The Stop SOPA movement has taken root globally, with internet and technology companies leading the charge to stop vague regulatory measures from being imposed upon internet service providers and their end users (see end of article for SOPA and PIPA explanation). A number of companies nationwide are “blacking out” their web sites for one day in protest.
Google, Wikipedia, and others have adopted different levels of blackouts with banners, links, and form letters to members of Congress.
In Seattle, a number of very formidable companies have put their personal stamps on the effort to stop these constraints on the web. Amazon is not blacking out its web site, but has expressed its opposition to the legislation. A large ad on the front page with the text “Reasons to oppose or modify SOPA” leads to the netcoalition.com web site and a host of concerns with SOPA/PIPA.
Microsoft has taken a low-key approach, working behind the scenes to stop or at least modify the legislation. The company has been working with lobbyists since November to alter SOPA, and it convinced the Business Software alliance to oppose it as well, after the group had originally supported it. As reported by Computerworld, while Microsoft could benefit financially from SOPA and does support expansion of U.S copyright law, they’ve taken the high road in this instance, supporting a cause that is good for the web community as a whole.
Local online technology outlet Geekwire has been covering the SOPA dustup consistently, and reported today on a new “Grassroutes” service that automates congressional contacts. Via IP address or Zip code, the system allows a user to find their representative’s information and contact them immediately to express their views on SOPA.
Even Cheezburger, Beh Huh’s quirky online comedy network has gotten into the act, with a pseudo-blackout on the FAIL blog and other sites.
A protest/rally was planned for today in downtown Seattle by Seattle Against SOPA, but due to the current weather conditions, it has been postponed. As organizers stated, “If our goal is to educate people, it will be pretty hard to find people to educate today. We’re going to postpone the rally. SOPA will be back in February, and so will we.”