12 Hours Dark: Internet Archive vs. Censorship

The Internet Archive believes that it is critical to protest and raise awareness of pending legislation in the United States:  House Bill 3261, The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S.968, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).

Archive.org is going dark for US residents from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm PDT on Wednesday January 18 (14:00 – 02:00 GMT) to drive a message to Washington.   We need your help to do this.

Legislation such as this directly affects libraries (pdf) such as the Internet Archive, which collects, preserves, and offers access to cultural materials.   Furthermore, these laws can negatively affect the ecosystem of web publishing that led to the emergence of the Internet Archive.

These bills would encourage the development of blacklists to censor sites with little recourse or due process.   The Internet Archive is already blacklisted in China—let’s prevent the United States from establishing its own blacklist system.

For United States residents, please take action.

For non-US residents: Sorry for dragging you into this, and if you are willing, sign a petition to the State Department to express your concern.

–Internet Archive

Some coverage: BayCitizen,
Archive at SF protest.

91 thoughts on “12 Hours Dark: Internet Archive vs. Censorship

  1. Brad

    I’m all for activism, but shutting down archive.org will only affect people that are already on your side on this issue.

    The dummies that support this bill won’t even notice your site going down. Most SOPA supporters probably don’t even know what archive.org does, nor do they really understand how the internet works.

  2. Homer Otto Goodall

    Well it started with the Enabling Acts created called the Patriot Acts as a reaction to 9/11. Remember the Black Boxes wasn’t recovered (so they say) Equal of the black boxes was recovered from the space shuttles intact, but the disks was a little warped and 98 perrcent of the data was recovered. Back to the problem at hand. Congress and the entire government had been working against the people. There was one of my books that I wrote that did not make it into print.

    This law if I read it right will allow the government to create a Great Firewall of China in America. Many of the books sent there was picked up by the government in China, but I doubt if they will ever get the boxes (encrypted drives) open. Remember Big Brother is Watching you.

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  4. Alison

    Is it just the archive.org domain participating, or will Open Library also be affected? Also, I am assuming all Wayback Machine links will be affected? Thanks!

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  37. WILL B


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  42. The Dude

    It’s a good thing the Internet Archive takes part in the protest. While I am not an American citizen, I am witnessing similar developments regarding Internet control and censorship here in Germany, and we don’t even have organisations such as the EFF or the ACLU. It has been said many times: What affects the US will, ultimately, affect the world. Unfortunately this is especially true in this case, as European politicians often copy trends they’ve seen in the US. I hope the ones responsible for passing or scraping the bill seriously consider their decision in face of all the protest – this IS serious business.

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  49. James McGarry

    Also for Non-U.S. residents: Your own county might have legislation like SOPA or PIPA on the books or in the pipe.

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  68. Homer Otto Goodall

    All aspects of this library will be affected. Let’s make the issue crystal clear and with no illusions. Say a bank owns several branches. An honest mistake can be made by one of the tellers. Under an act written it would allow the Government to shut down the brnaches and the main bank for this one honest mistake. Sure I had made mistakes and uploaded material still under copyright. My firned in the film preservation society had given me material that was still under copyright. Justin Bieber got his start on Youtube and these acts would effectively shut down youtube and sites like it. It would also shut down digitalbookindex, googlebooks, munsey, and many other such sites. It would also shut down my dicussion board on yahoo.

  69. Winsome Holstein Nebula

    Kids – Let’s not be Europe. If we’d have wanted to be British or Europe we could have done so easily. Let’s don’t. Truly, having in live both places, being the U.S. – warts n’ all – is infinitely better. It’s a bit messier but the freedom and the liberty are so very much worthy of the occasional laundry day.
    This is an issue that will have far more probative and damaging results than most can even imagine. Further, it is VERY hard to undo a law. Even bad law – and we have so many of those on the books as it is.
    I know we’ve weathered one storm but the next is hard by, my damies. Consider too how universal this casue must be if both MoveOn and The Heritage Foundation are standing arm in arm on the side side facing this scurrilous foe.

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  74. Keith McLeod

    This should be considered as support for the “American Spring” similar to the “Arab Spring” of last year. The problem with democracy is people like it more than governments do.

  75. justice

    Nazi Germany failed at what now Nazi Amerika has accomplished, taking away freedoms and liberties from people the world over. The United States has turned Democracy into a dirty word. George Orwell said it best in his best selling book(1984),
    If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamped on a human face –forever.
    Take a stand for something NOW or you’ll fall for anything LATER.

  76. Robert Maguire

    I can see there is a probable a need to stop a lot of the on-line copying of new films, etc, but from the information I have read it does seem that these new Bills are going to be way too much to do a simple job. I personally don’t download such material, as I think most modern day films are absolute rubbish, especially when compared to those of the good old days of black and white, when films seemed to have a heart and sole. It seems Hollywood has just become a money making machine, and ‘they’ don’t seem to care what they turn out as long as the dollars keep coming in. If I was setting up these Bills, I would ask myself one very important question, what are all those who spend their time downloading and watching such material going to use this time for. Seems pretty obvious to me that a certain percentage will set about destroying the Internet as much as possible, and causing it as many problems as they can, to vent their anger.

    The famous American poet and writer Edgar Allan Poe, who gave the world so much, died in poverty, mainly because there were no copyright laws to give him a decent reward for all his efforts. Many American’s in the government will have been taught his poem The Raven at school, yet Hollywood fails to portray the lift of such an important American in all the glory of a proper and rightful feature film, yet Hollywood was, and still is, more than at ease in portraying his stories and poems on the big screen. Again the big question is why? I would also point out that the Poe house in Baltimore may have to close to the public this year due to funding problems. After all the influences Poe has given to the Hollywood and other film industries, one might think that they might come to the rescue, and offer some assistance, to such an important part of American history, but I suppose that would be too much like caring.

  77. Louis-Charles

    The internet is such a beautiful concept. Information for all.
    I understand the copyright concerns. I myself am an artist/craftsman.
    There are also fine lines between between interpretation, research, etc and outright piracy. I believe the internet can police itself and should try before letting “daddy”
    do it. Good point on Poe.

  78. intelics

    The Internet Archive is a treasure trove of stolen copyrighted material. People upload whatever they want, whether under copyright or not. Sites like this one don’t want laws like SOPA simply because you don’t want to be held responsible for the stolen material you host.

    1. H III

      There are no copyrights on sound recordings made before 1978. You will notice the words “public domain” on the files, which means no one owns a current copyright. The acts they are trying to pass through congress could be used to shut down legal sites like this one simply because the entertainment industry feels there “might” be copyright infringements.

  79. Ed Gauthier

    Then ACTA came along from Europe and blind-sided us all. Turns out that Obby signed us up for that one last October 1. (It gets ratified this coming June.) Meanwhile, why has Wayback been down all day today (March 1, 2012)? Just wondering.

  80. greg clarke

    I am delighted to have found your web-site for the purpose of reading on line. I read a book every 3 days and the cost is putting a strain on me. I just bought a kindle and your web-site has made my day!

    Thankyou so much

    Greg Clarke

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  82. xamthone

    The Internet Archive believes that it is critical to protest and raise awareness of pending legislation in the United States: House Bill 3261, The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and S.968, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). How can? could you explain for me…

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