A lot of websites went black today in the early hours of the morning to show their protest against two bills currently discussed in the United States House of Representatives. They are called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act).
Both bills have been brought forward in the effort to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign websites. Thinking about it, this sounds not necessarily negative, however in the opinion of Wikipedia and many other organizations including political parties, these bills when becoming law, will harm free expression by badly influencing the internet.
In easy words, an internet user can be fined, when posting a youtube video to their facebook profile. Wikipedia sees a great danger to their concept of free publicly available information through their website. On the other side, supporters of these bills say, that too much intellectual property gets stolen by foreign websites which harms American entrepreneurs and inventors and is beyond U.S. law.
The protest against this act goes far beyond U.S. borders. Many organisations all over the world, have launched videos and protest banners to join the strike.