SOPA Blackout Wednesday!

by Stephan Kinsella on January 18, 2012

Today is a huge day, as Jeff Tucker noted in Tucker on the SOPA Protests: Blackout Wednesday: The Time Has Come. In an incredibly effective uprising against SOPA and PIPA by the tech savvy, the left, and libertarians, culminating in today’s widespread SOPA website blackouts/protests by tech and web giants, and many others, SOPA/PIPA has been at least slowed down. Mike Masnick lays out An Updated Analysis: Why SOPA & PIPA Are A Bad Idea, Dangerous & Unnecessary. And as he notes, some Congresscritters are now removing their names from PIPA and SOPA, including, Reps. Lee Terry and Ben Quayle from SOPA, and Sens. Marco Rubio, John CornynJohn Boozman, Orrin Hatch, and Roy Blunt from PIPA. Other Congresscritters came out against it too [Update: see latest list here]. They are running scared. And many companies that were pro-SOPA or ambivalent, have shifted in a more anti-SOPA direction, like GoDaddy (when threatened by bad PR and customer outrage with possibly losing hundreds of thousands of domains) and Microsoft. Even the Obama Administration is shifting somewhat against SOPA.

Some sites are anti-SOPA but are not going dark, for well-articulated reasons. For example, TechDirt explains that its going dark would not do much good and they are instead focusing on providing anti-SOPA information, which makes perfect sense given the great anti-SOPA coverage and information they’ve been providing;1 TUAW takes a similar approach; and AntiWar.com says it opposes SOPA but does not want to stop shining its light on the war issue.2 The heroic EFF did not go dark but has tons of anti-SOPA information emblazoned on its home page, like Techdirt.  But many other sites are going dark, posting banners, etc. Following is just a smattering of them, with the big guys first:

Tucker Sopa pic facebookSome have replaced their picture on Facebook with an anti-SOPA slogan, such as Jeff Tucker.

(BTW here’s a list of companies purportedly supporting SOPA.)

These protests are getting widespread attention, e.g. in the Washington Post (listing its five favorites), Salon and Slate.

Update: see A Gallery Of The SOPA Blackout Protest Screens

  1. What We’re Doing On This PIPA/SOPA Day Of Protest: Keeping You Involved. []
  2. SOPA, and Why We’re Not Blacked Out. []
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