Two new laws proposed by US legislators, the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act, have been attracting a very negative reaction from the web community over the past couple of months, which is today culminating in a day of protests. Aiming to curtail copyright infringement on the web by giving the US government unprecedented new powers, both SOPA and PIPA have been rejected as overreaching and unhelpful laws that cannot coexist with a free and open internet.
The most outspoken protester of the bills today will be Wikipedia, whose English site will be going dark for the full 24 hours on January 18th, starting at midnight ET. It's also joined by Reddit, which will replace its usual "glorious, user-curated chaos" with a message noting its opposition to SOPA and PIPA, accompanied by links to more information about the bills and suggested ways to express your own dissatisfaction with them. Reddit will not be offering its regular service between the hours of 8AM ET and 8PM ET, which is also when Mozilla will be redirecting the Mozilla.org and Mozilla.com English webpages to a similar "action page" inviting users of its software to voice their concern. The Firefox landing page will also be altered to raise awareness. Finally, Google's search homepage is partaking in the protest by blacking out the Google logo, voicing the company's opposition to SOPA, and including a link for more information.