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THE OFFICIAL COMMUNITY FOR DIGITAL MEDIA ACADEMY

Why is Google Blacked Out?

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA), are two bills currently being considered by legislators in Washington, D.C. – if passed, the bills will drastically change the you use the Internet.


No Google Doodle today – Google has blacked out their logo to speak out against SOPA and PIPA. 

What is SOPA? 
What is SOPA? SOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act currently in the House, basically, it’s a bill that would censor websites, in addition impose regulations that would limit the way American businesses and web surfers use the Internet. Millions of Internet users and companies like Google and websites like Reddit, Boing Boing and Wikipedia have gone dark today, January 18 in response to the bill and in to raise awareness on the  legislation.

The “Blackout” has already gotten some legislators to take notice – and some have stopped supporting the bill – but the bill hasn’t been killed yet. The Senate will start voting on the bill on January 24.

If you want to get involved (and you should if you want a free and open internet) visit Google’s site and sign the SOPA petition telling Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA. Want to learn more? Gizmodo has a great article about SOPA and how it would affect you.

A Free and Open Internet
PIPA and SOPA go beyond piracy, the bills are poorly written and would drastically affect almost everything on the web. For example, under the current terms of the bill, your website could be shut down without explanation, without due process, for no reason. From a technical perspective, the bills will also affect your safety on the net as well.

Web development has changed dramatically over the last few years and will continue to evolve. But politicians must have intelligent conversations and work with business owners and internet users instead of mandating laws. Hopefully today is the day that lawmakers start to listen.

UPDATE 1-20-12
The SOPA bill has been sent back to the drawing board to be redrafted. We’ll keep you posted for any changes or updates to the legislation as they become available. 

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