Wikipedia is protesting against proposed anti-piracy legislation in the US by taking part in a web-blackout tomorrow.
Founder of the online collaborative encyclopaedia, Jimmy Wales, announced its participation in an online blackout yesterday. He added: “I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday.” Wikipedia joins opposition against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).
The decision was taken after 1800 Wikipedia collaborators discussed their options over the last three days on a Wikipedia discussion thread. Other sites including Reddit and blog Boing Boing will be taking part in the blackout. Stop SOPA activists were also hoping that Twitter would join them, but the micro-blogging site has declined.
“Wikipedians from around the world have spoken about their opposition to this destructive legislation,” said Wales. “While we regret having to prevent the world from having access to Wikipedia for even a second, we simply cannot ignore the fact that SOPA and PIPA endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world.”
The action hopes to make more people aware of the legislation and encourage more of them to contact their representative or relevant branch of government for those living outside the US.
SOPA and PIPA have drawn a lot of attention from technology, entertainment, media and political sectors. Over the weekend News Corporation chief executive Rupert Murdoch attacked the White House for its position on the anti-piracy legislation.
David Hing, London