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CEA Website Joins Antipiracy Legislation Protest

Add the Consumer Electronics Association to the list of Web sites that went dark Wednesday to protest antipiracy legislation critics argue is an overbroad threat to Internet freedom.

CEA, a long-time critic of the bills, sent out an e-mail Wednesday saying "CEA joins many tech-related entities in having its websites, and, go dark [Wednesday] and asks that the bill [the PROTECT IP Act] not be brought to the Senate floor until there has been a hearing, and until serious concerns about private rights of action, search, overly inclusive definitions, third-party liability and other issues have been resolved."

A floor markup of the PROTECT IP Act, which has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee, is scheduled for next week, while action on a House version, the Stop Online Protection Act (SOPA), has been delayed until next month.

Elsewhere on the busy online piracy legislation front, backers of say they collected more than 30,000 voter pledges in the first 12 hours of a drive to get voters to back candidates to oppose the Protect IP Act and SOPA. At press time, that number was 33,064, according to the site.

Wikipedia, Craigslist, Mozilla, Reddit, and OpenCongress were among the sites that went dark. While Google was listed by one group as one of the sites as well, the search engine actually remained up, instead going dark by putting a black bar over its iconic logo.