Wikipedia to Shutdown on January 18 to protest against SOPA and PIPA

Wikipedia has planned a blackout on January 18 in protest of the controversial U.S anti –piracy legislation. The English version of the Web Encyclopedia will be unavailable for 24 hours beginning 5am (GMT) on Wednesday, 18th January to 5am on Thursday.

The move comes as a part of ongoing protests by various online protests against the censorship of the Internet. Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives and PROTECTIP (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate are bills impending to be passed. If these proposed legislations become laws, it would mean a censorship of various international websites inside the United States. Various search engines and Internet Service Providers will block websites that violate copyright laws. The law empowers copyright holders and US Judges the right to shutdown websites, if any website illegally holds copyright material such as music or movies. Previously, the website owners would be notified and the content would be removed by them.

Detractors of the bill believe it will constrict the free and open Internet, hence limiting our ability to create and innovate and it will also affect the millions of people who earn their bread through the Internet. The SOPA is heavily backed by the movie and music industry; which are most affected by online piracy. Google and Facebook have already lodged their displeasure over the bill stating it would stall technological innovation. Wikipedia is one of the first major players to jump into action rather than just oppose the bill. Wikipedians across the world voted to make the decision.

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia broke the news on a lighter note when he tweeted “Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday!” he further went on to add “We have no indication that SOPA is fully off the table. We need to send Washington a BIG message” in another tweet.

Members of Congress said they would not back down from their stance against online piracy, however were not in favor of censorship of the Internet or anything against free speech.

Wikipedia has 20 Million articles contributed by more than 100,000 people across the globe, come the 18th of January be ready to spend a whole day on the Internet without the help of Wikipedia.

One Response to “Wikipedia to Shutdown on January 18 to protest against SOPA and PIPA”

  1. Says:

    Thanks :)

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