Break Out the Encyclopedia Britannica: Wikipedia May Go Dark to Protest SOPA

Ryan Whitwam

Wikipedia is not alone among Internet companies in its steadfast opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). Although being one of the most visited sites on the planet, and the sole reason many degree programs were completed, gives it some additional clout. Founder Jimmy Wales is mulling a plan to blank out Wikidedia in protest of SOPA in the near future.

There was a similar protest a few weeks ago with sites like Tumblr self-censoring in order to get users to call their congressional representatives. For Wikipedia to do the same would surely send shockwaves across the intertubes. Wales solicited advice from the Wikipedia community on the idea, and the responses were overwhelmingly positive. The Italian Wikipeda was successful in stopping a similar measure in that country with a blackout.

Many fear that SOPA’s Machiavellian copyright regulations would be disastrous for the Internet. Supporters claim that measures like domain seizures and the elimination of safe harbor are necessary to protect the entertainment industry and rights-holders. Would you support a short-term Wikipedia blackout to protest SOPA?

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