Major websites including Wikipedia, Google, Wired and Flickr are taking a stand today against anti-piracy legislation on the table in the US Senate- PROTECT IP Act (PIPA); and US House – Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
In short, the original intent of SOPA and PIPA is to stop people from illegally downloading TV shows and movies, (primarily from foreign web sites) but the language in the legislation is so broad, it could impact sites like this WordPress blog and many others including Wikipedia, Tumblr, Blogger, Flickr and Google.
I support this protest and believe that if made into law this legislation would disrupt free and open sharing of content. It puts power into the hands of the US Attorney General to police and shutdown sites.
I do support current US law, which will not shut down sites but require them to remove copyright-infringing content upon the request of copyright holders.
Measures by governments and big media to regulate the Internet need to be carefully crafted so that they do not damage free and open conversations and restrict online freedoms.
To learn more see – Sopa and Pipa anti-piracy bills controversy explained (BBC Online) and Protest on web uses shutdown to take on two piracy bills (NY Times).