WordPress, Wikipedia, Google go black to protest US law

Today, a handful of prominent tech websites such as Google, Wikipedia and WordPress displayed their sentiments on their sites in protest of SOPA, the US law that has got everyone protesting against it.

Google had their US page showing a Google logo that was ‘censored out’ and a link to this page to explain their action. (Thus still being able to garner revenue with searches while participating in the movement.)

WordPress.org urged visitors to sign the petition when they visit the site;

while Wikipedia only allowed access to their SOPA and PIPA information page.

Hmms, how did the world survive without those wiki articles today?

The participation of these sites only provided a glimmer of hope as the movement failed to get the other big players in the internet world such as Facebook and Twitter among others to participate. Twitter’s Dick Costolo replied to the critics (of their inaction) by saying that “closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish,”.

Many tech companies showed opposition to the bill through letters to several key lawmakers in November but chose to sit out of the blackout, such as AOL Inc, eBay Inc, Mozilla and Zynga Inc.

Still, the blackout had thousands of sites signing up to participate in it by late Tuesday and was successful at the very least in attracting the attention of key personnel backing the bill. Chris Dodd and Lamar Smith, supporters of the bill, were quick to decry the blackout as a “gimmick” and a “publicity stunt” and urged internet users to “stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy.”

The bill was proposed as a measure to combat internet piracy, however internet companies have furiously opposed it on the basis of protecting free speech rights and the functioning of the Internet.

It remains to be seen how this story would end.

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