Websites throughout the U.S. launched a public protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act on Wednesday by blacking out their home pages or posting information to help site visitors let their Senators and Congressmen know they don’t support the bills. Sites such as Wikipedia, Reddit and Google are participating in the protest with special messages and links to information about opposing the proposed legislation.
Wikipedia’s SOPA protest
The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, is a House of Representatives bill that would make it surprisingly easy to get court orders to shut down any website suspected of participating — directly or indirectly — in copyright infringement without requiring due process.
Internet service providers and online search engines would be required to block access to sites that host or link to other sites suspected of copyright infringement, and unauthorized streaming of copyright-protected content would be a felony offense.
PIPA, or the Protect IP Act, is a similar bill working its way through the U.S. Senate.
Reddit opposes SOPA and PIPA, too
Wikipedia searches all point to a special page with information about SOPA along with tool for contacting your local House Representative. Reddit’s home page currently offers some SOPA and PIPA protest information along with links to sign an anti-SOPA petition and to contact your local Representative.
Google’s logo leads to an anti-SOPA page
Google has blacked out its home page logo, and is hosting a web page titled “End Piracy, Not Liberty.” Along with protest information, Google is helping site visitors sign an anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA petition.
American Censorship also offers a tool for locating your Congressman and voicing your support for dropping the SOPA bill.
Work on SOPA was temporarily suspended after President Barak Obama spoke out against the bill’s wording, although markup on the proposed legislation will resume in February. The Senate’s PIPA bill is scheduled for a vote on January 24.