Patt Morrison For January 18, 2012

Boing Boing, Wikipedia, the list goes on: Websites black out to protest SOPA

Wikipedia Imposes A 24 Hour Shutdown To Protest Over Web Piracy Bill

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

A laptop computer displays Wikipedia's front page showing a darkened logo on January 18, 2012 in London, England. The Wikipedia website has shut down it's English language service for 24 hours in protest over the US anti-piracy laws.

A large-scale blackout of content by websites including Wikipedia, Boing Boing and Reddit on Wednesday in protest over pending controversial anti-piracy House bill Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Senate anti-piracy bill the Protect IP (Intellectual Property) Act, or PIPA, has already had an effect.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said Wednesday morning he will no longer back PIPA, which he co-sponsored. Senator John Coryn of Texas called for Congress to take more time to study the measures. Online search engine juggernaut Google didn’t black out content Wednesday, but placed a black banner on its name in protest. Both bills intend to stop the illegal copying of movies or music, which Hollywood companies and organizations such as the Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Association of America say have threatened their industries. MPAA head Chris Dodd on Tuesday criticized the growing list of websites blacking out as “a disservice to people who rely on them for information.”

WEIGH IN:

Do you agree or disagree with the goals of SOPA and PIPA to crack down on piracy? Do you side with websites such as Wikipedia that “going dark” is an effective way to protest the bills?

Guests:

Karen North, director, online communities program USC’s Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism

Steve Tepp, chief intellectual property counsel, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world’s largest business organization

Rob Beschizza, managing editor, BoingBoing.net; one of a growling list of websites blacking out their content to protest SOPA and PIPA.


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