Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Announcement: Democratic Blog News To Go Dark On Jan. 18 To Protest SOPA/PIPA


Democratic Blog News will join thousands of tech activists, entrepreneurs and corporations on Wednesday and go dark in protest of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), legislation that has generated national outrage among Internet experts.

Democratic Blog News will go dark 7 am CST until 7 pm CST on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, more than 7,000 websites are expected to voluntarily "go dark," by blocking access to their content to protest the bill, according to organizers of Some of the biggest names on the Internet plan to participate in the blackout, including Wikipedia, Mozilla, Reddit and WordPress. Many of the sites are promoting an alternative to SOAP called the OPEN Act -- a bipartisan bill drafted by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

Today, Google stopped short of vowing to take down its popular search engine, but said it would change its home page to show solidarity with protesters.

"Like many businesses, entrepreneurs and web users, we oppose these bills because there are smart, targeted ways to shut down foreign rogue websites without asking American companies to censor the Internet," said a Google spokeswoman in a written statement provided to HuffPost. "So tomorrow we will be joining many other tech companies to highlight this issue on our U.S. home page."

While Hollywood movie studios, major record labels, and mainstream news media giants like CNN and Fox News' parent corporation, News Corp have lauded the SOPA/PIPA legislation as a as way to crack down on online copyright violations, Internet experts maintain that the tools proposed for the legislation would hamper efforts to improve online security and threaten the basic functioning of the Internet.

Tech companies have been raising objections to the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act legislation. Free speech experts also argue that the measure's basic anti-piracy tool would risk seriously violating the First Amendment in allowing the government and private companies to shut down entire websites without a trial or even a court order anytime a media giant corporation simply accuses a site of copyright infringement.

The legislation could interfere with the Democratic Blog News' mission to provide readers with news ignored or slanted by mainstream media news giants. Going dark is a radical step for an online-only news organization, and it is one that Democratic Blog News' management doesn’t take lightly. But we’d rather go black in protest for one day and come back on Thursday than have the government or a mainstream news media giant like News Corp pulled the plug on our "free press" news operation forever because of SOPA/PIPA.

If you’re as concerned as we are, there’s something you can do, too. Click here to find and email your Representative (use the little envelope icon that appears to the right of the picture) and here to find and email your Senators (use the “Web form” link). Tell them you don’t support SOPA/PIPA or the politicians who do, and ask them to vote against the legislation if given the opportunity.

Netroots Nation


Protect IP / SOPA Act Breaks the Internet

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