WEB WILL STRIKE ON JANUARY 18TH DESPITE SOME PROGRESS ON STOPPING PASSAGE OF SOPA AND PIPA
On the heels of a statement released by the White House condemning aspects of the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House and the PROTECT-IP Act in the Senate, websites are reasserting their commitment to "go black" on January 18th; the Senate still intends to vote on the PROTECT-IP Act next week.
Organizations such as Mozilla, Wikipedia, MoveOn, Reddit, Wordpress, the New York Tech Meetup, Personal Democracy Forum, Minecraft and almost 5,000 others listed on SOPAstrike.com will shut down their websites with a message to visitors asking them to contact Congress.
"Even if they know these bills are controversial, most members of Congress still don't understand why. MPAA has much more control over the information and opinions they read." says Holmes Wilson of Fight for the Future.
Reports from the field suggest that the bills' opponents are making headway in their fight against SOPA and PIPA. Since constituents have made dozens of in-person visits with their senators this January, eight Senators have formally announced their opposition to the bill. Senator Cardin, a former co-sponsor of PIPA, has taken back his support and gives credit to meetings with concerned constituents:
“I have heard from many constituents in person, online, and through calls and correspondence regarding the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). Individuals and groups continue to meet with my staff and provide detailed information..."
Websites participating in the online blackout on January 18th are not deterred by recent reports from Senate and House leadership that the bills will be changed to reflect constituent concerns. They are concerned that claims that the bills will be amended are merely distractions: The Senate still intends to press forward with a vote next week, and has not made any of the supposed changes public.
"SOPA supporters are still going to try to win this: They'll tweak the existing bills to show that they are being responsive to criticsm, but will leave in language that will capture domestic websites -- breaking the architecture of the Internet while stifling free speech. Or worse, they could try to delay votes on the bills until people aren't paying attention anymore. The momentum is on our side, and too strong to turn back" said Fight for the Future co-founded Tiffiniy Cheng.