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Web sites paint it black to protest SOPA

week in review Prominent Web sites go dark to protest proposed antipiracy legislation, while hackers take down government and entertainment sites to protest piracy arrests. Also: Yang out at Yahoo.

week in review Some of the Internet's most popular destinations launched an experiment in political activism this week by urging their users to protest a pair of Hollywood-backed copyright bills in Congress.

Wikipedia's English-language pages went black at 9 p.m. PT Wednesday, with a splash page saying "the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet." The online encyclopedia's blackout, intended to precede a Senate floor vote on the legislation set for next week, was scheduled to last 24 hours.

Earlier today, Senate leaders announced they would postpone a vote on the Protect IP Act scheduled for Tuesday. Hours later, the House Judiciary Committee said it would put consideration of the Stop Online Piracy Act on hold as well.

Unlike Wikipedia, Craigslist and Google took a more modest approach. The sites remained online during the virtual protest, but the home pages featured exhortations to contact members of Congress and urge them to vote against SOPA and PIPA.
•  MPAA blasts 'dangerous' anti-SOPA blackouts as 'stunts'
•  Going dark means crazy day for anti-SOPA site owners
•  SOPA protest sees large offline turnout in New York

The protest appeared to be working as some of the previous supporters of the bills in Congress are backing down. "I'm withdrawing my co-sponsorship for the Protect IP Act," said Sen. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican.

Sen. John Boozman, an Arkansas Republican, "will be withdrawing his name as a co-sponsor" of Protect IP, a spokesman told CNET on Wednesday. Fellow Protect IP co-sponsor Sen. James Risch, an Idaho Republican, said that he wants "more time to re-examine the legislation before going to a vote" and has asked staff for a detailed briefing.
•  Mark Zuckerberg finally comes out against SOPA
•  WSJ comes out for SOPA, more lawmakers pull support
•  How SOPA would affect you: FAQ
•  Complete SOPA coverage

More headlines

Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang resigns from Web giant

The move comes two weeks after Yahoo hired Scott Thompson as chief executive. Yang praised that hire and said only that it was time to move on.
•  Yahoo's Yang is gone. That was the easy part
•  Why Jerry Yang's resignation is a great, if belated, move
•  Yahoo announces Yang's resignation (statement)

FBI charges Megaupload operators with piracy crimes

Seven people accused of operating the site and committing acts of online piracy were named in an indictment. Four people--including Kim DotCom, aka Kim Schmitz--have been arrested in New Zealand.
•  DOJ, entertainment industry sites attacked after piracy arrests

Apple launches iBooks 2 digital textbooks

The company says the new "experience" for kids will be much better than what they find with traditional textbooks.
•  iBooks 2 brings textbooks to life (hands-on)

Symantec says source code stolen in 2006 hack

Backtracking on earlier statements blaming a third party, the security software maker acknowledges that hackers infiltrated its own networks.
•  Hackers threaten to release Symantec source code

Windows 8 will not be kind to Intel this year, says analyst

The wait for Windows 8 may be long, negatively impacting Intel's performance in 2012, an analyst at investment bank Piper Jaffray says.
•  Microsoft lays out Window 8 tablet hardware requirements
•  Windows 8 will adopt new resilient file system, but only on server

Watch out, Tim Cook: Apple VP Scott Forstall is eyeing your job

A new book on Apple claims Forstall is the most likely person to replace Tim Cook, though Forstall wasn't able to confirm Apple will, in fact, put him in that slot.
•  Apple's secrecy: It's baked into the walls

Also of note
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•  Woz concedes Android advantages over iPhone
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