SOPA and PIPA are bad news for the internet.

To take action now:

If you don’t know what SOPA and PIPA are, it’s time for a quick lesson.  They are two bills that are currently making their way through congress that could SERIOUSLY cripple the internet.  Their core purpose is to combat piracy, but the wording in the bills is so vague that any site (including this one) could be taken offline without warning.  Freedom of speech, that is a thing of the past.  Here are some sites that are participating in today’s blackout: (currently providing an easy way for you to contact YOUR representative on this matter) (Their image is covered up) (Makers of the firefox web browser)

I’d like to thank Reddit for the following FAQ on SOPA/PIPA, the irony being that if SOPA/PIPA passed this site could be taken offline for use of their FAQ.


What is the intent of SOPA/PROTECT IP?

The stated intent of the bills is to provide tools for law enforcement and copyright holders to protect their intellectual property rights.

What’s wrong with protecting copyrights?

Nothing! The devil, as they say, is in the details. PROTECT IP and SOPA will cause too much collateral damage, have a high potential for abuse, and won’t even be that effective at stopping the crimes they target. Read alienth’s examination of where these bills fail.

I’m not in the U.S. Why does this affect me?

Many of the sites that you may use (e.g. Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, etc.) are all affected by this law and will be required to hide offending domains from you.

If a non-U.S. site is blocked in the U.S., the site could suffer financially or even be bankrupted by the loss of U.S. traffic and revenue.

What are the differences between PROTECT IP and SOPA?

At a general level, the bills are very similar. SOPA, the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” is from the House of Representatives, while the PROTECT IP Act is from the Senate. Either or both bills may pass a vote in their chamber of congress on their way to becoming law. Both must be defeated to end this threat. There have recently been more detailed explanations in an ELI5 thread and alienth’s blog post.

What about ACTA?

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, is a multi-national agreement with similar goals to the U.S.-only PROTECT IP and SOPA bills. It is criticized for many of the same reasons that PROTECT IP and SOPA are, but is also concerning because it has been drafted in secret. ACTA is not the focus of this blackout but please take the time to learn more about ACTA.

I’m not a U.S. citizen. How can I help?

You can still call or e-mail the U.S. representatives (sponsors of the bills would be a good choice). However, you may want to turn your attention more towards ACTA or other over-zealous copyright bills in your country.

When will reddit be back? What should I do when it comes back?

reddit will return to normal service at 8 PM EST (0100 UTC). While our protest is temporary in nature, PROTECT IP and SOPA are not. Continue to pay attention and join the conversation in /r/SOPA when reddit returns.

More answers

Check out the /r/SOPA Community FAQ.

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