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Why the internet is protesting the government today. Want to join in?

January 18th, 2012 No Comments

Today, search engines, content platforms, billionaire CEOs, and bloggers are protesting two bills in Congress:  SOPA (Stop Internet Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act). The above image came from a link on Google’s homepage: “Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the web!

As I understand it from this very thorough dissection of SOPA on Mashable, anyone who uploads to a blog, YouTube, Facebook, Wikipedia, Gmail, Dropbox, or sites like them can be guilty of copyright infringement.  If your site allows commentary that is seen as an invitation for copyright infringement.  And if you don’t actively filter comments on your site, you are not actively attempting to prevent it, so that is a violation as well. Bottom line: the bill gives the government the right to censor the internet and charge you with felonies for actions you might not be aware are “illegal.”  Thankfully Obama has gotten behind the protest, but it still has legs.

Sites like Wikipedia and Reddit have blacked out their pages today in protest.  Tumblr is allowing bloggers to do the same as well.

Google has set up a petition you can sign here.

Screenshot from Tumblr

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