SOPA and PIPA Who? These Two Congressional Acts Explained

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Did you spend January 18th in the dark? Did you sign petitions, attend a rally, keep a low profile online or do something to explain to someone why the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the lesser known PIPA (Protect IP Act) are a bad idea?

A lot of people did. In fact, the grassroots movement led by the tech industry – both big players and small – to halt these two pieces of legislation was so fierce, “more than 162 million people saw the protest message on Wikipedia, 18 senators have backed away from the proposed legislation, and 4.5 million people signed a petition against the acts.”

In fact PC World also reports that “The New York Times called Wednesday’s online activism, that also included messages of protest from Craigslist, Google and Mozilla, “a political coming of age for the tech industry.”

Like we said above, the online activism was not limited to just the “big” players like Wikipedia, Mozilla, Wired, et al. Some small players like came on strong – with this animated .gif you see playing here.

This should sort out what could happen if SOPA and PIPA in their current forms became law. Yes – the movie industry needs protection from their materials being blatantly pirated and sold for profit. But protections put in place for that multi-gazillion dollar industry should not be so full of holes that they can be turned around and applied to those who are freely expressing themselves on the Internet, using link backs and crediting original sources, like this.

So, share the love with a link, credit your sources, call your representatives in Congress and sign an online petition. Do what you can to keep the Internet free…and interesting.

Sources:, PCWorld and Worthwhile (blog).

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