The Death of PIPA/SOPA- The Internet’s Victory

by Ken

Finally, SOPA and PIPA is dead.

OK, they aren’t permanently dead yet. Both of them can be brought back, but still, it’s a big victory for the web. Now, I guess that I’m going to be talking quite a lot in this post, so I’ll put in a ‘Read More’ in. 😀

Last week, SOPA was stalled by the White House. Now, PIPA is stopped by the Senate.

I can’t say I have lots of knowledge about American politics, but I did understand that the Senate majority reader Harry Reid took away the PIPA vote. He said that

In light of recent events, I have decided to postpone Tuesday’s vote on the PROTECT I.P. Act.

“There is no reason that the legitimate issues raised by many about this bill cannot be resolved. Counterfeiting and piracy cost the American economy billions of dollars and thousands of jobs each year, with the movie industry alone supporting over 2.2 million jobs. We must take action to stop these illegal practices. We live in a country where people rightfully expect to be fairly compensated for a day’s work, whether that person is a miner in the high desert of Nevada, an independent band in New York City, or a union worker on the back lots of a California movie studio.

“I admire the work that Chairman Leahy has put into this bill. I encourage him to continue engaging with all stakeholders to forge a balance between protecting Americans’ intellectual property, and maintaining openness and innovation on the internet. We made good progress through the discussions we’ve held in recent days, and I am optimistic that we can reach a compromise in the coming weeks.

From following on the news of SOPA and PIPA for some time, I know that this was undoubtedly the largest online internet protest ever. Thanks goes on a large part to Fight for the Future, Wikipedia, Google, and loads and loads of other organizations. (Including WordPress 🙂 ).

Let’s look a bit at the war.

Wikipedia (English) blacked out itself for 24 hours, and it’s the first time Wikipedia has said something in the sense of ‘hey, we oppose this political idea, we’re gonna protest it’. I mean, we always think of Wikipedia as neutral. Their articles are neutral. They’re unbiased. To have Wikipedia as a whole oppose something is a really big deal.

(I have to say here that being a student, it did annoy me a bit not to have Wikipedia to help out.)

I’d like to use this post to say a BIG thank you to Fight for the Future. I’m sure that if they weren’t created or didn’t put in this much effort into protecting the free web, people still wouldn’t know what SOPA/PIPA is, the internet protest day couldn’t have been created, and SOPA/PIPA might have been passed.

FFtF organized the January 18th Internet Blackout Day, where tons of websites went offline to protest the bill, or added ‘censored’ stickers to their homepage.

Fight for the Future also made a special ‘blackout’ HTML to add, which included forms to sign American and international petitions against SOPA and PIPA.

Google added a link to a SOPA petition, and I’m sure that did some help.

Thanks to Wikipedia and Fight for the Future. Long live the free web!