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SOPA & PIPA Website Blackout

Updated on June 2, 2013

It was Wednesday, January 18th, 2012. The date of the largest online protest in the history of USA. The internet was not like it has used to be. Thousands of websites have either went completely offline or have altered their webpages to pay attention to SOPA and PIPA blackout. This protest is against badly drafted USA anti piracy legislations SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). These two acts are aimed towards stopping piracy on the internet. Although this intention is obviously good, the suggested methods implied censoring internet content in order to protect copyrights. But it is a huge treat to the open, free and secure internet. Even the biggest websites such as Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia and a lot more would barely or even wouldn't meet the suggested copyright criteria so they have united in the biggest online protest - SOPA and PIPA Blackout. The voting for or against legislation of PIPA is set to be on the 24th of January.

Web Goes On Strike Poster
Web Goes On Strike Poster
Wikipedia Goes Dark
Wikipedia Goes Dark

SOPA and PIPA forces webpages to actively monitor every site they link to and make sure it doesn't lead to copy protected materials. Any link could make user generated content websites to go offline for investigation. This way users all over the world would lose access to big websites such as Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter, Cheezburger, The Oatmeal and others. There are very few non American websites that could be even close to substituting such sites.

With SOPA and PIPA the world of the internet would be completely different. There might be loads of missing lolcats (well, and some pedobears too) and you couldn't count that the information you needed for the essay for your ancient Greek love poetry classes would still be there because you know, maybe the site was shut down because of the copyright issues. Imagine, any site could be blocked any time just for one infringing link. Boing Boing website even said this would unmake the web. What strong words. It would be like undoing the content, reversing progress of free speech. The SOPA and PIPA blackout means exactly that - disappearing of the major part of web content.


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    • Eranofu profile image

      Eranofu 5 years ago from Europe

      I think the strike yesterday has managed to convince most of Americans that the idea is pretty much killing most of the net. On one side I was thinking maybe that could give options to not count on monopoly of the big websites such as Google and Amazon and could make smaller, similar non-American sites to compete for the spot. No offense, I love American web, without them the internet definitely would be different. I also doubt the big companies would die if SOPA and PIPA is approved. It would just force them to move the business outside USA (you know like run away to Mexico or Canada or here to Europe :D). But to be honest, I think the blackout was convincing enough and there was almost no pro SOPA and PIPA propaganda for Americans to vote for it so it will most likely calm down again soon after voting.

    • JohnGreasyGamer profile image

      John Roberts 5 years ago from South Yorkshire, England

      I found out about this when a personal appeal from the Wikipedia founder asked that I spread the word. I was gonna make a Hub on it, but I knew little about this protest - it just seemed so complex. So I did a little more research and it was about copyright, blah blah blah--, HOLY HELL! CYANIDE AND HAPPINESS COMICS ARE BEING BLACKED OUT?! This cannot do!

      Went on Facebook, spread the word but no-one seems to be taking a bite outta that toast. It's nice spread too. Anyway, thanks for the informative Hub - now I know what kinda words I'm spreading on Facebook... and my toast...?