Wikipedia has been off as of 7:30am this morning.
ORGINIAL POST: 5:30am
Wikipedia will be turning black in just over 2 hours today! A warning has been posted on Wikipedia but the good news is that it’s not only Cape Town. The WHOLE of Wikipedia will be shutting down for 24 hours in protest to the newly proposed information bills in the United States.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) will seriously infringe on open media sites like Wikipedia.org where information is built by millions of contributors and shared by millions of users alike.
- “Wikimedia projects are organizing and summarizing and collecting the world’s knowledge. We’re putting it in context, and showing people how to make to sense of it.
- But that knowledge has to be published somewhere for anyone to find and use it. Where it can be censored without due process, it hurts the speaker, the public, and Wikimedia.”
- – Kat Walsh, Wikipedia Foundation Board Member.
According to Ananova.com, the intention of the acts are to
“…to crack down on sales of pirated US products overseas. Critics say it could hurt the technology industry and infringes on free speech rights.” – Ananova.com
as well as to
“…seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. Depending on who makes the request, the court order could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators from doing business with the allegedly infringing website, barring search engines from linking to such sites, and requiring Internet service providers to block access to such sites. The bill would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a crime…” – Wikipedia.org
Wikipedia is not the only site taking action against these bills, WordPress.com has already begun to show protest by blacking out featured blogs. Imagine a word where opinion and information can not be easily shared? This is half of what makes the internet as great as it is.
My suggestion is not to complain about the lack of ‘service’ today but to rather support any trends on Twitter, pages on Facebook, etc. in order to help stop this bill or to help amend the bill. Plagiarism is wrong but stopping information being shared around the world is even worse.