Yesterday morning many of us woke up to our favorite websites participating in the SOPA/PIPA blackout. In case you haven’t heard, the blackout was influenced by two bills proposed by the House and Senate, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), in an attempt to cease copyright infringement committed by foreign websites.
Many groups, mainly the entertainment industry, support the bills. The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) backs SOPA and PIPA citing that it would put an end to piracy around the world. Many claim that they are blaming the internet for decreases in film revenues that may or may not occur when unauthorized downloading occurs. For example, a new film release is leaked out on the internet before it even comes out into theaters, thus allowing consumers to watch it for free in their own homes. Any website along with their companies who are suspected or accused of leaking or linking to that website will have their IP address blocked so that it cannot be accessed by the public. As a result that company would then be prosecuted for copyright infringement. Many companies, including Google and Wikipedia, took part in yesterday’s protest by blacking out all or a large part of their website. They maintain that the Acts will censor the websites, and in turn cause serious damage to the free and open internet that we have all relied on for quite some time.
How did the blackout affect your day? Did your company participate in it? Better yet, what are your thoughts on SOPA and PIPA?