Kerry Lauerman announced today that Open Salon would go black tomorrow, along with other websites such as Wikipedia, to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
SOPA is a bill before the House of Representatives and PIPA is a bill being considered in the U.S. Senate. Both are opposed by many in the online community. Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director, stated, “that, if passed, [they] would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.”
Reaction from OS bloggers to their site’s shutdown was mixed.
Jonathan Wolfman protested, “B-but I was going to have a post tomorrow fostering a discussion of whether Jimmy Wales had the authority to suppress a website without a discussion with its contributors, even if the cause is good.” Wolfman then sighed and added, “A weekday without a blog post? What am I going to do with my time?”
Blogger Cranky Cuss was furious. “I had January 18th in the ‘What Day Will Tink Finally Get an EP’ pool. And I know Tink had his A material ready to go tomorrow.” He glared at a reporter. “I could have used that money. Someone offered to sell me New York Jets Super Bowl tickets.”
Con Chapman was particularly despondent. “With OS down,” he moaned, “my law partners actually expect me to go into a courtroom.” He shook his head sadly. “Now I only have five other websites to post on tomorrow.”
Chicken Màâàn, however, was exuberant. “I was going to post the final chapter of Tribulation Time tomorrow. This will build up the suspense for one more day.” He then bit his lower lip and added, “That is, if anyone will even notice.”
Spammer fghjkl mnbvcx was disappointed. “The Denver Nuggets are playing the Philadelphia 76ers tomorrow night!” he argued. “Where am I going to find viewers for the live streaming?” Then he smiled and added, “At least the shutdown isn’t on the weekend when I run this place.”
The decision of websites to shut down for the day has become a topic of debate among the Presidential candidates. Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney surprisingly endorsed the move. “Websites are people, my friend, and websites, like people, have the right to political speech. Even if all members, I mean organs, of the website don’t agree on what that speech should be.”
Newt Gingrich found opportunity in the move. “I have a staffer whose job is solely to monitor what’s written about me on the Web. Now I can give her the day off without pay.” He then chuckled, “Heh heh, a few more dollars that Callista and I can spend at Tiffany’s.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry denounced the move. “I’m against it for three reasons. One, I’m for anything that allows authorities to wield more power. Two, my preparation for GOP debates consists of five minutes reading about the issues on Wikipedia, and now what am I going to do? And third, um, er, I forget what the third one is. Oops.”
Then Perry’s eyes opened wide and he declared, “I remember what the third one was. I was opposed to naming American legislation after Pippa Middleton. When I’m elected President, I will only name legislation after American celebrities.”
Happiest of all was Open Salon Editor Emily Holleman, who was pleased with the unexpected day off. “Tomorrow I’ll be occupying a different Salon for a mani-pedi and a haircut!” she said, grinning. “I’m really looking forward to one day without reading all this crap!” Then she added, “But don’t quote me on that.”