Popular information-spreading websites like Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, TwitPic and Fark are all protesting the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) anti-piracy bills Congress is currently considering. Companies like the above-named argue that these bills would squash creativity and innovation, giving the government way too much control over what is considered a copyright violation on the web.
Some sites, like Wikipedia and Fark, went dark altogether. They’re doing this in a dramatic attempt to show users what it would be like if their information was heavily censored. The standard web content has been replaced by anti-SOPA messages, as well as directions on how loyal users can contact their local representatives.
Other sites, like Google and TwitPic, placed black censorship bars over their logos. The SOPA and PIPA bills were originally targeted at foreign websites that were illegally posting U.S. copyrighted material. However, many websites argue that it would be too difficult and time-consuming for them to police the origins and authenticity of every piece of content coming across their servers.
The senate is set to vote on the bill Jan. 24. What do you think? Do these bills contain genuine issues that need to be addressed, or is this just another attempt to censor the web?