Poll: Yesterday's Internet 'Blackout'

Yesterday a number of major websites protested anti-piracy laws by "blacking out" their sites in some way. What is your opinion on yesterday's internet "blackout"?

Yesterday, thousands of websites including Wikipedia, Reddit and Google protested a pair of anti-piracy bills known as SOPA and PIPA. The protests came in the form of blacking out either all or some of their sites with messages warning of the dangers of the legislation and urging people to contact their congressional representatives.

PIPA stands for Protect IP Act, while SOPA is an acronym for the Stop Online Piracy Act. The bills aim to crack down on copyright infringement by restricting access to sites that host or facilitate the trading of pirated content: 


Both proponents and opponents of the bills agree that protecting content is important. But opponents say that the way the bills are written promotes censorship and potentially invites unintended consequences.

Supporters of the bills include media companies like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Former CT State Senator Chris Dodd, now the Chairman and CEO of the MPAA called yesterday's blackout "irresponsible."

Patch wants to know what you think about yesterday's internet "blackout."  Vote in today's poll and feel free to elaborate in the comments section.

Emily Constance January 19, 2012 at 03:55 PM
Absolutely, Robert. Such a tangled issue has a vast number of sides and opinions that we can't contain in a single poll, so we encourage readers to share their thoughts in the comments and initiate a discussion. A link you might find very amusing: https://twitter.com/herpderpedia A collection of Tweets after the Wikipedia blackout that I think is a pretty good representation of how much people actually know about SOPA.
George E. Mulligan January 19, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Drop "against anti-piracy." Do over survey=change results! I support Wikipedia & intellectual property protection. Classic misrepresentation of issues. Wikipedia is like an online Library. Are people against Libraries? Don't Libraries increase knowledge & ability to create intellectual property? There are restrictions in patents & trademarks. There are definitions as to what is or isn't intellectual property. Some literature / media demands protection for compensation. Some older literature / media are older / in public domain. Record Label sold records, for revenue. Some BANDS give away music, to encourage attendance in concert, for live gates & sell licenced merchandise. 20/20 hindsight that this poll was poorly thoughout / constructed? There are also other choices. My choices was NOT to vote for the choices given. Not unlike POLITICS. Executive, legislative, judicial, at federal, state, local since late 1960s have worse captains than the costa concordia or titanic.
Alex Jarvis January 19, 2012 at 04:21 PM
I think the key opposition of SOPA is twofold; First, we must acknowledge that SOPA/PIPA, as written, simply will not stop piracy. Instead, it will prevent LEGAL businesses from operating the way they have, forcing them to either police their users, hire expensive legal teams, or just go belly up. Second, to quote the illustrious Tim O'Reily: "In the entire discussion, I’ve seen no discussion of credible evidence of this economic harm. There’s no question in my mind that piracy exists, that people around the world are enjoying creative content without paying for it, and even that some criminals are profiting by redistributing it. But is there actual economic harm?" What the people behind SOPA want is a time machine. Piracy can not be stopped. The question is; how will you make money in spite of it? It will happen, and money will be made. Perhaps at the expense of the vestigial record label, which is a sacrifice I am very comfortable throwing on the altar.
Christopher Files January 19, 2012 at 06:12 PM
I clicked "I support it" even though it is not the case that "I am against anti-piracy laws" because, as others have suggested (if I'm reading them right), SOPA isn't really about that. It's really more about control of media. Make no mistake: this is a battle between old, broadcast media and new, social media. What's the difference? The right and ability to publish via broadcast media (TV, records, CDs, DVDs, books) has been concentrated in the hands of a select few. Social media gives that ability to anyone with access to a computer. We are not longer passive consumers of content. We are creators of it. So the blackout was really about raising awareness of the issue, and perhaps encouraging us to tell our elected officials that we object--not to piracy prevention, but to information control. -Pastor Chris, Trinity Lutheran Church
regina plummer January 20, 2012 at 12:09 AM
it was not irresponsible. google and other sites like wiki had to do what they had to do! i stand behind google ever step of the way 100%. u go head google. theyre just hating! keep protesting


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