Don’t scream, don’t panic, don’t run with scissors…..yet. It’s only for one day, and it’s for a good cause.
Reddit is closing down its operations for twelve hours on January 18, 2012 to mark their protest of the introduction of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect I.P. Act (PIPA).
The SOPA act would allow the U.S. Department of Justice to criminalize websites that use copyrighted material, and blacklist them from the internet. Which basically means most sites, right now. It would change the entire way you use the internet, with the new web being a place where there was a lot less sharing, passing along of photos, videos and information. You know how you feel when you search Youtube, find exactly what you wanted, and hit play only to find the content has been removed due to copyright violation? That would happen everywhere.
And according to the Huffington Post, if a website is accused, it could be punished by being removed from search engine results, barred from online advertising networks, and blocked from payment processing networks. The bill would also make the unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content, such as a song or TV show, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison.
During the blackout, Reddit will be streaming the congregational hearings about SOPA, while displaying statements about how the legislation could hurt the internet.