Wikipedia Goes Offline Today

by on January 18th, 2012


And the English Wikipedia goes offline. First thing I was curious about this morning was Wikipedia’s blackout.

The English page of Wikipedia is displaying the following message:

For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia.

And if you proceed you will get the full protesting message against PIPA and SOPA from wikipedia’s global community of editors. The blackout will last 24 hours – from midnight to midnight EST (05:00 UTC Wed to 05:00 UTC Thu).

According to the wikipedia’s global community of editors, SOPA and PIPA are real threats to the free and open Internet. Recent media reports have suggested that the bills are losing support, but they are not dead. On January 17th, SOPA’s sponsor said the bill will be discussed and pushed forward in early February. PIPA could be debated in the U.S. Senate as soon as next week. There is a need to send a strong message that bills like SOPA and PIPA must not move forward: they will cause too much damage to the free and open information online.

The bills have been amended since their introduction, they are still deeply problematic. Current draft of the bills suggest the requirement of US-based sites to actively police links to purported infringing sites. These kinds of self-policing activities are non-sustainable for large, global sites. Congress says it’s trying to protect the rights of copyright owners, but the “cure” that SOPA and PIPA represent is worse than the disease.

SOPA and PIPA aim to put burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won’t have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn’t being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted from major search engines.

For over a decade, Wikipedians have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. This proposed legislation could seriously damage Wikipedia and many other websites.

We support the protest and protest SOPA and PIPA. Spread this message over social community websites and wherever you may feel necessary to support the cause. Proceed to the Wikipedia and learn what more you can do to support this cause.

2 Reviews

  1. Ahmad says:

    For Mozilla Firefox users, do this today on Wikipedia pages:
    View -> Page Style -> No Style