Remember SOPA and PIPA? Those pesky bills that threatened Internet freedom were presumed dead once Congress folded following the mass online blackout on Jan. 18, but one Kickstarter project hopes to bring back the bills from the dead and flush them away all over again.
The project is exactly what it sounds like: Print the SOPA and PIPA bills on Toilet Paper!
Don't ask me how I thought of this... begins Craig R., the creator of the project. I would like to develop custom toilet paper with the SOPA and PIPA bills printed on them. SOPA/PIPA on TP is a gag outrage item that offers users a chance to express themselves regarding these two proposed bills in untold new ways. Let SOPA PIPA finally have some practical use for once. Share it with your friends. Share it with your family. Or share it with your local representative!
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) were designed to thwart movie and music pirates on the Internet by empowering copyright holders to effectively shut down websites or online services found with infringing material. If it was passed, the U.S. government could have blacklisted any website it deemed in violation of copyright, which could range from a few posts in a Web forum to a few links sent in an email, or even images posted to Reddit or Facebook.
[The bills would] put web creators on a night watch by the entertainment industry, Craig said. I asked myself, how could they capture their feelings about this? Is there something that they can exchange that represents their emotions, like a seal or even a cereal box decoder ring? It's difficult because the situation is very abstract.
Craig said he was inspired by YouTube videos that showed outraged Internet users explaining the negative impacts of the bills. Craig decided that toilet paper would be a great way to express their feelings.
I felt that no one really knew how to symbolize their frustrations with this bill, Craig told DigitalTrends. Additionally, the anti-SOPA/PIPA groups appeared scattered across the Internet. Typically groups with this sort of momentum have a physical emblem to bring them together...I asked myself what could motivate these demonstrators to forge a common alliance.
Craig's tongue-in-cheek Kickstarter project, in addition to the bills themselves, also includes anonymous comments about the legislation.
It makes it fun to unravel, Craig said. It can kind of be like something you save for afternoon reading. So if anything, even if you have problems with the kind of statement it makes, you can think of it as a gag item. A low-tech discussion board, if you will, in a place you never expected!
The Kickstarter project has already raised $311 from 18 backers at the time this was published; Craig hopes to reach $2,000 by March 27. He says he'd use the money to create a custom print shop to mass produce the toilet paper rolls, and to get a warehouse to keep them.
To create the photos for the Kickstarter project page, Craig created a prototype roll using his home printer and regular paper.
That picture is a prototype, says Craig. I used my [PIXMA] ip6600d Canon printer, and taped sections of TP onto a sheet of firm paper and sent it through the machine using the SOPA/PIPA text. Then I taped the whole thing together to make 2 whole rolls! It took forever too.
Craig believes he will achieve his goal by the deadline, and added that if the project makes enough money, he might use it to fund a cryptozoology and alien movie.
My philosophy is: Let's take this one roll of paper at a time, he added.