Wikipedia has come back with a message saying We're turning the lights back on. Help us keep them shining brightly.
During their blackout to protest against SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (the Protect Intellectual Property Act), according to Wikipedia, 162 million people read their anti-SOPA message and 8 million people looked up their elected representative contact information via the Wikipedia tool to speak in defense of a free and open Internet.
As a result, Congress switchboards got shut down and their server got melted. As anti-SOPA and PIPA movement went global on Twitter too, #wikipediablackout constituted 1% of all tweets. And SOPA accounted for a quarter-million tweets hourly during the blackout.
On Jan. 19, at midnight, (Eastern Time), Wikipedia English version unveiled its face appreciating users' support, saying, Thank you for protecting Wikipedia. (We're not done yet). The popular, free online encyclopedia also urged people to keep calling local representatives to tell them I oppose SOPA and PIPA as fight is not finished yet.
As for the question on whether it is fight between Hollywood and Silicon Valley, Wikipedia mentioned clearly that they are not motivated by commercial self-interest.
Unlike Hollywood and Silicon Valley, Wikipedia has no financial stake in SOPA and PIPA: we do not benefit from copyright infringement, nor are we trying to monetize traffic or sell ads. Wikipedia, and other non-profit, community-generated sites, exist to freely share knowledge, without infringing on intellectual property rights. We are protesting to protect your rights. We're on your side. a Wikipedia statement read.
So What is the Next Move ?
Congress will vote on SOPA and PIPA in February and January respectively. Still the fight between censorship and civil liberties on free knowledge and open Internet is going on. On Wednesday, millions of people could experience the 24 hour blackout of the Internet world, though partially. According to OpenCongress, 24 senators now oppose PIPA (the senate version of SOPA). Moreover, 18 senators have backed away from the proposed legislation. It is possible that both SOPA and PIPA may not see the light of the day. And, if they do see, it could plunge the Internet world into total darkness.
So, if you believe that SOPA and PIPA are against free knowledge and Internet freedom, it is not late yet to raise your voices.