Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Wikipedia is Down

This is not a joke, not a hack, not a prank. Protesting the pending U.S. Law that could potentially - and I agree - destroy the Cyberspace we all live in, Wikipedia has shut down for the day (Unless you want to used a non-English version of Wikipedia). Visit their English home page and you'll get this shadowy image along with the statement:
"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."

They are protesting SOPA  the Sop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in the US. Congress and Senate. According to the SOPA Wiki page (The only English page left standing) "This legislation, if passed, will harm the free and open Internet. If you are in the United States, let your congressional representative know what you think of the proposed legislation by clicking here."

Details on the page state:

  • The blackout will last 24 hours -- from midnight to midnight EST (05:00 UTC Wed to 05:00 UTC Thu).
  • This decision was made by Wikipedia’s global community of editors -- the people who built Wikipedia. The Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, also opposes SOPA and PIPA, and supports the editors' blackout.
  • SOPA and PIPA are real threats to the free and open Internet. Although recent media reports have suggested that the bills are losing support, they are not dead. On January 17th, SOPA's sponsor said the bill will be discussed and pushed forward in early February. PIPA could be debated in the U.S. Senate as soon as next week. There is a need to send a strong message that bills like SOPA and PIPA must not move forward: they will cause too much damage.
  • Although the bills have been amended since their introduction, they are still deeply problematic. Among other serious problems in the current draft of the bills, the requirement exists for US-based sites to actively police links to purported infringing sites. These kinds of self-policing activities are non-sustainable for large, global sites - including ones like Wikipedia. The legislative language is ambiguous and overly broad, even though it touches on protected speech. Congress says it's trying to protect the rights of copyright owners, but the "cure" that SOPA and PIPA represent is worse than the disease.

The Dark Lord Dungeon officially voices it's protest against SOPA and PIPA.

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