Why We Participated in the Blackout of 2012
Yesterday hundreds of websites, including Interactive Strategies (we blacked out our website for the day), joined the protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 (PROTECT IP/PIPA). The protest, which was spearheaded by industry giants such as Google, Wikipedia and Reddit, called for websites to notify users that their freedom is at risk.
Supporting the protest did not mean that all of the participants openly support piracy; the general goal of these acts is just. The issue at hand is the method in which the goal is obtained – a method that has raised the collective eyebrows of the web. If the two bills pass new powers will be given to copyright owners that are frightening. Examples include the ability to request blocking of domains and withholding of revenue without due process.
Everyday millions of people sift through segments of 160 characters, view pictures from the night before or simply clarify their internet voyage with a few words. All of these things are threatened under the SOPA/PIPA acts.
So what can we do? In addition to the measures taken yesterday by the web community, we must all inform our representatives of our distaste. Follow the links below to learn how these bills will impact your online experience, and how you can let your congressman or congresswoman know how you feel.
Stop American Censorship:
Hear the details from a technical expert:
Or, read the bills:
PIPA - http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:s.968:
SOPA - http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d112:h.r.3261