The word is out that big names like Wikipedia (the English version), Google, and Reddit are participating in a blackout this Wednesday as an act to protest against proposed Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act.
But what are these acts, and why are they getting so much negative attention? Here are the basics: SOPA isn’t just about piracy, it’s about intellectual property, all property, whereas PIPA is limited to websites with “no significant use other than” copyright infringement. Both bills are aimed at fighting foreign copyright infringement, like torrent sites such as ThePirateBay.org or MegaUpload.com.
Read more after the jump…
Media companies, and others like record labels, TV networks, movie studios, and book publishers are for the bill as a form of “finding their way out of what’s really a business-model problem.”
The Obama administration issued a statement on the bills, saying it would oppose PIPA and SOPA as written, and drew an important line in the sand stating that they “will not support” any bill “that reduces freedom of expression, increases cyber security risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet.”
Both bills have taken a hit the past couple of weeks. They are being rewritten to remove the provisions that require Internet service providers to block the domain names of infringing sites. SOPA, which has yet to pass out of the House Judiciary Committee, is reportedly stalled as lawmakers continue to work on the bill. [PCW]