It seems a long time ago now, but the 18th January was a major protest against the US plans to introduce SOPA and PIPA, if approved it would mean that the US Government would a step closer to controlling the internet and what appears on it.
Not only are there the copyright issues, with websites being threatened with closure and users being denied free access to the complete internet at all times. So on the 18th January some parts of the internet went dark and this was merely a highlight of what could happen should SOPA and PIPA be passed.
There are many aspects to look into though as it is not all one sided, check out this info graphic from Frugal Dad to see what the impact of the 18th Jan, SOPA and PIPA will have on internet users.
Source [Frugal Dad]