By Margaret Hedderman
You could almost hear the screams of college students across the United States as Wikipedia went dark yesterday in protest of PIPA and SOPA. Within hours of the Wikipedia and Reddit blackouts (among many others), Congress pulled a 180 on the two bills that once had near bi-partisan support.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was originally written in response to years of internet piracy of copyrighted films, music, books, and other material. Major lobbyists, including Walt Disney, supported the bill. Nearly everyone can agree on the merits of protecting intellectual material, but the devil is in the details, as they say. According to Wikipedia, SOPA would bar ”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.” It could also allegedly shut down sites like YouTube.
Anti-SOPA and PIPA advocates finally got some major political heavyweights on their side when President Obama came out in protest against the two bills. On January 14, Obama Administration said it would not support any bill that could potentially censor the internet.
Both bills are going back to the drawing board for review.
What did you think of the blackout? Did it affect you? Did you even notice? And what do you think will come of revisals to SOPA and PIPA?