Google, Wikipedia Lead SOPA / PIPA Protests

Black Box

Black BoxSee updates through the day Thursday here.

Google covered it logo with a black box and Wikipedia’s English site went dark for the day as they and other sites protested the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act and PROTECT-IP Act. The anti-piracy bills are being pushed by media companies and just as vehemently opposed by Internet and tech firms.

Not everyone in the tech world is on board with the protest, though. Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said the effort is “just silly. Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish.” And, no surprise, MPAA Chairman Chris Dodd isn’t happy.

Chris Dodd thinks that the Blackouts are “irresponsible” and that this is another “gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals.”

Reddit went dark for 12 hours. (Last month, you’ll recall, Reddit led a boycott that convinced domain registrar GoDaddy to withdraw its support for the proposals.) Craigslist had also gone dark. Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg posted a status update with a link to Facebook’s stance on the issue. And Flickr allowed users to black out photos to support the protests.

You can see a larger list of sites participating in the protest here. If you want to see discussions–pro and con–about SOPA’s impact, see this story from the BBC.

The House Judiciary Committee isn’t deterred. It plans to resume markup of the bill next month. However, TechCrunch reports that some members of Congress are backing away from their initial support.

Updated at 3:10 to add report on Flickr


No Responses to “Google, Wikipedia Lead SOPA / PIPA Protests”

January 18, 2012 at 10:38 am, michelle said:

The Google protest page is very well done. They blacked out the logo and linked it to a petition sign up form with a short explanation of how SOPA and PIPA are bad for the Internet.


January 18, 2012 at 6:12 pm, Zechmann said:

Dick Costolo was only talking about Twitter, which would be foolish.


January 19, 2012 at 8:25 am, William Wagner said:

So let me get this straight the Chairman of the MPAA is now concerned about keeping jobs in the US. It seems to me that the MPAA should have been concerned about keeping American (US) jobs when they decided to start filming outside of the United States in places such as Canada, New Zealand and Austraila because it is less expensive and they could make more profit by not using US citizens. It appears as though “Keeping American Jobs” is only important when it means keeping more money in the MPAA members pockets, It is about time to remove the thinly vailed excuses for this legislation. and let it be seen for what it really is.


January 19, 2012 at 8:54 pm, Kasaar said:

As an indipendent filmmaker, I totally agree. There are tons of incentives for the big studios to shoot here in the US. Strangely though, shooting outside of the states hasn’t made an improvement on quality.


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