Wikipedia Blackout in Protest Over SOPA & PIPA
Wikipedia blackout in protest over SOPA & PIPA legislation proposals in the US.
Wikipedia is one of a number of high profile internet companies which has put up a holding page for 24 hours explaining a blackout and why people cannot access the site.
Wikipedia and others say the acts are so broad and badly constructed that they will have an impact way beyond the issue of piracy.
The legislation allows the sort of interference by Government agencies and courts that the Chinese government currently employs to block websites it deems inappropriate.
The idea behind the legislation is that it will allow content owners and the Justice Department the ability to order search engines to block results associated with piracy to therefore cut off their customer and money supply. To force advertisers, ISP’s and payment processors from doing business with those sites.
Supporters say that it is designed to stop the flow of money to to these ‘rogue sites’.
In reality it would mean that any website would have to monitor everything that anyone posted on their site to ensure that don’t get hit by SOPA or PIPA.
You can imagine how difficult this could be for many sites such as twitter, facebook, EBay, reddit or even a small business that has a small community or forum.
That is even before you get into the question of whether something is infringing copyright, intellectually property or not.
Wikipedia made a statement on their website,
“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”
Google maintain that SOPA and PIPA won’t even hit their intended target, the pirates. They state that piracy sites will just change their addresses and carry on as normal.
The protest is one of the first times that the internet and technology companies have effectively come together to form a lobbying group with enough power to take on the traditional lobbying groups of the media industry.
Google are running a petition against SOPA and PIPA where you can find out more. https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/