It's apparent that the SOPA/PIPA-inspired Internet blackouts raised the public's conscious concerning the anti-piracy legislation Washington is trying to push on the very citizens it is supposed to be representing. Granted, a great deal of this awareness came from the fact people couldn't do their homework because Wikipedia was down, but, whatever it takes.
Especially when we're dealing with something as important as SOPA and PIPA.
With that in mind, you might want to familiarize yourself with Clay Shirky. In case you didn't know, Shirky is something of a pro-Internet activist who is an Associate Arts Professor at NYU, instructing students in the subject of Interactive Telecommunications. Shirky is also a Fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, just in case you need to see additional credentials.
As you might expect, Shirky represents one of the many scholars who are fundamentally opposed to both SOPA and PIPA, and at a recent TED Talk, he clearly articulated why these bills serve as a threat to our freedom to create and share. Shirky puts the responsibility on us, the consumers, to do more than just "passively consume," although, judging by the all the "Where the hell is my Wikipedia" comments the other day, it seems we still have a long way to go before we shed that particular skin.
Shirky's TED Talk, as pointed out by Laughing Squid:
If, after watching that, you're still unsure as to why SOPA/PIPA are the wrong way to go about stemming piracy, watch it again.