Posted by: twotrees | January 18, 2012

Wikipedia Goes Dark

Wikipedia, the world’s best encyclopedia, went dark just an hour ago as part of a 24 hour protest. Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, has taken a stand against two potentially stifling pieces of legislation that could diminish the web’s ability to disseminate information. Here’s their take on the situation:
• The Wikipedia community has blacked out the English version of Wikipedia for 24 hours on January 18th to raise awareness about legislation being proposed by the U.S. Congress — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate — and to encourage readers to speak out against it. This legislation, if passed, will harm the free and open Internet. If you are in the United States, let your congressional representative know what you think of the proposed legislation by clicking here.
• Although the bills have been amended since their introduction, they are still deeply problematic. Among other serious problems in the current draft of the bills, the requirement exists for US-based sites to actively police links to purported infringing sites. These kinds of self-policing activities are non-sustainable for large, global sites – including ones like Wikipedia. The legislative language is ambiguous and overly broad, even though it touches on protected speech. Congress says it’s trying to protect the rights of copyright owners, but the “cure” that SOPA and PIPA represent is worse than the disease.
Check it out for yourself here: http://wikipedia.org/

PS – Google has apparently joined the effort by placing a black banner over their homepage logo here:  http://www.google.com

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