These sites include: Reddit, Wikipedia, the Cheezburger Network, Destructoid, Red 5 Studios, Major League Gaming, Mozilla, Tucows, the Free Software Foundation, and many other sites participating in the internet blackout by “going dark” throughout the company’s network of websites.
This action is being taken against the proposed legislation that would give copyright holders and law-enforcement agents’ unprecedented powers to censor the Internet. Many news reports have referred to the legislation as SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act.
In fact, the House and Senate versions of the bill have different names. SOPA is the name of the House’s version, authored by Lamar Smith of Texas. The Senate version is called the Proventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act – the PROTECT IP Act– or PIPA for short.
To continue, a blow to the proposed legislation has come in the form of a statement from the Obama administration. In response to a petition at the recently created We the People Web site, the President’s technical advisors have composed a statement against the current versions of SOPA and PIPA.
President Obama was quoted as saying, “Any effort to combat online piracy must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small,” the statement says.
Despite these developments, a January 18 protest will go ahead as planned. On that day, a large number of Web sites will “go dark,” pulling themselves off the Internet temporarily to dramatize what they see as the legislation’
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