Ark-La-Tex business joins in blackout protest

Thursday, January 19, 2012 - 9:51am

If you were looking for a quick fact Wednesday, Wikipedia probably wasn't much help. That's because the web encyclopedia was offline for 24 hours, protesting a controversial piece of legislation before Congress. Now one Shreveport-based business is playing a part in the debate, too.

Synapse Multimedia has been in Shreveport for 10 years, providing web hosting, design and development services. Director of Operations Robert Gaudet says the site was dark on Wednesday to protest SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. The bill is aimed at reducing online theft of copywrited works like videos and music, but opponents say it goes too far, possibly punishing powerhouse websites like Wikipedia and Google for content their users upload.

That's the part that concerns Gaudet. "They could be held legally responsible for that content ending up on their site and they could potentially face fines or be shut down." SOPA sponsors say the bill doesn't promote censorship, but with hundreds of websites joining Wikipedia's call for a blackout, millions of Americans saw their favorite websites go black. Gaudet says he thinks it's important to voice an opinion on the issue, no matter where a business is located. "It doesn't matter if you're Google based out of California or Synapse in Shreveport, you do what you can, where you can, to have an affect and stop this overreach by the government."

Synapse Multimedia's site is back online today.
To check it out, click on the link.

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