Good job Internet you did it! Plans to move ahead with the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) bills has been ditched by the U.S. Senate committee following a mass protest by content-sharing websites the world over – most notably the CliffNotes of fact checking, Wikipedia.
The controversial anti-piracy legislation was abandoned just 24 hours after the FBI shut down Megaupload – one of the biggest file-sharing websites in the world. Internet freedom fighters and digital rights renegades Anonymous retaliated by hacking and shuttering the websites of the U.S. Justice Department, the FBI, U.S. Copyright Office, the Recording Industry Association of America, Motion Pictures Association of America and Universal Music Group.
The extraordinary wave of protests and site blackouts by the world’s eminent digerati no doubt contributed to the Senate’s decision to drop the SOPA and PIPA bills, a widespread demonstration that it will take more than a knee-jerk reaction from the government to suitably deal with the problem of piracy without compromising freedom of expression and online innovation.
Anti SOPA website ‘SOPA Strike’ published some astounding figures from the protests. Check out the infographic below which provides a good reminder that the internet is a pretty amazing place for connecting like-minded people.