Wikipedia, other websites back after anti-piracy bill protest
January 19th, 2012
02:45 AM ET

Wikipedia, other websites back after anti-piracy bill protest

Wikipedia was back Thursday, a day after shutting down the website to protest anti-piracy bills now in Congress.

On the website early Thursday morning was the cryptic message: "Thank you for protecting Wikipedia. We're not done yet."

Clicking on that message takes a Wikipedia viewer to a thank you letter and instructions on how to continue fighting against anti-piracy bills that critics say could amount to censorship.

"Your voice was loud and strong," the message said. "Millions of people have spoken in defense of a free and open Internet."

Wikipedia was among several websites to shut down Wednesday in protest of the bills.

FULL STORY

Filed under: Politics • SOPA • U.S.
January 18th, 2012
12:26 PM ET

SOPA 101: Your guide to the Internet blackout

You probably woke up this morning to realize the Internet is totally screwy.

Is it the online apocalypse? Not so much. Google, Wikipedia, Boing Boing and others have gone dark, along with thousands of others, who are protesting two anti-piracy bills that are up for debate in the U.S. Congress.

It's a debate that's pitted the Web against Washington. And if the goal of these protests was to get people talking, that sure seems to have worked, with every media organization on the planet talking about piracy today.

Many of these sites are using creative techniques to bring attention to the two bills – one called SOPA, the other PIPA – and making very clear their viewpoint on it.

Before you panic, read our quick-and-dirty guide to these online protests.

So, what are these piracy bills about?

With all of these sites going dark, it is important to know why this topic has become the center of a heated debate.

CNNMoney has a genius explainer on this topic, for those interested in all the gritty details. The gist is this: Media companies are upset that their copyrighted content gets stolen and given away for free by some websites. Two bills aim to crack down on this piracy by restricting access to U.S. websites that potentially could link to this pirated content. Tech companies in Silicon Valley say the bills have unintended consequences that could tamper with the way the Internet functions.

You can learn about it here: █████████████████, here: █████████ here:██████ and here:█████████.

Kidding! That blackout technique is part of the point these sites are trying to make today as they fully go dark.

FULL POST