Now, my thoughts:
The whole movement kind of made me excited. I was excited to see a demonstration like I saw. Various websites (Reddit, Tumblr, Google, Wikipedia, etc.) allowed internet users to really get a piece of what our online lives could be like if bills like SOPA and PIPA passed. You go to look for/at something... and it’s just not there. Censored, blacked out, at the whim of companies or the government. I think we entirely take the freedom of the internet for granted. That freedom is threatened by SOPA and PIPA.
The first place I came across some anti-SOPA/PIPA action was Flickr. They gave users the option to black-out their hosted photos for the day.
I also appreciated Tumblrs contribution. They gave users an option to black-out their Tumblr blogs for the day. So yesterday, if you happened to visit my tumblr you saw this:
And there was Wikipedia, who blacked out their site for the day, and Google, who censored their logo.
Who was I disappointed with? Facebook and Twitter. I’m not saying they needed to shut down. I think they played an important part in getting the word out about action steps against SOPA and PIPA. But I feel like they could have done SOMETHING. Give users an easy option to black out their profile photos, have a SOPA pop-up box or something. How dare you be two of the largest social networking sites on the internet and not do something to take a stand for internet freedom?
FAQ (re-posted from Reddit.com’s black-out page)
What is the intent of SOPA/PROTECT IP?The stated intent of the bills is to provide tools for law enforcement and copyright holders to protect their intellectual property rights.
What’s wrong with protecting copyrights?Nothing! The devil, as they say, is in the details. PROTECT IP and SOPA will cause too much collateral damage, have a high potential for abuse, and won't even be that effective at stopping the crimes they target. Read alienth's examination of where these bills fail.
What are the differences between PROTECT IP and SOPA?At a general level, the bills are very similar. SOPA, the "Stop Online Piracy Act," is from the House of Representatives, while the PROTECT IP Act is from the Senate. Either or both bills may pass a vote in their chamber of congress on their way to becoming law. Both must be defeated to end this threat. There have recently been more detailed explanations in an ELI5 thread and alienth's blog post.
Check out the /r/SOPA Community FAQ.
- Read alienth's blog post on why these acts are bad for business
- Information on H.R.3261 – Stop Online Piracy Act at OpenCongress.org
- Information on S.968 – PROTECT IP Act at OpenCongress.org
- SOPAOpera.org keeps track of where your congressmembers stand
- Outside the US? Find out what's wrong with ACTA and do something about it. Email the US state department about PIPA and SOPA via Stop American Censorship
- Look up and contact your representative via the EFF
- Helpful info from a redditor on making phone calls to your senator or representative
- Complete the Take Action Checklist at Stop American Censorship