Wikipedia has gone dark for 24 hours in protest

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, is the sixth most used site on the Internet. On Wednesday the website will go dark to protest two bills facing Congress and the Senate. The bills, the Internet giant states, stop freedom of expression and could destroy web sites unfairly. Source of article: Wikipedia and others go dark to protest SOPA

All about a Jimmy Wales message

Jimmy Wales is a co-founder of Wikipedia. He tweet the plans on Martin Luther King Day. He said that from midnight Tues, EST, to midnight Wed, the English version of the website will be dark.

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed, MLK on Wednesday, Wikipedia demands."

Wales said that students should do their homework early in anticipation of this.

Strike on SOPA

Internet corporations such as Reddit, Boing Boing and the Cheezburger Network are joining Wikipedia in the SOPA strike with solidarity. Businesses such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Google have declared being against the legislation, although they have not participated.

The move is to protest a vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in Congress and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate. The two acts are meant to defend the entertainment industry by eliminating illegal copying and sharing of movies, video media and music on the Internet. But the strikers say it does so with a sledgehammer.

Language too broad

To be able to shield the entertainment industry, the regulation will be putting IPs in charge of policing sites. Because of the broad language, websites might get shut down without any warning or due process. That is something that many against the bill do not like.

A lot of people think that the regulation will lead to censorship in the country on the internet.

Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow said:

"If you want an Internet where human rights, free speech and the rule of law are not subordinated to the entertainment industry's profits, I hope you will join us."

Drawing attention away

One of the chief supporters of the regulation, the Motion Picture Association of America, claimed that the legislation's opponents are only interested in drawing attention from the problem of online piracy.

Michael O'Leary of the Motion Picture Association of America said:

"Our perspective on this, from a larger perspective, is that it is part and parcel of a campaign to distract from the real issue here and to draw people away from trying to resolve what is a real problem, which is that foreigners continue to steal the hard work of Americans."

Statement from White House made

The legislation is lacking support from the White House. It said in a statement that there are parts of the legislation that would not get support.

"While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cyber security risk or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet."

Compromise possible

The White House announcement led to some changes by the Congressional sponsors of SOPA. They said the part of the bill that would block a website’s domain name would be dropped.



Washington Post

Los Angeles Times

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