Wikipedia dark and Google scorns in protest of piracy legislation

Some major internet sites protested newly proposed federal regulations today that would require more internet censoring.

Wikipedia went black, Google protested with a black bar covering their logo. These two major internet sites are protesting two big bills in congress. SOPA, an acronym for Stop Online Piracy Act, and PIPA, Protect Intellectual Property (IP) Act, will crack down on copyright infringement in the US and from offshore sites.

"It can't just be the wild west on the internet," explains Chuck Scott, Gaslight Media President and Owner.

What this would mean is cutting off access to sites that are flagged for "facilitating copyright infringement." Site owners would be required to closely monitor for violations, and if they don't, their site could be blocked. For providers, like GasLight Media in Petoskey, if their clients don't abide, it could mean lights out for the entire company.

â??If it's not done right, there could certainly be severe technical problems, there could be logistical problems, legal problems, that come out as a result of this legislation," says Scott.

With Wikipedia being blacked out today and Google showing their scorn against this legislation, it's not hard to find somebody on the street who's concerned with the "what-ifs."

â??If the governmentâ??s going to keep an eye on things, and make Google jump through certain hoops, and Google can't do that, does that mean Googleâ??s down? And what's that mean to business? We use Google every day," says Wally Kidd, a real estate company owner.

"Itâ??s kind of a joke to me because all the things that are already available to our eyes on the internet, for them to try to take it away is kind of silly," says Carley Massey, who doesnâ??t agree with the proposed changes.

While the people we talked with today say something needs to be done to stop piracy, they all agreed these particular acts go way too far.

This story had us wondering could you go 24 hours without the internet?

That's the question we posted today on our Facebook fan page. We said if you think you can, click 'like' if not, explain why.