Reddit Users Create "Free Internet Act" in Response to SOPA/PIPA

Reddit users are actively combating controversial proposed Internet legislation SOPA and PIPA with a proposal of their own. Austrian Reddit user “RoyalWithCheese22" initiated the Free Internet Act and now heads the subreddit "r/fia." According to its mission statement, the group seeks to "promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship and innovation by preventing the restriction of liberty and preventing the means of censorship. FIA will allow internet users to browse freely without any means of censorship, users have the right to free speech and to free knowledge; we govern the content of the internet, governments don’t." The Free Internet Act is meant to be an opposing alternative to the restrictive terms of SOPA/PIPA. Although critics say that the FIA may not be taken seriously,the Reddit thread states, "The idea is to aim high. This is the same strategy employed by SOPA/ACTA pushers. We are aiming absurdly high, so that we can back down and reach a compromise."

The document lays out terms for basic rights that Internet users should have. The most recent version, available in a Google document being passed around on Reddit, states:

Federal or State Governments will not pass any law, nor ratify any treaty, which imposes or administers any kind of censorship on the Internet ... Only the creator or uploader of data is responsible for whether that data is legal to upload, possess or make available to other users or information services.

Although the oppositional bill remains in its nascent stages, activity around it on Reddit has already exploded. However, RoyalWithCheese22 said that he didn't see himself as the director of the Reddit group, claiming that he wanted to keep the movement a community-based one with contributions from many Reddit users. In an interview with Mashable, he said, "I’m not the leader, this is a real community project. Whatever the community decides will be done."