Wikipedia joined blackout to protest SOPA
Date added: 17 Jan 2012
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Students' favorite information source will join Reddit and a growing list of websites in an anti-SOPA blackout, on Wednesday.
You probably don’t need me to tell you about SOPA. The “Stop Online Piracy Act” has been discussed everywhere lately. You probably already know that if this bill passes, ISPs will be accountable for any allegedly pro-piracy site. Any website will be responsible for content posted by its users, and even the slightest suspicion of copyright infringement will be enough to ban access to a site.
Seeing how this bill could damage free speech and innovation on the Web, it’s not strange that many Internet-based companies are opposing it. We’ve talked before about a possible blackout on January 23, when Google, Facebook, Twitter and other major companies would be offline for 24 hours in protest, but it hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Websites are going dark as soon as Wednesday
There has been a lot of speculation and many sites have been offering their support to fight the bill. However, the first major gesture came from Reddit, with a confirmed blackout on January 18. Ever since news of the popular site going offline first came out, several other webpages have joined the initiative as well.
Sites like the Cheezburger Network, Destructoid and Red 5 Studios, all of wich could be severely harmed by SOPA, have confirmed to go dark. Latest to join the protest was Wikipedia. Jimmy Wales announced on Twitter that the English part of the most popular web among students will be offline for 24hs. Starting on midnight EST, every user who attempts to enter the site on Wednesday 18 will see a banner with information about the dreaded bill.
This kind of protests, as well as growing opposition, could actually be taking effect on the bill. One of the most controversial parts of the bill, DNS blocking, will be removed, at least for the time being. Moreover, the hearing scheduled for this Wednesday has been postponed in order to build consensus before voting.
The bill has been delayed indefinitely, but it is far from dead. Even if President Obama stated that he will not support SOPA, its supporters are expected to regroup and come back with a revised bill. There’s also a similar Act, “Protect IP”, wich has been scheduled to go before the Senate on January 24.
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