The sigh of relief certainly didn’t last long. One minute we hear about SOPA being shelved and the next thing we know, Lamar Smith – the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee – is announcing that that the markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act is scheduled to continue in February. As a result, websites are continuing to show their disapproval of SOPA by “blacking out” today on January 18th, which will mark the largest online protest of all time.
“To enact legislation that protects consumers, businesses and jobs from foreign thieves who steal America’s intellectual property, we will continue to bring together industry representatives and Members to find ways to combat online piracy.
Due to the Republican and Democratic retreats taking place over the next two weeks, markup of the Stop Online Piracy Act is expected to resume in February.
I am committed to continuing to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to send a bipartisan bill to the White House that saves American jobs and protects intellectual property.”Chairman Lamar Smith
Some of the websites participating in the blackout protest are Wikipedia, Boing Boing, Craigslist, and Reddit. Although Google is not blacking out, they are advocating against the SOPA and are trying to raise awareness by providing a link on the Google homepage to information about SOPA and PIPA. For a full list of confirmed blackout participants, visit SOPAStrike.com.
Wikipedia is protesting against SOPA and PIPA by blacking out the English Wikipedia for 24 hours, beginning at midnight January 18, Eastern Time. Readers who come to English Wikipedia during the blackout will not be able to read the encyclopedia: instead, they will see messages intended to raise awareness about SOPA and PIPA, and encouraging them to share their views with their elected representatives, and via social media. Wikipedia
There are many ways for you to black out your own website and help spread awareness. Blog/Tweet about your opposition to the bill, censor your site’s logo, or black out your entire site with this Strike Against SOPA & Pipa message.