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Archive for January, 2012|Monthly archive page

Wikipedia down until midnight

In Uncategorized on January 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

This statement appeared on Wikipedia's homepage during the blackout.

Wikipedia’s English language site is down until midnight Thursday. The online encyclopedia is protesting a controversial piece of U.S. legislation currently being considered by congress.

If passed, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would allow the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to file injunctions against websites that commit copyright infringement, meaning sites like YouTube, Wikipedia and Tumblr would likely cease to exist.

“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,” a statement on Wikipedia.com reads.

Visitors to Boing Boing, WordPress and Reddit are being redirected to SOPAStrike.com.

Web giants Google, Facebook and Twitter are opposed to the bill but are not suspending their services.

Supporters of SOPA include most major television networks, book publishers and movie studios. A statement from the Motion Picture Association of America says 2.2 million industry jobs are at risk due to online piracy.

“A so-called ‘blackout’ is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals. It is our hope that the White House and the Congress will call on those who intend to stage this ‘blackout’ to stop the hyperbole and PR stunts and engage in meaningful efforts to combat piracy,” said CEO Chris Dodd, also a former U.S. senator.

For those looking to work around the blackout, Wikipedia is still viewable on mobile devices.

Alternatively, cached versions of Wikipedia pages can be accessed through Google.

* Published on January 18, 2012 at the Ryersonian

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