The blackout was done as a protest against the U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). Although some people were angry that thousands of sites were down, many supported the protest. Wikipedia’s external thank you page read, “You said no. You shut down Congress’s switchboards. You melted their servers. Your voice was loud and strong. Millions of people have spoken in defense of a free and open Internet.”
Several of the major supporters of the two bills withdrew their support after yesterday’s blackout. Some of them even blamed Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid for rushing the bill.
Supporters of the legislation are now upping their game by launching television campaigns that are pro-SOPA and PIPA. These two bills are supported by entertainment companies, publishers, pharmaceutical companies and other industry groups who believe online piracy costs them billions of dollars a year. However, internet players argue that it would weaken ideas that live on the web and free speech rights.
Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg made a statement saying, “We can’t let poorly thought out laws get in the way of the Internet’s development,”
Zynga complained on a blog post that “the overly broad provisions we’ve seen in the pending SOPA and PIPA bills could be used to target legitimate U.S. sites and chill innovation at a time when it
is needed most.”