24-Hour Downtime Kicks Off January 18th
In case you don't know, the US House Committee will be discussing and possibly approving an incredibly controversial piece of legislation next week. Known as SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act (bolstered by another bill called Protect IP), this draconian measure would grant copyright holders the power to shut down US sites suspected of hosting - even unknowingly - copyrighted content... with an investigation taking place after the servers go down.
What's more, ISPs would be obliged to block Americans from international sites like ours, if there's any suspicion of going off-message. UPDATE: Not any more. If you've ever played Metal Gear Solid 2, it's basically Arsenal Gear IRL. More details here.
Several sites have vowed to protest the move by shutting their servers down next Wednesday. Full story after the break.
Many publishers, websites and companies have officially rallied against the bill - though the hopeless ESA still supports the measure, clearly demonstrating that its interests lie in naked consumerism as opposed to acting in the industry's best interests - and many are considering more direct action. Minecraft will be shutting down its servers on January 18th along with Red5's Firefall beta, Reddit and gaming site Destructoid. Wikipedia, Google and Facebook are also considering similar action.
This may seem like a passive-aggressive form of resistance, but if you're annoyed, just imagine how many Americans will feel if the legislation is passed and US-hosted sites start disappearing, losing revenue or being blocked altogether? As Brits, all we can do is wait and see what happens... and hope that major corporations aren't afforded even more power than they already have. They don't need it. Or deserve it.