SOPA Across the Web

Major Internet sites go dark in protest of controversial content and piracy bills. Here's a look at coverage from across the Web.

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  1. Explainer articles about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) are all over the Web. The Guardian does a nice job of breaking down the main issues in this two-minute video. SOPA, the narrator says, has  "turned into a culture war over two American touchstones, free speech and the economy."
     
  2. Consumer technology site Cnet offers answers to FAQs, including how the proposed laws would be carried out, the potential security risks for such a measure and a list of who in Congress supports or opposes the bills. 
  3. Lance Ulanoff, editor-in-chief of Mashable.com, a technology, social media-centric site, has authored a passionate editorial in opposition of the bills in which he acknowledges that "real content piracy remains a persistent and daunting problem for companies and creators who rely on revenues from the content they create to continue making more content and, sometimes, simply to survive." But he argues that "the language in SOPA is so irrational that I can only assume that the authors and backers wanted nothing more than to fundamentally change the rules of the web: To shut down the open post fields, kill reposting (goodbye, Tumblr), end shared videos (sorry, YouTube), expand the definition of what it means to infringe (sorry, Twitter, no sharing links that aren’t yours).
  4. Attempting to put things into perspective, the folks over at Gawker Media have compiled a short list of what everyday Web users need to know about the bill, including a word of caution about the hype surrounding the bill. "Techies have been freaking out like SOPA would force U.S. troops to crush one million kittens, instead of just possibly censor some websites."
  5. A video produced by a group called "Fight for the Future" also attempts to explain what's at stake in the SOPA and Protect IP Act (PIPA) legislation. The video, created in October 2011, has rocketed across the Web, garnering millions of plays. On Wednesday, the video played more than 860,000 times. 
  6. PROTECT IP Act Breaks The Internet
  7. To protest the bill, a handful of popular websites have "gone dark" on Wednesday, Jan. 18, meaning they've blocked their content. It's an effort to show web users what they'd be missing should Congress pass the bills. The New York Times summarizes the developments, which the paper dubbed "A Political Coming of Age for the Tech Industry."
  8. A look at some of the landing pages for the websites that have "gone dark" to protest the SOPA bill. 
  9. Google has also created this graphic and advocacy page with a link urging users to sign a petition in opposition to SOPA and the Protect IP Act (PIPA):
  10. Flickr.com, the popular photo sharing social network, is also inviting users to participate in a creative protest.  They're "letting members darken their photos — or the photos of others — for a 24-hour period to deprive the web of the rich content that makes it thrive.  Your symbolic act will help draw attention to this issue and let others know about the potential harmful impacts of these bills."
  11. New York Times media writer David Carr has a great take on Wikipedia's "genius" blackout. Well worth a read.
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