Today, on January 18th 2012, starting @ 12 am EST and lasting for 24 hrs numerous websites, including big name Wikipedia will be taking part in an Internet Blackout to protest against SOPA (Stop online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). Also some major names will be showing their support in other ways. Google has chosen to have a Black Out ribbon across the google name and Twitter gives users the option to Choose different black out tags for their personal twitter page.
Websites such as WordPress.com has given their users the choice to join in the fight as well. I have chosen to participate in the blackout as well. As my grandfather has instilled in all his grandchildren ” You have to stand for something or you will always fall for anything”. My blog will be blacked out starting @ 8am EST – 8pm EST but if you access my page after the allotted time, you will continue to see the Stop Censorship Ribbon on my page until Jan 23, 2012, the day the United States Congress votes on the bill.
If you don’t exactly understand what these bills mean, PLEASE PLEASE read up.“Why SOPA and Protect IP are Bad, Bad Ideas.”
If you would like some relatively unbiased and informative pages on these bills I suggest checking out Wikipedia on SOPA and PIPA . Keep in mind, in less than 9 hours from now though, Wikipedia and many other sites including my own will be “blacking out” to protest against these bills from passing.
Let me be clear. Infringement and piracy are issues that DO need solutions, but these bills are not the right way of going about it. To be even more clear, if these bills pass you can kiss many of your favorite and most helpful websites goodbye. Music sites, social networking sites, and yes…even Second Life could be shut down in a near instant by the government.
So I really encourage bloggers, website owners, and the general public to read up on these bills, and take action. Support the strike. Join in.
Also, many are encouraging others to call their local representatives and be clear to them that if they support the passing of these bills that you will make sure to tell everyone you know NOT to vote for them. It is so important that our representatives, politicians, and the government as a whole know that we will not agree to this.