Wow. So you take some time off for the holidays (and then catching up from the holidays) and aren’t IP blogging for a little while and then– all of a sudden– the whole web is talking (or not talking, out of protest) about copyright law.
You didn’t have to venture too far beyond a simple Google search (which we, as a planet, only do a billion or so times a day) to notice something strange was going on today. Visitors to a laundry list of sites including Google, Wikipedia, and Twitter were greeted by blacked-out logos and missing content in protest of SOPA and PIPA, two IP reform bills currently in Congress.
And, according to the Los Angeles Times, this protest might have already had an impact as three co-sponsors of the SOPA and PIPA antipiracy bills have publicly withdrawn their support for the legislation. From the Times:
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) withdrew as a co-sponsor of the Protect IP Act in the Senate, while Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) and Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) said they were pulling their names from the companion House bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act. Opponents of the legislation, led by large Internet companies, say its broad definitions could lead to censorship of online content and force some websites to shut down.
In a posting on his Facebook page, Rubio noted that after the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously passed its bill last year, he has “heard legitimate concerns about the impact the bill could have on access to the Internet and about a potentially unreasonable expansion of the federal government’s power to impact the Internet.”