Sites 'Blackout' for SOPA and PIPA Wednesday
Wikipedia and Reddit are among the sites that will be 'blacking out.' Locally, Patch, ARLnow.com and DCist will not be.
Many popular websites, including Wikipedia and Reddit, are "blacking out" Wednesday to protest the House's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate's Protect IP (intellectual property) Act (PIPA).
According to the Washington Post, both SOPA and PIPA are meant to attack the problem of foreign websites that sell pirated or counterfeit goods.
Patch, AOL and The Huffington Post will not be participating in the protests.
"As written, we cannot support the bills. We believe an open Internet is critical for innovation, job creation, and the sustained growth of Internet businesses. We are in the process of working directly with lawmakers to improve the bills," said AOL's senior vice president of Public Policy, Tekedra N. Mawakana.
Patch reached out to other local online publications to see if they would be shutting down their websites Wednesday in support of the protests.
"We're not planning on doing anything for SOPA," said ARLnow.com's editor and founder, Scott Brodbeck in an email to Patch. "While the goal of the SOPA protests is admirable, we feel our readers would be best served by an uninterrupted focus on local news. ARLnow.com hopes that the efforts of Reddit, Boing Boing and other sites help to bring national attention to this important issue."
Wednesday, the homepage of the English version of Wikipedia Wednesday remains the usual page, but searching for something brings you to a black page prompting you to enter your zipcode and ultimately leading you to your representatives contact info. (Editor's Note: The only Wikipedia page I found to work Wednesday morning was the SOPA page.)