Blackout is the online Satyagraha
With news breaking out that one of Indian websites have been taken down due to the government censorship is exactly when the news started getting heating up in the western world. The two new legislations / regulation that are in the process of getting approved in the US Senate are now under fire from major US based websites.
Wikipedia announced that their English website (which contains close to 4 million pages) would be blacked out for entire 24 hours. Two new regulations, SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (PROTECT IP Act) have stirred the hornet’s nest. Major companies including Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, eBay, AOL have already protested against the bills, while online communities like Wikipedia, Reddit, Boing Boing and several others have announced their plans to back out access to their websites for 24 hours.
SOPA is being proposed to protect interests of the entertainment industry in general, which face a huge loss of revenue due to piracy. I would say, if they would start earning more money because of this bill, a poor artist could finally buy his third Ferrari and fifth Lamborghini. After all, it is what they are worth for. Sarcasm apart, yes artist do need to own rights to their creations and no one should infringe upon the same.
The striking thing is, however, enabling this law will give governments more control over the content that a person access from his home. If government feels that a particular site violates a certain rule, it can easily be stopped from being accessed. Since there are no clearly defined limitations, it would be very easy for anyone to request a takedown of a website. And that website’s fault could just be that its content irked some government official or a political party.