by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
blackouts, pipa, protect ip, protests, sopa

What We're Doing On This PIPA/SOPA Day Of Protest: Keeping You Involved

from the to-black-out-or-not-to-black-out dept

As more and more sites announced plans to black out their sites today in protest of Congress considering both PIPA and SOPA, a few people asked us if we would take part in the blackout as well. We definitely thought about it, but decided that was not the best use of this site. The key point behind the blackouts for most sites is to alert their users just how bad these legislative proposals are. For that purpose, Techdirt wouldn't gain very much, if anything, in going dark. If you've been reading this site at all over the past few months to a year (year plus, going back to the original COICA bill), you'd already be well aware of why these efforts are tremendously dangerous. Furthermore, we believed that we'd be able to provide even more value in covering what happens today, as these protests roll out. The fact that a couple of pro-SOPA lobbyists joked that they hoped we'd go dark (with one even asking "how much" it would take to get us to stop talking about this issue for the day), gave us even more reasons to keep publishing.

Obviously, however, we support the actions lots of other sites have taken in response to this ridiculous attempt to regulate the internet, based on fairy tales and no actual evidence from the legacy content businesses. The sites that have decided to go with a full blackout deserve the utmost respect for taking a true stand on the matter. Similarly, some other sites are adding their voice to the protest in different ways -- whether it's highlighting problems with the bills or pushing people to call Congress.

That last point seemed like a good idea to us, so with each post today, we'll also be posting a widget that will allow you to call your Senators' office, and express your displeasure with PIPA. We've also "grayed out" much of the site, and have a specific link at the top to, where you can find out more. I will actually be doing a bunch of meetings with Senate staffers later today, and I hope (and fully expect) to hear phones ringing off the hook while I'm there.

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