Remember when thousands of websites went on strike to protest the proposed Stop Online Piracy and Protect IP Acts (SOPA and PIPA)?
It was such an effective form of protest, Canadians think they’ll give it a try.
More than 100 websites in Canada are participating in Blackout SpeakOut, a June 20 protest against the wildly unpopular Bill C-38. Like the protest against SOPA and PIPA, webpages big and small will host a splash page to ensure any visitors are aware of Bill C-38. An additional 13,000 individuals have added their names to a list of people pledging to spread the word about the bill, including through Twitter and Facebook.
Unlike with SOPA or PIPA, though, these activists aren’t campaigning against legislation that would restrict the Internet. Instead, Bill-38 is a 425-page “omnibus bill.” Its critics say it would, among other things, hamper charities, hurt the environment, and eliminate government advisors.
It’s safe to say no single Canadian website comes close to the influence wielded by the major sites that protested SOPA and PIPA (Wikipedia, Reddit, The Cheezburger Network). Still, it seems like every name in environmentalism is participating: the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund, plus about a hundred other lesser-known sites.
On Reddit, activists in Canada are calling in favors from fellow users in the U.S. and abroad.
“Please Americans (and users of other nationality),” wrote redditor Fifty5.
“In February, facing the threat of SOPA and PIPA, I personally spent hours petitioning and spreading the word about the bullshit, even though it didn't directly affect me. So please, return the favour to your neighbours to the north!”
“You were there for us, I will be there for you,” replied Viladnmir.
The appropriately named guy_from_canada summed it up nicely.
“NAFTA BROS UNITE,” he responded.
Photo by Unfurled