Many websites have gone dark today in protest of SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA, Protect IP. These two dangerous bills in congress could lead to censorship on the internet.
To summarize the legislation as simply as possible, these two bills are meant to stop companies from copying, or “pirating” content or software from others and reselling it. However, the verbiage is so broad that websites like Wikipedia, Reddit, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and even your own personal blog wouldn’t be able to exist as they do today because things like comment boxes, status updates, and wiki edits all provide users the opportunity to upload pirated content. The bill would make it possible for your site to be taken down without due process. It entirely violates the first amendment, and would hinder the growth of our economy.
Here is a cronicle of some of the more popular sites that have gone dark today:
Here are the best resources for you to learn more about SOPA (without needing to be a lawyer):
- The Oatmeal created a humorous presentation on what SOPA is, in laymens terms.
- Chris Heald at Mashable wrote an excellent piece on exactly why SOPA is dangerous. This is a must-read.
- Technorati compiled a full list of sites that went dark today (1/18/12) in protest of SOPA and PIPA.
Do your part to help. Click here to sign the online petition. Call or write to your state senator & representatives’ offices. Let’s do what we can to make sure our freedoms stay intact.