So, yesterday a number of high-traffic websites such as Wikipedia went dark to notify users of its opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). I'm interested in hearing how this blackout affected you and did it spur you to take any action?
I was struck by a number of things:
- How much I use Wikipedia in a day, both casually and professionally. I link expensively to Wikipedia in my articles to make the reader's life easier, and the blackout made this trickier than usual.
- I was amazed how many websites took part in the blackout in one way or another.
- I was fascinated by the different techniques that websites used to black out content. If you're interested in how it was done, I recommend you read this excellent piece by Scott Hanselman.
- I was expecting that the blackout would do more to annoy people than inform, but judging by what I came across on the web and via the social media channels, overall people supported the blackout.
- Yes, there were ways and means to get around the blacked out pages (just like there would ways and means of getting around sites blocked by SOPA is it became law), but the point of the protest was to inform people, not blackout everything completely (if websites had wanted to do that, they could have done so).
- I'm a firm believer in respecting copyright, but I am firmly opposed to such heavy-handed Draconian powered being handed out in order to protect intellectual property. Not only do I see the laws as disproportionate, I find them particularly chilling because they could be the beginning of censorship by the back door.
- Without a doubt, the funniest SOPA blackout was on The Oatmeal (NSFW).
So, what did you do during the blackout?
- WTF is SOPA?
- Google to protest SOPA, alongside Wikipedia, Reddit, others
- Wikipedia confirms site blackout to protest SOPA anti-piracy bill
- Unless Facebook, Google blackout, SOPA will succeed: Here’s what you can do
- Reddit will enact ‘nuclear option’ to protest SOPA, PIPA
- Reddit’s anti-SOPA “nuclear” protest is a good start
- SOPA: Why the ‘broken web’ should stay broken
- Go Daddy really and truly opposes SOPA now
- Google, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook consider ‘nuclear’ blackout
- European Parliament ‘opposes’ SOPA copyright law in new resolution
- Twitter shutting down for SOPA? That’s just ‘foolish,’ CEO says
- How SOPA would affect you: FAQ