After mass opposition across the nation to the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act bills, government officials are finally hearing the peopleâÄôs voice. The two bills, which are intended to stop online piracy, are a threat to the free flow of information on the Internet.
Major websites like Google and Wikipedia took a stand against the bills last week when they blacked out their sites for a day to demonstrate what could happen if these bills passed. This led many others to black out their personal websites in protest of SOPA and PIPA.
During the blackout, Google provided an easy way to send an email in protest of the bills, which resulted in thousands of open Internet advocates taking action against the initiatives. Majority Senate Leader Harry Reid took into consideration the mass opposition and postponed the vote on the anti-piracy bills. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith also postponed the vote in attempt to find a compromise.
This nationwide action against the overly broad anti-piracy bills is a positive move forward in the fight against Internet censorship. While the delays are a slight improvement, anti-SOPA/PIPA advocates must stay on their toes, as the bills will show up again in a different form. Whether rewritten or renamed, the large media companies pushing for the bills wonâÄôt stop.
Those who want to keep an open and free Internet must stay aware of whatâÄôs happening and continue to contact government officials to voice their opposition.
Clay Shirky explained in a TedTalk that SOPA and PIPA are essentially âÄútaking a centuries-old legal concept, innocent until proven guilty, and reversing it.âÄù The nation must continue to stand against the bills in order to keep open information and an open Internet.