Minutes Before the First SOPA Blackouts Start, Mozilla Says It Will Black Out the Firefox Start Page Tomorrow

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With the start of the SOPA blackout on many major sites just hours away, a number of additional companies have now joined major sites like Reddit, Google and Wikipedia that had announced their participation in the the blackouts earlier this week. Among the stragglers are Mozilla, which had played a major role in organizing the oposition to SOPA, but hadn't announced its actual blackout plans until tonight. Other companies that just announced their plans today are Ask, Urbanspoon and Citysearch, which will all black out parts of their services on Wednesday. Microsoft has also expressed its support for the protest, but doesn't have any plans for shutting down even a part of its services (Microsoft's statement: "Hundreds of millions of customers rely on our services every day so we don’t plan to shut those down to express our view.”).

Update: The original article failed to note that Mozilla, of course, has been instrumental in getting these protests of the ground. Until now, though, it wasn't clear what form Mozilla's own protests would take on Wednesday. The story has been updates to reflect this.

Mozilla was among the last to announce its plans for the blackout, with a blog post that went up at midnight Eastern tonight. Starting at 8am Eastern on Wednesday, Mozilla plans to black out the default start page in Firefox and will also redirect "key Mozilla websites to a special action page."

The organization notes that it won't "effect" (sic!) people's experience with Firefox," but that it hopes to raise awareness for the protest by highlighting it in-product. In addition, Mozilla chairwoman Mitchell Baker also wrote another post, highlighting the organization's stand against SOPA and PIPA.

SOPA/PIPA and the Corner Store

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Baker argues that "SOPA makes all of us potential criminals if we don’t become the enforcement arm of a new government regulatory and policing structure."

"Assume," Baker writes, "there’s a corner store in your neighborhood that rents movies. But the movie industry believes that some or even all of the videos in that store are unauthorized copies, so that they’re not being paid when people watch their movies. What should be done?

SOPA/PIPA don’t aim at the people trying to get to the store. SOPA/ PIPA don’t penalize or regulate the store itself. SOPA and PIPA penalize us if we don’t block the people trying to get to the store."

 

Frederic Lardinois founded SiliconFilter in 2011. Before starting this site, he wrote about 1,500 articles for ReadWriteWeb. His areas of interest are consumer web and mobile apps, as well as Internet-connected devices like cars, smart sensors and toasters. You can reach him at [email protected]

4 COMMENTS

  1. Frederic, thanks for your article. Just to correct one error, we were among the first organizations to agree to participate in tomorrow’s protest and helped to recruit other major players to join the campaign.

    • @afowler thanks Alex – I was focussing mostly on the blackouts and while I was aware of Mozilla’s opposition to SOPA, I hadn’t seen any announcements as to how exactly you were planning to participate in the blackouts tomorrow. I have updated the story.

  2. Holy crap, in the “About the Author” section under the article…
    “Internet-connected devices like cars, smart sensors and toasters…”
    Wait until I can say “The government wiped out my toaster.”
    Coming true.

  3. thats just great more goverment in our lives they should know when to quit ,for some reason they always forget that they the goverment get paid by the peoples tax money and they are working for us not against us ,they mine as whell burn allthe books on my shelf including watership down ,boy some boner really had a good idea this time ,like the other lady said the guy should have been slapped at birth ,i think he should have been put in a gunny sack with a brick ,then off the bridge he goes

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