"Dark Wednesday" : Proposed internet laws antipiracy or anti--freespeech?

Illustration is a screenshot from Mozilla.

January 18, websites are joining the Electric Frontier Foundation in calling for an end to current internet blacklisting legislation S. 968 PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and  H.R. 3261 Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House. Under the current drafts, courts could order credit card firms, online payment companies like PayPal and advertising networks to stop doing business with those websites. They could also order search engines to stop linking to them and internet service providers (ISPs) to block their customers from accessing them.

Sounds like China?  No, we're talking about the USA.

Currently sites must remove specific copyrighted content if presented with a properly filled out DMCA takedown request. The notices require that the complainants must identify exactly what pages the content is on, and  prove that they are indeed the owners of the content. Even then, this process is often abused according to the Electric Frontier Foundation.

SOPA and PROTECT IP contain no provisions to actually remove copyrighted content.  Instead they focus on the censorship of links to entire domains.

Thus, if the AG served a site, it would be required to scrub every post and comment on the site containing the domain and censor the links out, even if the specific link contained no infringing content. Does this sound like free speech?

Think not?  Then join us and write and  call your Senators and Congressperson  to tell them to stop this legislation.

And to read about how to particpate in other ways, see this excellent rundown by Ars Technicha (h/t to Dan Radmacher)