Wikipedia and Reddit join the protest against Stop Online Piracy Act

Stop Online Piracy Act has attracted a strong opprobrium in the past few months, especially after it was put for vote in front of the House of Representatives and US Senate. However, since the act is on the verge of being accepted by the legislative authorities, online communities have started to take more effective steps in preventing it becoming a part of the US constitution.

On Wednesday, January 18, 2012, many internet-based websites including dozens of blogging and news portals and the likes of Reddit and Wikipedia have brought their portals offline to register strong resentment against the so-called anti-piracy act.

Reddit, who announced last week that they will be taking their website down in the protest against the offensive act, have done what they claimed. The website is offline for al least 12 hours before it starts working. Wikipedia followed the suit and have turned down the website’s English version for 12 hours.

However, this is not helping US Representative Lamar Smith, the man behind the genesis of SOPA. He is the one who formulated the act and presented it to the House of Representatives and the Senate for approval.

Although the act has gone through drastic changes in the past couple of years, it still has some clauses and provision that are harmful to the freedom of speech on the internet. Due to earlier protests the act has eliminated the clauses of taking down the so-called culprit websites’ name from the domain name servers. But the bill still contains a provision that allows Internet service providers to block access to foreign sites, as well as taking legal action against any site that offers circumvention tools, a vaguely worded provision that could cause problems for any site that allows user-generated content.