Wikipedia SOPA Blockout
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Change like this needed a fresh set of voices. 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.
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. 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”.
Gazette/Katie Selden Kevin Charron, of Kalamazoo, enjoys free wifi at Fourth Coast Cafe on Wednesday, Jan. 18. "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.
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A bipartisan coalition in Congress is trying to push through the Stop Online Piracy Act, but a growing number of Web sites--including Wikipedia--appear poised to register strong protest the legislation. (Credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET) Count Wikipedia among the growing number of sites that are likely to take action against SOPA. 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.