PIPA, the PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act) is an amendment/re-write of the failed Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA). Under the proposed law, PIPA, would give the government and copyright holders tools to prevent access to rogue websites that are dedicate to counterfeit goods or infringe the intellectual property act. The bill was introduced on May 12, 2011 by Senator Patrick Leahy.
On January 18, 2012, several thousand websites opposing the law, including Reddit, Boing Boing, Wired, WordPress, Wikipedia and Mozilla Firefox launched a service blackout in protest of PIPA and another controversial bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). During the service outage, participating websites left readers with information about SOPA and PIPA, citing examples of what “could” happen if the SOPA/PIPA bills were passed.