Guest Editorial: Dave ‘Walshy’ Walsh on SOPA-PIPA

January 19, 2012 -

Walshy Addresses SOPA/PIPA

By Dave Walsh, ECA Pro Gaming Chapter Pres.

There are still many people out there that don’t know about, or are misinformed regarding two very concerning pieces of legislation, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and Protect IP Act (PIPA). The names of these bills sound noble enough, but the effects that they will have if passed will be devastating.

The internet is one of the greatest technologies invented while I have been alive, and may very well be the greatest invention I will ever have the privilege of experiencing in my lifetime. There’s certainly no argument about the amazing contributions it has made to society as a whole – from empowering people, to connecting folks; it’s powered by our First Amendment rights and Free Speech is essential to that core.

The whole reason I decided to work with and start a chapter for the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) is because I will do anything to defend and preserve my rights. Yes, the government supposedly had good intentions in creating these bills in an effort to stop illegal uses, like the piracy problem with music, movies, and video games. But the way the bills are written and the measures they are taking to try to stop piracy is absolutely wrong. If passed, our government and corporations will be holding innocent websites accountable and closing them on the basis of a poorly written bill by Senators and Congressmen who, plain and simple do not understand the internet.

Imagine taking a step backward in all the progress we’ve made with the web and having many current amazing websites closed down. Can you imagine if there were no Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Reddit, or Craigslist? I only named a few popular websites that could be shut down, but these and so many more enrich our lives in many ways that we take for granted because they’ve become a part of our everyday lives. These websites are our access to information we would have never been able to get prior. They give us the ability to reconnect with lost friends and stay in touch with their day-to-day lives even if they live halfway around the world like my sister. They even provide us with an unparalleled source of entertainment under our control and most importantly UNCENSORED.

I am not promoting piracy. I am just pointing out that SOPA and PIPA are not the solutions to piracy. Maybe it’s because of bills like this that our generation has less faith in politics and politicians. But that’s exactly the reason why we have to speak up and make our voices heard. So, what can you do about it? Go to and use the free tools to tell your Senators and Congressmen how you feel. It’s fast and easy. Together we can make a difference.

- Dave Walsh

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