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SOPA and PIPA protests a success across the net
Major websites shut their doors to protest the legislation
Posted by Alex 'SpectralShock' V on Jan 19, 2012 - 2:26pm EST (Jan 19, 2012 14:26)
Wednesday, January 18th will be seen by many as the day when Internet came together in opposition of a bill that may affect it greatly. Numerous websites protesting SOPA/PIPA shut their doors, instead putting up messages about the significance of the proposed legislation in the USA.
Websites such as Wikipedia, Major League Gaming, Flickr, Reddit, and many more shut down completely, redirecting all their visitors to informational pages about SOPA. Other major sites, such as Google and Twitter, did not shut down, but prominently featured special messages and graphics to bring the attention of visitors to the issue.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a law (bill) of the United States proposed in 2011 to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. Proposals include barring advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with allegedly infringing websites, barring search engines from linking to the sites, and requiring Internet service providers (ISP) to block access to the sites. Essentially, this would provide the local governments a lot of power to block any content on the Internet from ever reaching American users if it's considered a breach of someone's copyright. Which has, as you might imagine, considerable repercussions.
Many are calling the protest a success, particularly because Wikipedia's shut down was noted by almost all mainstream media outlets. It's even being reported that a number of US senators have retracted their support for the SOPA/PIPA bill following the day of protests.
On the gaming side of things, numerous companies have proclaimed their opposition to the bill, such as Frozenbyte and Joystiq. Large corps such as EA have stated they do not support the bill - however, did not clarify that they oppose it either. Most importantly, the ESA - an organization which represents almost all large video game companies in USA - have stated that they do support the bill in order to protect intellectual property of its members. This has caused a number of arguments within the industry regarding ESA's stance and its influence on its members.
The next looming deadline is January 24, when the PIPA act is to be voted on in Senate.