Minecraft going dark January 18 in SOPA protest

Mojang boss Markus Persson says Minecraft.net, Mojang.com will be taken offline next week in stand against controversial legislation.

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The controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) has already pushed Red 5 Studios to shut down the beta and website for Firefall on January 18, but now, an even more prominent game company is readying a blackout to be held on the same day.

Minecraft.net and Mojang.com will be
Minecraft.net and Mojang.com will be "blocked" next week.

Mojang studio head Markus Persson today announced via Twitter that Minecraft.net and Mojang.com will be taken offline on January 18 in protest of SOPA. Persson did not say how long the blackout will last.

While the browser-based version of Minecraft will be unavailable through Minecraft.net during the downtime, gamers can still play the game if they have previously downloaded it.

Mojang joins Epic Games, Runic Games, Riot Games, and Red 5 Studios as game companies openly professing disapproval of SOPA. However, not all gaming entities are against the measure. The Entertainment Software Association--the game industry's representative body--has pledged its support for SOPA. According to the ESA, the game industry requires effective protection against the illegal acquisition of games and those who facilitate it.

Companies that support the bill--including the National Football League and GameSpot parent company CBS--argue that it offers necessary protection to content creators. Opponents of the bill, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, argue that SOPA infringes upon First Amendment rights and will ultimately deprive the Internet of non-infringing content.

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