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Cheezburger Sites To Be Blacked Out January 18 To Protest SOPA and PIPA

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, January 12 2012

Photo: icanhazcheezburger.com

Ben Huh, CEO of the popular Cheezburger Network, tweeted Thursday that the network will be blacking itself out January 18 to protest the two bills Congress is working to pass that would, among other things, encourage domain name filtering against web sites deemed to be dedicated to copyright and trademark infringement.

"All Cheezburger sites will also be instituting a blackout on January 18 to protest SOPA and PIPA. Now, go ask Wikipedia to do it" Huh said.

The Cheezburger network encompasses the infamous I Can Haz Cheezburger? site, as well as the FAIL Blog, Memebase and others.

For those who are thinking "So What?" check out this interesting 2009 Fast Company profile/Q&A of Huh. According to that story, the I Can Haz Cheezburger site got 8.5 million page views a day at the time.

January 18 is when the House Government and Oversight Reform Committee will hold its hearing on the cybersecurity and job creating implications of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which is moving through the House Judiciary Committee.

Huh's network will be joining Reddit in its blackout. The idea was first floated online late last year by Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales. The Washington Post reports that Wales is still considering the idea in the wake of the news that Reddit is actually going to do it. (h/t Patrick Ruffini)