Welcome, Guest! - or
Easy to remember!  »  VinNews.com

New York - Wikipedia to Shut for 24 Hours to Stop Anti-Piracy Act

Published on: January 16, 2012 08:36 PM
By: AP
Change text size Text Size  

New York - Wikipedia will black out the English language version of its website Wednesday to protest anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress, the foundation behind the popular community-based online encyclopedia said in a statement Monday night.

The website will go dark for 24 hours in an unprecedented move that brings added muscle to a growing base of critics of the legislation. Wikipedia is considered one of the Internet’s most popular websites, with millions of visitors daily.

“If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States,” the Wikimedia foundation said.

The Stop Online Piracy Act in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Protect Intellectual Property Act under consideration in the Senate are designed to crack down on sales of pirated U.S. products overseas.

Supporters include the film and music industry, which often sees its products sold illegally. They say the legislation is needed to protect intellectual property and jobs.

Advertisement:

Critics say the legislation could hurt the technology industry and infringe on free-speech rights. Among their concerns are provisions that would weaken cyber-security for companies and hinder domain access rights.

The most controversial provision is in the House bill, which would have enabled federal authorities to “blacklist” sites that are alleged to distribute pirated content. That would essentially cut off portions of the Internet to all U.S. users. But congressional leaders appear to be backing off this provision.

Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, eBay, AOL and others have spoken out against the legislation and said it threatens the industry’s livelihood. Several online communities such as Reddit, Boing Boing and others have announced plans to go dark in protest as well.

The Obama administration also raised concerns about the legislation over the weekend and said it will work with Congress on legislation to help battle piracy and counterfeiting while defending free expression, privacy, security and innovation in the Internet.

Wikipedia’s decision to go dark brings the issue into a much brighter spotlight. A group of Wikipedia users have discussed for more than a month whether it should react to the legislation.

Over the past few days, a group of more than 1,800 volunteers who work on the site and other users considered several forms of online protest, including banner ads and a global blackout of the site, the foundation said. Ultimately, the group supported the decision to black out the English version of the site.

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia who first announced the move on his Twitter account Monday, said the bills are a threat to the free, open, and secure web.

“The whole thing is just a poorly designed mess,” Wales said in an email to The Associated Press.

Wikipedia is also requesting that readers contact members of Congress about the bill during the blackout.

“I am personally asking everyone who cares about freedom and openness on the Internet to contact their Senators and Representative,” Wales said. “One of the things we have learned recently during the Arab spring events is that the Internet is a powerfully effective tool for the public to organize and have their voices heard.”

Wikipedia will shut down access from midnight Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday night until midnight Wednesday.

This is the first time Wikipedia’s English version has gone dark. Its Italian site came down once briefly in protest to an Internet censorship bill put forward by the Berlusconi government; the bill did not advance.

“Wikipedia is about being open,” said Jay Walsh, spokesman for the Wikimedia foundation. “We are not about shutting down and protesting. It’s not a muscle that is normally flexed.”



More of today's headlines

California - Kosher food in prison. Only a few deserve it, but all inmates covet it and scheme to get it. If one non-Jew slips through the net, it could set an... Kiryas Joel, NY - VIN News has confirmed that a historical reconciliation appears to be underway between Satmar and Belz after decades of conflict and hostility. The...

 

Total8

Read Comments (8)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 16, 2012 at 09:57 PM MordyS Says:

This is worst than a fast day!

2

 Jan 16, 2012 at 10:39 PM MosheM Says:

Sad! It's the best website on the web after Google and VIN of course.

3

 Jan 16, 2012 at 11:36 PM Reb Yid Says:

As it is, the DMCA already allows basically anyone with a rights interest in something to threaten any website displaying that content. This has a chilling effect because the website simply takes it off rather than risk litigation with highly punitive consequences.

4

 Jan 17, 2012 at 04:36 AM SherryTheNoahide Says:

Good for them! I'm frightened about the over-reach this could have on the American internet websites one day for sure! More & more countries are trying to take "ownership" of the net & give themselves the power & capability to shut everything down whenever they want to!

Websites, blogs... even the whole darn internet, if they so choose! They do it over in Iran & in countries like that all the time! Do we really want laws like this here in the USA?!

Some might argue "Well if you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have to worry about getting shut down", but I think that's a weak argument, considering we're talking about our basic rights & civil liberties here! They're already making it capable to detain American citizens indefinitely w\out a trial or lawyer to defend them... so what's next?!

Sometimes I get frustrated, because it seems like no matter whether it's a Democrat in Office or a Republican, (Homeland Security & the Patriot Act were no better laws under Bush)... somehow it's always the common American who's rights get slowly chipped away more & more!

All in the interests of catching the very select few of us who are criminals?

5

 Jan 17, 2012 at 07:29 AM sabbes Says:

Reply to #1  
MordyS Says:

This is worst than a fast day!

because a fastday finish at night and wikipedia is black till midnight!

6

 Jan 17, 2012 at 05:58 PM Mordechai_Ben_Yaakov Says:

Reply to #4  
SherryTheNoahide Says:

Good for them! I'm frightened about the over-reach this could have on the American internet websites one day for sure! More & more countries are trying to take "ownership" of the net & give themselves the power & capability to shut everything down whenever they want to!

Websites, blogs... even the whole darn internet, if they so choose! They do it over in Iran & in countries like that all the time! Do we really want laws like this here in the USA?!

Some might argue "Well if you're not doing anything wrong, you don't have to worry about getting shut down", but I think that's a weak argument, considering we're talking about our basic rights & civil liberties here! They're already making it capable to detain American citizens indefinitely w\out a trial or lawyer to defend them... so what's next?!

Sometimes I get frustrated, because it seems like no matter whether it's a Democrat in Office or a Republican, (Homeland Security & the Patriot Act were no better laws under Bush)... somehow it's always the common American who's rights get slowly chipped away more & more!

All in the interests of catching the very select few of us who are criminals?

Read Mark Levin's new book Ameritopia.

7

 Jan 17, 2012 at 11:39 PM SherryTheNoahide Says:

Reply to #6  
Mordechai_Ben_Yaakov Says:

Read Mark Levin's new book Ameritopia.

I'd love to read Levin's book, because I'm really into that sort of thing, but the guy's mindset really disturbs me. And trust me, he's not a fan of mine either! (LOL) Our political views are just REALLY far apart.

I actually respect his knowledge level, his communication skills, his talent.

I just think he's a radical-Right individual, who doesn't know how to give our President credit for ANYTHING & who allows his "Obama Derangement Syndrome" to cloud his perspective greatly!

Even things that have nothing to do w\Obama, he will find a way to make it about him. And it's ALWAYS like this.

I'm pretty Liberal mind you... but even *I* don't bash Bush that much!

I at least don't blame Bush for crimes that Other People Do, 1\2 way across the globe... or for things that were out of his control & took place before he even got into office!

But Mr. Levin makes radical claims, like, "Obama tanked this economy!"

It's like, he did?! (LOL) I didn't realize Obama had THAT much power during the crash of Sept '08 & all the years leading up to it... to be solely responsible for the economy completely tanking!

Anyway, Mr. Levin is a very smart & respectable person though...

Thanks! (:-D

8

 Jan 18, 2012 at 06:59 AM sabbes Says:

it is still working from my cellphone!

9

Sign-in to post a comment

Click here to sign-in.

Scroll Up
Advertisements:
Sell your scrap gold and broken jewelry and earn hard cash sell gold today!