Why is the blackout happening?
Why? SOPA and PIPA are badly drafted legislation that won't be effective at their stated goal (to stop copyright infringement), and will cause serious damage to the free and open Internet. They put the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won't have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn't being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted, which means they won't show up in major search engines. And, SOPA and PIPA build a framework for future restrictions and suppression.
oops... I snatched that paragraph from Wikipedia. That means that someone could take down this website without warning or due process, IF this law is allowed to go through.
I am not going to say anything better than what the major sites like Google or Wikipedia are going to say, so here are the links to their pages explaining it.
Remember that in the USA, we are supposed to be the land of the Free, respecting an individual's rights, which are not to be taken away without Due Process. The protest is not about allowing piracy; it is about ensuring that everyone is given Due Process in determining wrongdoing.
Put it simply... what if someone claimed you are a kid-toucher? Should you be locked up without a chance to prove that you are not? SOPA is -"Shut down first, then don't ask questions".
Learn more at:
The animated graphic on this page was 'taken' from http://theoatmeal.com/sopa