On Thursday, Racialicious joined the many websites around the world in shutting down for most of the day to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which threatens to undermine the same creative freedom it was allegedly designed to protect.
SOPA supporters say the bill, introduced in the House of Representatives in October 2011, would protect copyright holders against online piracy. SOPA’s counterpart in the Senate, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), is scheduled for a Jan. 24 vote.
The idea is, the two bills would give authorities more ways to starve “rogue sites,” as Politico’s Mike Zapler and Kim Hart explain:
Here’s how it would work: If the Justice Department or a copyright holder believed a site was directing users to pirated content, they would go to court. Depending on who’s complaining, different remedies would come into play: In some instances a judge could order an Internet service provider like Verizon to cut off access to a site. In others, a search engine like Google could be directed to delete links to an infringing site. The idea is to starve the offending sites of the web traffic that keeps them in business.