy?
They got paid off, should be laid off, re-election denied
Our web means more than lawyers, lobbies and lies
So speak up before the internet dies
Speak up before the internet dies.
The next song – SOPA Cabana by Dan Bull seems to morph some South American musical influences with RAP delivery:
The American Government wants to CENSOR the Internet is pure rap by Okwerdz:
Finally in this brief selection Stop the SOPA Song is just a guy in his room with an acoustic guitar and some very clever lyrics.