SOPA is an anti-piracy bill that would’ve expanded the U.S. Department of Justice’s authority to enforce copyright if it had passed. Back in November, several big name internet entities that oppose it banded together to publish an open letter to Congress. It does not appear that it will be moving in that branch of government (at least in its current form), but its Senate counterpart, PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), is still slated for a vote on January 24.
The controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has been shelved or at least stalled for now. It is however, not completely gone. Many of its supporters are doing what they can to move it forward. Today many of it’s opponents will show their opposition to the legislation with a planned virtual strike.
Many websites, against SOPA, are protesting with sitewide blackouts that will span from a few hours within the day, up to 24 hours. Joining in are top sites like Wikipedia that announced its intention to do so late last year.
Included among the thousands of sites to join the virtual strike against SOPA on today, January 18, are:
- Cheezburger Network
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
Google will not implement a blackout. The search engine will instead place a prominent link on its front page that will notify users of its anti-SOPA stance.
Quite noticeable is the absence of popular social networking sites, Twitter and Facebook, from the list. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo made it clear that his company’s management opposes the bill, but he believes blocking access to the site isn’t an avenue they should take. Facebook, on the other hand, hasn’t released any statement.
Microsoft also says that it opposes SOPA. However, the company did not make a public announcement regarding plans to protest against it the same as other companies did, such as Wikipedia with its blackout. “We oppose the passage of the SOPA bill as currently drafted. We think the White House statement points in a constructive way to problems with the current legislation, the need to fix them, and the opportunity for people on all sides to talk together about a better path forward,”