The CUNY Academic Commons Will Go Dark on 1/18/12 in Protest of SOPA and PIPA

On Wednesday, January 18, the CUNY Academic Commons will join hundreds of sites around the web, including Wikipedia, Reddit, and Boing Boing, and around CUNY, including the Macaulay Honors College ePortfolios and OpenCUNY, in a protest of SOPA, the Stop Online Privacy Act, and PIPA, the Protect IP Act. As part of this protest, the Commons will “go dark” for a day to demonstrate the lasting damage that these two bills have the potential to cause the open web. During this time, visitors to the homepage of the CUNY Academic Commons will encounter a protest message that explains our opposition to these bills, along with links that will help them learn more and/or take action.

Because we know that many members of our community depend on the CUNY Academic Commons for their collaborative work, we have chosen to provide a way for our members to log in and still make use of the site on January 18th. We will also make available to individual bloggers on our site a WordPress plugin that, when activated, will make their Commons blogs go dark in solidarity with the larger protest.

We encourage the members of our community to learn more about these bills and the dangers they pose to the foundational spirit of openness that animates the CUNY Academic Commons and sites like it.

For a quick introduction to these issues, please view this short video:

We also recommend MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito’s post, “Why we need to stop SOPA and PIPA”, along with these other posts that Joi recommends:

Liz Dwyer, “Why SOPA Could Kill the Open Educational Resource Movement“, Good Magazine

Julian Sanchez, “SOPA: An Architecture for Censorship“, Cato Institute

Dan Rowinsky, “What You Need to Know about SOPA in 2012“, ReadWriteWeb

Internet Blacklist Legislation“, Electronic Frontier Foundation, EFF’s email campaign against the legislation and EFF guide to meeting with your representatives.

If you have questions or concerns about our actions, or if you would like to comment on our stance, please do so below.

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