Web Corporations Protest Anti-Piracy Bills

Major websites and tech industry leaders have officially begun to fight back. In protest of SOPA and PIPA, websites like CraigslistWikipedia and Reddit have completely disabled access to their home pages.  Google and TechCrunch have also joined the fight by censoring their own logos in response to the anti-piracy bills.

In case you missed our article about the Stop Online Piracy Act, the proposed bills aim to protect the intellectual properties of music, film and other media companies. However, many believe that censoring the information, flowing through the Internet, would be a restriction of personal freedoms.

A few sites participating in the blackout include WordPress, Google, Wikipedia and Wired. Each indvidual site has taken a different approach to the blackouts both visually and practically.

Several sites have shut down their home pages in opposition of SOPA and PIPA.  Craigslist has disabled their home page in order to express their deep concern over the Stop Internet Piracy Act.  A simple message coordinated with few graphics has been a common way to convey how serious the issue is to several sites.

Wikipedia has taken a different approach to the blackout, allowing site visitors access to the home page.  However, once a user attempts to search a topic, they are re-directed to a blackout screen. It’s a clever technique on Wikipedia’s part, as visitors are briefly allowed access to information before having it immediately revoked.

Many sites are representing their protest visually. Wired has simply covered its logo and articles  in the classic black bar censor. By doing so, Wired can maintain full site access, yet show it’s support to stop the bill from passing.

Sites like The Oatmeal and Icanhazcheeseburger are simply reminding their visitors of what could be lost if the SOPA and PIPA pass, original content that keeps us coming back.

It seems that the protests have already proven to be effective. Latimes.com reported that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) announced he would be withdrawing his sponsorship of the act in response to the negative reactions received by the bill.

Although it is still too early to say what the final vote by Congress will be, due to the public outcry, rejection of the SOPA and PIPA bills will surely increase.

You can find an updated list of companies participating in the blackout at latimes.com.