Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of New York in a show of support against US anti-piracy legislation.
Congress is considering a bill that would shut down access to overseas websites that traffic in stolen content or counterfeit goods.
But critics say the bill could hurt free speech.
“I think it sends the wrong signal to give the government the ability to shut down websites. The web should be a free medium that promotes democracy around the world. When America is trying to convince China and Iran that they shouldn’t be shutting down the web, we shouldn’t be setting a bad example,” said protester Ian Bassin.
Several major Internet sites went offline on Wednesday in protest at the plans to curb online piracy. Big tech names including Facebook and Twitter declined to participate in a boycott despite their opposition to the legislation.
However, eight US lawmakers have now withdrawn their support for the bills which until recently was expected to pass easily through Congress.
Even the White House has waded in and threatened to use its veto unless the anti-piracy measures are rewritten.