While many major media companies are backing the bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate, the tech industry fears that the bills will bestow much power upon media companies to shut down sites that they think are violating copyrights. Photo: Wikipedia
Visit Wikipedia, and you won't find those extremely useful articles. Instead, a message shows up that reads:
Imagine a World
Without Free Knowledge
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.
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The blackout starts at 12 a.m. ET on Wednesday.
While many major media companies are backing the bills, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate, the tech industry fears that the bills will bestow undue power upon media companies to shut down sites that they think are violating copyrights.
Protesters argued that SOPA would render any Web site containing links, regardless of whether they are user-submitted, practically inoperable or liable to government take-down, Mashable reported.
The search engine giant Google has also announced its stand for the support of the protest. Although Google won't go dark, it will put a link on its homepage on Wednesday to explain its disagreement to SOPA and its sibling PIPA.
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales opened up a discussion with the Wikipedia community as to whether it should protest the bills. They also held a vote that resulted in overwhelming response in favor of protesting the law.
It was hundreds of people who voted. The number of people participating in the discussion was 1,800, Wales told CNN on Tuesday.
Who Else is Protesting?
iSchool at Syracuse University
Good Old Games
SOPA Blackout Jan. 18: Wikipedia Goes Dark, Google Supports Protest; Who Else? Photo: SOPAStrike.com
SOPAStrike.com has also provided another big unfiltered list of sites that are rumored to go dark. The list includes sites like Twitter and Facebook, although they said earlier that they'll stay online.
The Web site has also listed resources to help black out your own site. The resources include plug-ins and code such as Zachary Johnson's STOP SOPA.
A message on the SOPAStrike.com's homepage reads:
On Jan 24th, Congress will vote to pass internet censorship in the Senate, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill - PIPA in the Senate and SOPA in the House - to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity. We need internet companies to follow Reddit's lead and stand up for the web, as we internet users are doing every day.
CloudFlare, a startup dedicated towards protecting and optimizing Web sites, has also released its Stop Censorship app, which helps Web site owners to provisionally black out portions of their sites, Mashable reported.