VIDEO: Wikipedia blackout, Google protest draw attention to SOPA, PIPA

The Takeaway

Many of the most popular websites in the United States are going to dark or doing something else to protest the Stop Online Piracy and PROTECT IP acts.

Wikipedia, Reddit and BoingBoing, all chose to blackout completely, while Wired, Mozilla and Google chose to make more subtle statements in opposition to the two legislative proposals.

The bills do enjoy major support from powerful American companies, including all the professional sports leagues, as well as drug maker Pfizer, entertainment companies Time Warner and Sony as well as publishing giant News Corp., in addition to many others. Though it’s been widely reported that Apple and Microsoft and other tech giants support SOPA and PIPA, neither have actually spoken out in favor of the bills and, in fact, the software alliance to which they belong late last year withdrew its support for the bill and said it shouldn’t be passed until it received “work.” Most of the bill’s proponents have remained silent on Wednesday.

Websites Black Out Over US Anti-Piracy Bills

US News Video by NewsLook

At the core, opponents to the bill say while the proposed legislation would do grave harm to the Internet, it will do little or nothing to actually stop online piracy.

Wikipedia, the largest site to go completely dark in the United States, explained its position in a detailed wiki on its site, linked to from the page it posted instead of its English-language homepage.

“Wikipedia has no financial self-interest at play here: we do not benefit from copyright infringement, nor are we trying to monetize traffic or sell ads,” Wikipedia wrote. “We are protesting to raise awareness about SOPA and PIPA solely because we think they will hurt the Internet, and your ability to access information online. We are doing this for you, because we’re on your side.”

The U.S. Senate is set to vote on PIPA next week and just Tuesday a House committee chair said debate on SOPA would resume in February.

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