In the last month, over 40 internet companies have come out publicly against the Stop Online Piracy Act (or SOPA). This week they've drawn their swords.
Reddit has joined a list of websites committed to shutting down service for 12 hours next Wednesday. If Reddit keeps its promise, from 8am to 8pm visitors to the site will not have access to the “front page of the internet.” Instead they will find a statement from the company about how the anti-piracy legislation would potentially shut down sites like Reddit. It's a nice little glimpse into the future, courtesy of the very websites that would fall under the scrutiny of SOPA and PIPA.
At sopastrike.com individuals can petition sites they use on a regular basis to join the strike and companies can answer the call. So far, only three other companies have pledged at sopastrike—MoveOn, Mozilla, and Tucows. But many others have announced support in their own sites.
Google has yet to chime in. But Wikipedia has been hosting a discussion about whether to participate. For now, members of the Wikimedia foundation seem to have agreed to a partial blackout that would initially present information about SOPA, but which visitors could click their way through.
If great swaths of the internet go down, there will be a lot of lost souls looking for things to do. Organizers in New York City are hoping that some of them will find their ways to the midtown offices of Senators Charles Schumer and Kirstin Gillibrand and protest their support of the SOPA/PIPA. A group will be meeting there at 12:30. Those who stay home can watch a congressional hearing on search engine blocking, which Reddit plans to stream live on its site.
Update: As of Monday morning, nearly 30 websites have signed up to strike at sopastrike.org., including Wikipedia, Wordpress and Twitpic. See here for a full list. The sites are evidently coming in too fast for sopastrike to verify them, and so they've put up an unofficial list of supporters who will likely take part in the blackout as well. You can check it out here to see if any of your favorite sites will be down on Wednesday.