The public outcry over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) is not about to die down. Popular discussion board and social news site Reddit has just announced that it will be blacking out on January 18th from 8AM-8PM EST in protest of the likely passage of the legislation. In place of the user-generated madness that is Reddit, the site will host a simple message about how SOPA and PIPA would negatively affect sites like Reddit.
Both pieces of legislation, SOPA in the House and PIPA in the Senate, would give unprecedented power to copyright holders to force websites offline. A site found to be hosting any copyrighted content could find its domain name blocked, even if that content was uploaded by a user. Search engines and ISPs would be forced to scrub offending websites from listings without judicial review. Clearly a site like Reddit would be especially vulnerable. Many experts on Internet infrastructure also have concerns that some provisions in SOPA/PIPA would make the net less secure.
Reddit is estimated to get over 20 million unique visitors each month. If even a fraction of those users call up their members of Congress, it might actually make an impact. Do you support the blackout?