Ever since the SOPA, also known as the House Bill 3261 was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, it has been under scrutiny of various Internet companies and the people who are closely related to Internet. Only in the recent time when the Web has strongly reacted against the law, it has gained most popularity making common people aware about what SOPA and PIPA is. As people are understanding the new rules that are to be implemented and what effect that would cause, they have also been hating and supporting the “anti SOPA/PIPA” campaign along with the various Internet companies.

What is SOPA/PIPA?

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) are two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively. As the bill drafting committee, these bills are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but, as the people on the Web suggest this would cause a serious damage to the free and open Internet.

If you are still in a fix and don’t know what exactly SOPA and PIPA is, this piece of video from Khan Academy can be really useful in understanding the whole story. If we go by the name, it sounds to be a good thing, stopping online Piracy. But what the instructor says, this act can be something like “Shoot first and think later”.

The First Reaction (End Piracy, Not Liberty)

After much of a debate, the Web finally reacted strongly against the SOPA /PIPA. We look into the intial reactions.

1. Wikipedia

Thought to be the pioneer against SOPA/PIPA, Wikipedia finally decided to go blackout for 24 hours on January 18th, starting at midnight ET.

With a warning on Twitter, “Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday! sopa”; founder Jimmy Wales made people aware of the blackout


2. Reddit

Following the steps of Wikipedia, social news site Reddit said on its website that it would be closing down the site for 12 hours to protest SOPA and PIPA.


3. Google

The premier search giant which is supposed to be the one most affected has blacked out its logo and posted a message on its home page “Tell Congress: Please don’t censor the Web!”. The message, which was also visible to users of google.com outside the U.S., linked to a petition opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate.


4. WordPress

The giant blogging site, also played its role to support anti SOPA/PIPA. In fact, with the new rules to come, sites like WordPress will also be the one that will be suffer.


5. flickr

flickr initiated its own idea to help create awareness regarding SOPA/PIPA.

Flickr is letting members darken their photos — or the photos of others — for a 24-hour period. Flickr believes this symbolic act will help draw attention to this issue and let others know about the potential harmful impacts of these bills.

flicker : “A few notes, members can darken 10 photos. After that you won’t see the option anymore. It will only be hidden on the photo page so you can still see it in the Lightbox or slideshow. If you don’t want others to darken your photos, you may choose to opt-out from any photo.”


6. Anonymous

Hacker group Anonymous also joined in the protest by posting messages against SOPA on its websites. The hacker group has warned they will take extreme actions if the laws are implemented.


7. Twitter

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo seemed much relaxed and didn’t participated in the protests. But thanks to Twitter, it has been playing the key role in making people aware of what SOPA and PIPA are and how are they going to affect the way we use Internet. The hastags and trends following SOPA/PIPA is the most encouraging examples.

Its yet to see what happens on Jan 24th, as Congress will vote to pass internet censorship in the Senate.

To that day, with what has started, it seems there will be a major revolution if the acts are not put to an end. In the days to come the protest seems to get intense.

We need to kill the bill – PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House. END PIRACY, NOT LIBERTY!!!

We, FORTYSTONES do support “anti SOPA/PIPA.”

Play your part, SPREAD THE MESSAGE !!!

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