The Fry effect: 'blackout' protest goes viral

Blackout campaign gets boost from NZ retweet

A local protest campaign has become a Twitter sensation, thanks to a "retweeted" message by UK actor and leading Twitterer Stephen Fry.

Yesterday, blogger and Computerworld FryUp writer Juha Saarinen posted about the campaign, launched by opponents of New Zealand's controversial new Copyright laws, on his Techsploder blog.

Fry, who has nearly 200,000 followers on Twitter, retweeted a message from Saarinen — taking the campaign global. He also left a Tweet of thanks to those joining the protest.

"Thanks to all who have supported the blackout. It may not bring the NZ gov to their senses but can it hurt for them to learn of our outrage?"

Launched by the Creative Freedom Foundation, the protest campaign is encouraging New Zealand users of social media to black out their images this week in protest at section 92a of the Copyright (New Technologies) Amendment Act. The Act requires ISPs to implement a disconnection policy for repeat copyright infringers.

Since the campaign's launch, many leading users of the Twitter microblogging site have complied, and swapped their pictures for a blank, black square. Fry himself has joined the protest, blacking out his own image from his Twitter site.

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