Whether or not the Jan. 19 take down of popular file-sharing Web site Megaupload was in response to a Jan. 18 protest over the Stop Online Piracy (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA), opponents of the bills picked up many supporters who lost money when the site closed. Despite FBI and Department of Justice assurances the take down was not related to SOPA, the timing of the raid left little doubt in many people's minds about just what message authorities were sending.

Someone assassinate Rep. Lamar Smith, the author of SOPA, Nykie Dizon wrote on the Against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) Facebook Page Jan. 20.

SOPA's intended purpose would be to fight against online piracy, but the bill had yet to pass through Congress when Megaupload was taken down. Complicating the matter only hours after Megaupload was taken down, several high profile Web sites connected to SOPA were attacked and temporarily knocked offline. Notorious hacker collective Anonymous took credit for the attacks that included Whitehouse.gov, the DOJ Web site, and Web sites for the U.S. Copyright Office and Recording Industry Association of America. Anonymous claimed to have hacked the government sites in retalliation for the Megaupload sites, and the others because they are lobbying heavily for passage of SOPA.

Don't trust the news sites reporting that SOPA and PIPA have been killed. They'll come back with new acronyms, @AnonyOps, a purported Anonymous group Twitter feed posted Jan. 20.

Anonymous supporters came out in legions on Twitter and Facebook, and promised a new World War Web in 2012 to fight SOPA.

Because of SOPA and PIPA, #MegaUpload was shutdown. If you don't want this to happen to Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube #RT this! #StopSOPA , Twitter user @TheIlluminati posted. Jan. 20.

A Facebook Page called Fu*k SOPA had almost 19,000 likes, and while many posted their dismay at the Megaupload take down, just as many posted cartoons and Internet meme-related musings about how terrible SOPA would be if it passed.

That idiots! They should die in hell! They Suck my d*ck! F*ck the SOPA! They destroyed megaupload,pee them!Andrej Djenadic posted on the F*ck SOPA Facebook Page.

SOPA has been shelved in Congress, but the temporary measure could easily reappear in any number of forms. The one day blackout of sites like Wikipedia, Mozilla and BoingBoing among others Jan. 18, raised enough awareness that some congresspeople backed off their support for the bill. If, however, the Megaupload case spurs more such piracy indictments or site take downs, SOPA supporters could feel justified that such a bill is even more necessary than ever. Let us know in the comments if you took part in the Jan. 18 protests or if you ever used Megaupload.