Today, Wednesday 18 Jan 2012 sees as many as 7,000 major websites follow Wikipedia‘s blackout in the largest online protest ever in reaction to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), two proposed US anti-piracy laws.
The global online community has made its feelings known on the legislation that would allow the US Justice Department and content owners to block search results to suspected pirated content.
Internet big-hitters such as Wikipedia, Google and Mozilla have spoken out, condemning the bill as badly written and vague and damaging to a free and open internet.
Many major sites (Wikipedia, WordPress, Mozilla, Reddit) are denying access to content completely for a 12 or 24-hour period that began at at midnight Tuesday EST, while others such as Google are changing the design of their sites to reflect their stance. Facebook has posted a lengthy blog on the topic, while Flickr has provided a button for users to darken their own images.
Berlin-based Amen has seen numerous SOPA-related posts crop up and Fetznetz web hosting has also chosen to blackout for the day.
What do you think about the SOPA act? Is it a dangerous game-changer to online freedom? Let us know below…