Wikipedia Will be Offline Globally to Protest SOPA and PIPA
For the first time Wikipedia is protesting against something by remaining offline for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 2012. The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate. If passed, these bills would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia. Only English version of Wikipedia will be offline on Wednesday for 24 hours.
The following message can be seen at the Wikipedia website:
Please note: In less than 18 hours,
the English Wikipedia will be blacked out globally to protest SOPA and PIPA.
What is SOPA and PIPA
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or H.R.3261, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011. The bill expands the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and they can seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. Depending on request, the actions could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators (PayPal) from doing business with the infringing website; barring search engines from linking to such sites and more.
Jimmy Wales Co-Founder of Wikipedia announced this blackout via a series of tweets. Jimmy Wales confirmed that it will be a global blackout of English Wikipedia. Wales tweeted that Wikipedia English receives approximately 25 million visitors every day. At Wednesday, those visitors will not be served with free knowledge that Wikipedia offers to everyone. They will be greeted with a screen explaining the company’s stance on the bill and information on how to take action against SOPA.
Previously, the authors of SOPA and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) announced they would be removing the DNS blocking provisions from both bills. Interfering with DNS would have catastrophic consequences for the stability and security of the Internet.
So, no Wikipedia this Wednesday. We hope that other websites will also join this protest against PIPA and SOPA. According to one resource SOPA got aborted but the PIPA is still active.