Two days have passed since the SOPA Blackout Day on Wednesday, January 18. If Congress, the entertainment industry and other supporters of H.R. 3261 were hoping that the opposition to this bill was simply going to fade away they were very mistaken. If anything, the support for the opponents of the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP has increased with more and more media coverage surrounding both the protest and the bill itself.
Some websites such as Wikipedia, Mozilla, WordPress and Reddit completely blacked out their websites on Wednesday, choosing instead to post messages to inspire public opposition to the bill which will be debated in the Senate next week on January 24. Other websites such as Google still allowed user access but posted online petitions as well. The effects have been extraordinary. Google has reported collecting more than 4.5 million signatures since posting the petition, numbers that are great enough to send a clear message to lawmakers how many people feel about H.R. 3261. Wikimedia has stated that more than 8 million visitors made a point of looking up their representatives as a result of the blackout.
By early morning on Wednesday, the actual internet blackout day, three politicians had already publicly changed their initial support of the bills. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) withdrew as a co-sponsor of the Protect IP Act in the Senate. Representatives Ben Quayle (R-Arizona) and Lee Terry (R-Nebraska) pulled their names from the Stop Online Piracy Act which is the House version of the bill. Ten more lawmakers joined that group throughout the course of the day. The Obama administration had publicly voiced its opposition to the bill on Saturday, January 14 while Republican Presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Ron Paul all voiced their opinions regarding the bill during last night’s debate in South Carolina.
Support for the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP does appear to be diminishing in both the House and Senate but people should reserve judgment until after the Senate debate next week.
Have a great weekend!
LA Times Business – Jim Puzzanghera – SOPA blackout: Bills lose three co-sponsors amid protests
Search Engine Journal – David Angotti – Wikipedia Blackout: Five Great Alternatives and A Humorous Substitute
Search Engine Land – Barry Schwartz – Google Slows Web Crawlers To Help Blackouts Sites
USA Today Money – Roger Yu – SOPA protest gets intended effect
Washington Post with Bloomberg Business – SOPA petition gets millions of signatures as internet piracy legislation protests continue