Update on SOPA
Wikipedia – On January 18, 2012, the English Wikipedia, Reddit, and an estimated 7,000 other smaller websites coordinated a service blackout, or posted links and images in protest against SOPA and the Senate bill, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), in an effort to raise awareness. In excess of 160 million people saw Wikipedia’s banner. A number of other protest actions were organized, including petition drives, with Google saying it collected over 7 million signatures, boycotts of companies that support the legislation, and a rally held in New York City.
In response to the protest actions, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) stated, “It’s a dangerous and troubling development when the platforms that serve as gateways to information intentionally skew the facts to incite their users and arm them with misinformation,” and “it’s very difficult to counter the misinformation when the disseminators also own the platform.”
Opponents of the bill have proposed the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) as an alternative. On January 20, 2012, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Smith postponed plans to draft the bill: “The committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation … The House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution.”
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