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SOPA: Censorship's Sweetheart

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“Imagine a world without free knowledge.” That was the quote on Wikipedia’s front page on Wednesday, January 18th. . The information-hosting online encyclopedia shut down all of the articles and information on the website, presenting only a black screen and a stark situation to the world for a full twenty-four hours. Why would Wikipedia, an online giant, shut down their website? The consequences are huge, a loss of much-solicited donations to the company and advertising money. The answer is simple. What Wikipedia is trying to do is raise awareness about two bills: the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act, or SOPA and PIPA (Wikipedia, “Stop Online Piracy Act, Protect IP Act”). Soon after Wikipedia, other websites joined in the protest, with Internet search engine giant Google blacking out it’s colorful logo and smaller sites like Reddit and BoingBoing joining Wikipedia and shutting down for a day. Why are these bills so bad? Are they really threatening enough to Wikipedia that it would take down the English speaking version of the website for an entire day? (ABC News, SOPA Blackout: Wikipedia, Google, Wired Protest ‘Internet Censorship

) Wikipedia certainly thinks so, and what they are trying to say, is that SOPA and PIPA are dangerous laws that must be rejected.

Now, what are SOPA and PIPA? SOPA is an acronym for the “Stop Online Piracy Act”, and PIPA is an acronym for the “Protect IP Act”. (Wikipedia, “Stop Online Piracy Act”, “Protect IP Act”) They are both acts designed to stop online piracy of media, bootleg products and medications, and IP (Intellectual Property). (Wikipedia, “IP (Intellectual Property)”). In theory, the acts would stop online piracy and encourage creativity, but in practice, they do exactly the ...

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...n Kotchar. "Why You Should Fear SOPA and PIPA." Forbes. N.P, 20 Jan. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. .

"Intellectual Property." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. .

Potter, Ned. "SOPA Blackout: Wikipedia, Google, Wired Protest 'Internet Censorship'." ABC news. N.P., 8 Jan. 2012. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. .

"Freedom of Speech in the United States." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. .

"United States v. O'Brian." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 8 Feb. 2012. .
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