Wikipedia, Google and a ton of other sites are protesting the Internet regulation bills SOPA and PIPA today, blacking out their homepages, or taking their sites down all together, to speak out against the bills. If passed, SOPA and PIPA (which, when said together, sounds like a que delicioso menu item) would make the Internet a very, very un-fun place. The bills are ostensibly meant to help fight the pirating of music and films, and would force
U.S. companies to stop selling online ads to suspected pirates outside the country. A well-intended idea in theory, but one that could do a ton more harm than good. These bills are pretty over-reaching and would impose insane Internet censorship rules and sanctions for legal sites within the U.S. that, if passed, could throw out the Lolcats with the Ron Swanson GIF bathwater. Or, as Wikipedia put it, "would be devastating to the free and open web." There's been a huge online uproar about this and, below, we've rounded up 15 sites voicing their dissent. You can learn more about SOPA and PIPA and how you can voice your dissent on the only English Wiki page that's live today.
UPDATE: It looks like this is working, Internet! Marco Rubio (R-Fla) , who was a co-sponsor of PIPA, just announced that he's pulling his support for the Protect IP Act. [Politico] The bills also don't have the White House's support. Monday, Forbes reported that Obama would veto any bill that wasn't "more narrowly focused."
UPDATE 2: Confused? The Daily What has an excellent, super-straightforward breakdown from Salman Khan about what all of this could mean for the Internet in the U.S. In short, no more Google, no more YouTube, no more totally legal websites suspected of "enabling" sites with pirated material on them. It's freaky stuff.
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