By Tracy Rosenberg, Media Alliance
Oakland, CA – Across the United States, thousands of websites from large to small, have joined a symbolic day of digital darkness to protest the online anti-piracy bills, SOPA and PIPA, which they claim pose severe threats to online free speech and the open architecture of the Internet.
Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of Media Alliance, a 37 year old Bay Area nonprofit that focuses on democratic communications says: The "Protect IP Act" overreaches its goal and threatens every website with more liability and less freedom. We didn't shut down the Internet because we have a problem with online porn and we shouldn't shut down the Internet because we have a problem with copyright".
The Protect IP Act is scheduled for a Senate vote on January 24th. SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) is the companion bill in the House of Representatives.
The proposed legislation dents safe harbor protections for websites that violate copyright unwittingly and allows for websites to be shut down with little to no due process.
Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon speaks from the Senate floor in opposition to the bill in December: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK145BSPAj4
For more information on SOPA and media justice, visit the website of the Media Action Grassroots Network at www.mag-net.org