Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sites Go Dark to Protest the Stop Online Piracy Act

In a unique and unified approach to online political protesting, a number of Web sites with far-reaching audiences and reflecting a wide range of interests -- sites including Internet giants like Wikipedia and Google and smaller but popular locations such as Board Game Geek, The Oatmeal and I Can Haz Cheezburger -- have "gone dark" today in an effort to protest two pieces of legislation currently in Congress.

Today's main page at Wikipedia.
The legislative items coming under criticism are the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) and the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act -- abbreviated as the PROTECT IP ACT of 2011 (S. 968).  The video below provides a succinct summary of the original purpose of these bills, as well as their legal consequences if enacted.  These consequences, and their potential for unpredictable judicial interpretation in the future, are the concerns that have stirred sites to collaboratively protest continuing support for either piece of legislation.

The video above also remarks on several existing laws in place to protect intellectual property.  You can read the full-text of those acts by following the links below.

If you have an opinion to express regarding either of these acts currently before congress, you can contact your state and national level representatives  -- including the President -- here:

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