Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Term Paper Due Tomorrow? Don't Count on Wikipedia

Posted By on Tue, Jan 17, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Don't make any plans to use Wikipedia Wednesday, or for that matter Reddit or Boing Boing. The popular websites are scheduled to go dark through much of the day, in protest of the pending SOPA and PIPA measures. The Web strike is scheduled to begin at 6 a.m. Mountain Time on Wednesday, ending at 6 p.m.

The Stop Online Piracy Act and the PRotect IP Act are two bills in Congress designed to stop illegal copying and sharing of movies and music on the Internet, but opponents say the bills would put providers in an impossible position of policing the Web.

As a result, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has decided to shut down for the day, joining a budding movement to protest the bills. Wikipedia is the sixth-most-visited site in the world.

"This is going to be 'Wow,'" Wales tweeted. "I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday."

Reddit and Boing Boing will join in the protest. And while Google, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr have officially opposed the proposed legislation, they have yet to commit to the online blackout.

"If you want an Internet where human rights, free speech and the rule of law are not subordinated to the entertainment industry's profits, I hope you'll join us," said Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow.

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