Go to Wikipedia today (Wednesday, January 18th) to search for information, and you will be met with a dark page bearing a stark warning: "Imagine a World Without Free Knowledge". The reason for Wikipedia's blackout is simple: they, along with other major internet companies such as Google, WordPress, Reddit, Tucows, Boing Boing and sites such Twitpic all oppose the legislation currently going through the US Congress to prevent so-called content piracy. Two bills are currently under consideration, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), both of which are aimed at preventing the illegal theft of content owned by the US film, music and software industry.
That is a noble aim: the people who work hard to create the movies, TV series, music and computer games that we all love deserve to be paid for their work. They invest large amounts of money to produce content, and they do not deserve to have their product stolen and redistributed by gangs of organized criminals who make money off of the games, movies and music made by the content owners, without contributing anything to those content owners.