Wikipedia joins web blackout in Sopa Act protest

Wikipedia joins web blackout in Sopa Act protest

Tuesday, 17 January 2012
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Description

Wikipedia plans to take its English-language site offline on Wednesday as part of protests against proposed anti-piracy laws in the US.

The user-generated news site Reddit and the blog Boing Boing have also said they will take part in the "blackout".

The sites' webmasters are opposed to the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (Pipa) being debated by Congress.

However, Twitter has declined to take part in the shutdown.

Wikipedia's founder, Jimmy Wales, told the BBC: "Proponents of Sopa have characterised the opposition as being people who want to enable piracy or defend piracy.

"But that's not really the point. The point is the bill is so over broad and so badly written that it's going to impact all kinds of things that, you know, don't have anything to do with stopping piracy."

Veto hint

Sopa's supporters in the House of Representatives say the legislation is designed to stop revenue flowing to "rogue websites".

It would give content owners and the US government the power to request court orders to shut down sites associated with piracy.

It could also force US-based internet service providers, search engines, payment processors and advertising networks to stop doing business or offering links to foreign sites suspected of involvement with the illegal activity.

A similar law, Pipa, is making its way through the US Senate.

On Saturday the White House issued a statement that appeared to side with critics of the Acts.

It said: "While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global internet."

Source

BBC Technology News

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