Something amazing happened on Wednesday. It's doubtful you missed it, but you might not have recognized just how amazing it really was. The unprecedented Internet blackout showed us something incredible: Major websites demonstrated the ability to quickly sway political dialogue. It has been easy to see for many years that big media can influence political dialogue. Media slant, sometimes the result of unintentional bias and sometimes the result of direct influential efforts, has had an impact on many political discussions and legislative proceedings over the years.
Today, many websites are participating in a blackout inspired by the Stop Online Piracy Act ("SOPA", H.R.3261) and PROTECT IP Act ("PIPA", S.968) bills currently being considered by Congress. These two bills, which are very similar to one another, are intended to extend copyright protections and enable better defenses against copyright infringement by international websites.