Uberdownloads Blog
Internet Blackout Attacks SOPA/PIPA

January 18, 2012 will be remembered in history as The Great Internet Blackout (or if you prefer, The Day The LOLcats Died).

Wikipedia, Craigslist, Google, Wired, Reddit, Boing Boing, Reporters Without Borders, Pressthink, were just a few of the Web sites that joined in protest. All sites went dark for 24 hours.

Standing up against 2 bills currently up for vote in Congress—Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the Senate and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) in the House of Representatives—major information and media sites showed users (and politicians) exactly what life without a free and open internet would be like.

Supporters argue that the goal of SOPA/PIPA is to stop copyright infringement and confront the sale and distribution of pirated movies, drugs, music and consumer goods by rogue overseas sites.

It seems that the bills miss the mark. Instead, its broad power could in fact harm the internet—and the very innovation and creativity that come from its open nature.

Major information and media sites made their point quite clearly, calling for users to contact their senators and representatives and to ask them to pull their support for the SOPA/PIPA bills.

Although some called the internet blackout a “publicity stunt” and “an abuse of power,” it seemed to work, as nearly 4.5 million people signed the petition on Jan. 18 alone.

Reports state that Congress’s switchboards were overloaded and several politicians have pulled their support from the bills.

Wikipedia also claims that more than 162 million people saw their message, with many speaking in defense of a free and open internet.

While the internet blackout protest has spread the message and made the public aware of SOPA/PIPA, many caution that the fight is not over.

SOPA/PIPA are still alive and it’s not too late to contact your representatives. It is our best defense to keep a free and open internet full of information and knowledge.

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