Wikipedia SOPA Blockout

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Oz. The hallmark of the successful online protest against SOPA was the blackout of Wikipedia for a day.

Oz

This paper tracks the internal dynamics that led to Wikipedia’s blackout and focuses on the place that legitimacy and authority had in crafting the debate. Contents1. Introduction2. Authority and community: Legitimacy on Wikipedia3. Utilizing legitimacy: The process leading to Wikipedia’s blackout4. We are the media, and so are you. Change like this needed a fresh set of voices.

We are the media, and so are you

The established tech giants may have newfound political influence, but their fights are still the same closed-door tussles over minor details. They have been at the table, and they have too much invested in the process to change it. More important, they are constrained by obligations to their shareholders and investors, as well as by the need to maintain relationships with their advertisers, partners and customers. Wikipedia, its users and its contributors don’t have the same constraints. We don’t rely on advertising dollars or content partnerships. Wikipedia is not opposed to the rights of creators — we have the largest collection of creators in human history. We are not interested in becoming full-time advocates; protests like the Wikipedia blackout are a last resort. It’s absolutely right that Congress cares about the content industry, recognizing its ability to innovate, to create wealth and to improve lives.

Wikipedia blackout - a UK lawyer's perspective. SOPA and the Wikipedia blackout – A UK lawyer’s perspective Wikimedia, the Foundation responsible for Wikipedia has today taken the unprecedented step of implementing a 24 hour “blackout” of the Wikipedia website in protest at proposed new anti-piracy laws in the US.

Wikipedia blackout - a UK lawyer's perspective

The protests are aimed at two bills – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect-IP Act (PIPA) presently under consideration by Congress. In November, other internet companies including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Ebay issued a joint letter expressing opposition to SOPA and last week the European Parliament adopted a resolution which “stresses the need to protect the integrity of the global internet and freedom of communication by refraining from unilateral measures to revoke IP addresses or domain names”. Much has been written about the rights and wrongs of SOPA and I’m not sure that, speaking as a lawyer who advises both IP rights holders and businesses setting up websites, I’m best placed to give an unbiased view. SOPA protests: Southwest Michigan reacts to day of Internet blackouts. Gazette/Katie Selden Kevin Charron, of Kalamazoo, enjoys free wifi at Fourth Coast Cafe on Wednesday, Jan. 18.

SOPA protests: Southwest Michigan reacts to day of Internet blackouts

"Knowledge should be free," said Charron, when asked to comment on the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (S.O.P.A). Teachers might rejoice at the prospect of their students being forced to go without Wikipedia, but some in Southwest Michigan were going through withdrawal Wednesday without access to a host of Internet sites, including Wikipedia and Reddit, in what backers are calling the largest protest in Internet history. Pockets of Internet go dark to protest piracy bills. Wikipedia considering joining SOPA blackout protest. Count Wikipedia among the growing number of sites that are likely to take action against SOPA.

Wikipedia considering joining SOPA blackout protest

As anger towards the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act grows, more and more people and organizations are joining the fight against the bipartisan Congressional legislation. ( See CNET's FAQ on SOPA .) Earlier this week, the news site Reddit announced it would shut down for 12 hours on January 18 in a bid to make its displeasure known about SOPA and its Senate counterpart, the Protect IP Act. And now, there are strong signs that Wikipedia may express its community's protest sentiment, although it's not yet known in what form. Other sites, including the Cheezburger Network, home to massively popular Internet meme sites like I Can Has Cheezburger , have also said they will shut down on January 18. And the tide may be turning against SOPA.

Wikipedia discussion In a discussion thread about what to do about SOPA, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales indicated his inclination to shut down Wikipedia on January 18: