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Major Websites Go Dark In SOPA Protest

NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The protest against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA is picking up speed, with several of the Internet's most visited sites going dark for 12-24 hours on Jan 18th.

The list of websites participating in protest outages includes Wikipedia, Reddit, WordPress, Mozilla, The Internet Archive, Tucows and Twitpic among others. Other sites, such as Google and Twitter did not going dark for the protest but participated by including anti-SOPA message on their page.

The Stop Online Piracy Act and the similar Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) pending in Congress are intended to reduce sales of pirated US products overseas.

Supporters of SOPA claim that it will protect intellectual property and jobs across multiple industry sectors and that the legislation is vital in particular against foreign-owned websites participating in copyright infringement.

Critics contend that the proposed bill is overly broad, provides little recourse for the accused, infringes on First Amendment rights and amounts to Internet censorship.

The blackout is intended to raise awareness of the impending legislation and get users of the affected websites to pressure their congressional representative

"We’re not taking this action lightly. We wouldn’t do this if we didn’t believe this legislation and the forces behind it were a serious threat to Reddit and the Internet as we know it. Blacking out reddit is a hard choice, but we feel focusing on a day of action is the best way we can amplify the voice of the community," a spokesman for Reddit said regarding their decision to go dark. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers