Unlike many websites today (Wednesday, Jan. 18), the SF Lunatic Fringe is not going black today.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t support the efforts to Stop SOPA and PIPA.

If you don’t know the details of why, I won’t try to explain it too deeply.  Wikipedia has the best explanation I’ve seen, so check it out.  If you don’t want something so long-winded, check out The Oatmeal’s simpler thoughts.

Look, I’m on both sides of the piracy debate.  On one hand, we’re a small comic here, me and Rog.  Really small.  We want to be bigger.  But every reader counts for us.  And pirating our stuff is pretty damned easy.  You right-click one of our comics, say ‘Save Image As…’ and then post it ANYWHERE else.  Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter.  Yep, that’s piracy.  Sure, we put our web address on the image itself since many people won’t give us credit.  It’s an ongoing problem for the entire webcomic industry, and some dicks even cut out a comic’s web address when they’re part of the image.

For us, our advertising is everything.  We get paid on page views.  We’re not asking for admission, or even donations.  We sell some merchandise, like books and t-shirts, but not much.  And right now, we barely make enough for web hosting and Rog’s pens.  Barely.  Piracy really hurts us.

But on the other hand, being a web business, SOPA and PIPA potentially put us in danger.  Without due process, if some itchy MLB executive who doesn’t get the concept of ‘Fair Use’…or just plain doesn’t like sarcasm…they could get us blocked and shut down.  We could lose our advertising accounts.  Heck, we worry about all of this already when it comes to lawsuits, but even then we would get a day in court.  With this? Nope.

Personally, I’m all for stopping piracy.  I’m an ex-cinema major.  I work inside the tech field to pay the bills for this site.  I get all the angles.  There needs to be effective piracy controls out there.  Not for the MPAA, or the RIAA.  But yes, for the real little guys, like us.

But this bill is NOT the way to do it.

Contact your local representative.  For today, Wikipedia has an awesome page to help you.  And thank you for supporting us.