This past Wednesday was a prime example of what could happen if the SOPA/PIPA bill was passed. Granted, the root reason for the bills are so that companies can make (or continue to make) a profit off of their original IPs (intellectual property) and grants the government the ability to take down any website at will, if they feel any sort of copyright violation has occurred. I’m all for companies trying to retain some sort of monetary income for their IPs, but the language that outlines the bills are what people are up in arms about. It’s like trying to kill a fly with a flamethrower.
Now 2 days later, the aftermath looks quite impressive. According to Fight for the Future, about 75,000 websites partook in Wednesday’s protest. Twitter reported that between 12am and 4pm EST, over 2.4 million tweets were SOPA related as well as the top five terms being SOPA, PIPA, Stop SOPA, Tell Congress and #factswithoutwikipedia. Wikipedia has stated that 162 million people viewed the blackout page, 12,000 people posted comments on Wikimedia Foundation’s announcement of the blackout and 8 million U.S. visitors looked up Congressional representatives.
Google confirmed that a stammering 4.5 million signed their petition protesting both SOPA and PIPA and that over 350,000 emails were sent to representatives through AmericanCensorship.org and SopaStrike.com. Even The White House has reported that 103,785 people have signed a petition to the Obama Administration to kill the bill. U.S. Senator and former co-sponsors Ben Cardin, Roy Blunt and Marco Rubio are now opposing the bill as well as approximately 24 other U.S. Senators.
That is just some of the major numbers that were generated. This is what happens when you take certain freedoms away. Take the internet away from its people and the people will revolt. I’m hoping the bill will be repealed, so that organizations like ourselves (Nerd Reactor) can continue to survive. Also, I do feel if the bill passes (which I highly doubt it will), you will see a large exodus from this year’s E3, as the ESA does support SOPA/PIPA. There are already some websites that are declining to attend E3 in protest of the ESA. It will be interesting to see if any developers/companies follow suit as well. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.