You may have noticed the internet “strike” being waged today against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) when you tried to access a Wikipedia article and saw the page go dark, or logged on to Google and noticed the protest link on its home page. Both Wikipedia and Google, as well as other websites such as Reddit, BoingBoing, Mozilla, and WordPress are voicing their opposition to these two bills by participating in an “internet blackout.” A full list of strike participants is available at SOPAStrike.com
SOPA and PIPA are aimed at preventing copyright infringement and intellectual property theft, and would give the Department of Justice the power to prosecute foreign websites committing or facilitating IP theft. The DOJ could also force U.S. companies, including internet service providers and credit card companies, to cut ties with those websites.
Those opposing the two bills argue that SOPA and PIPA would censor the web and that they will hurt the economy because American businesses with websites will have to monitor everything users upload or link to, or face expensive and time-consuming litigation. Additionally, opponents say that the bills won’t even achieve their stated purpose of stopping piracy. They claim that pirate sites will just move to other addresses and continue their illegal activities.