Wikipedia to go dark over SOPA

Wikipedia is going to switch off for 24 hours in protest at the US Governments SOPA bill which sees protection of legacy and failed business models:

Wikipedia, the popular community-edited online encyclopedia, will black out its English-language site for 24 hours to seek support against proposed U.S. anti-piracy legislation that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said threatens the future of the Internet.

The service will be the highest profile name to join a growing campaign starting at midnight Eastern Time on Wednesday that will see it black out its page so that visitors will only see information about the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

The information will urge Wikipedia readers to contact their local congressman to vote against the bills. Other smaller sites leading the campaign include Reddit.com and Cheezeburger.

“This is a quite clumsily drafted legislation which is dangerous for an open Internet,” said Wales in an interview.

The decision to black out the site was decided by voting within the Wikipedia community of writers and editors who manage the free service, Wales said. The English language Wikipedia receives more than 25 million average daily visitors from around the world, according to comScore data.

The bills pit technology companies like Google Inc and Facebook against the bill’s supporters, including Hollywood studios and music labels, which say the legislation is needed to protect intellectual property and jobs.

Opposition to the bill is mounting. The Hollywood studios and recording industry needs to get with modern society and stop trying to hold back the proverbial waters, like modern day King Canutes.

 


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  • Anonymous

    How similar is this to the legislation that was passed in NZ last year?

  • Anonymous

    What!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  No   reddit/nsfw    ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

  • Korau
  • I’ll have my Wikipedia without a side of politics please… Jesus… I think I’d like to pay for Britannica now or something. For all the information it has, Wikipedia is totally stupid as an organisation. They should get with the times, fund their expenses with small ads for commercial products (in stead of huge ones for donations), and not use their website as a protest vehicle. People’s intellectual property deserves to be protected. 

  • I’ll have my Wikipedia without a side of politics please… Jesus… I think I’d like to pay for Britannica now or something. For all the information it has, Wikipedia is totally stupid as an organisation. They should get with the times, fund their expenses with small ads for commercial products (in stead of huge ones for donations), and not use their website as a protest vehicle. People’s intellectual property deserves to be protected. 

    • Tristanb

      It’s a private organisation, and can do want it wants.

      • True, but I am a private individual, and can criticise it as I see fit. They shouldn’t be protesting against intellectual property, when they themselves are custodians of it. They really should be apolitical anyway, if they wish to be viewed as an unbiased source. 

    • Paul Rain

      Intellectual property law originated in an effort to ensure genuine public good could be derived from the wider use of innovations like the Chamberlen forceps. Rap music and boy bands are a stain on what remains of our culture, and do not deserve such protection.

  • Anyway, luckily only the English version will be down. Je pourrais lire la version Francais, si necessaire.

  • Pharmachick

    To be fair, this piece of “legislation” is utter crap and was produced almost solely at the behest of lobbyists.

    However, Wikipedia’s stance is trite … they sat on the fence and … sat and … sat and … until another site with real pull (in this case Reddit) came out first. Once could argue this is a result of Wikipedia’s democratic and common mentality, or one could argue that Jimmy Wales sat on the fence long enough not to endanger his own meal ticket. Both may be somewhat valid.

    • Paul Rain

      The principal impact of this is going to be reporters losing their favourite source to crib articles from- good to have it occurring closer to the vote.

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