Great Learning Opportunity Today: Internet Blackout

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You may have noticed it already if you frequent a few popular websites, but some of the web has gone dark today. Wikipedia, WordPress, Google are all participating, so it's pretty easy to get access to some information on this topic. But let me sum up: People are concerned that the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (SOPA) and the "Protect IP Act" (PIPA) will actually shut down websites like YouTube, WordPress, Forums... basically, anywhere people create and share content.


I'm interested in SOPA and PIPA as a blogger, filmmaker, and web user. In fact, you may have noticed a few posts about it show up in my Other Posts of Note. But as I poked around the information made readily available today, I realized that this is an excellent learning opportunity for you and your family. Today offers a great opportunity to discuss:

  • The internet
  • Piracy
  • Intellectual Property
  • Government representatives
  • Our legal system: laws/bills/voting/petitions/etc.
  • Copyright law
  • Business models: service, product, information -- and how the internet changed these
  • Political activism
  • Lobbying
  • Content sharing/remixing
  • ...and so much more!

I got really excited today because this is--for me--a fun and not very political opportunity to dip my toes into the complex world of legislation and intellectual property protection. You can read more about SOPA and PIPA on

Have you spent any time thinking about this? Bumped into any other sites participating in the "internet strike" today?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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