Wikipedia to Shut Down for 24 Hours to Protest Anti-Piracy Law

World | January 17, 2012, Tuesday // 12:22|  views

Wikipedia cofounder Jimmy Wales plans to shut down the website for 24 hours on January to protest SOPA. Photo by BGNES

Jimmy Wales, cofounder of free online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has decided to shut down the website for 24 hours Wednesday to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

In doing so, Wikipedia joins a long list of web companies that are taking similar measures against the controversial antipiracy bill, announced.

"Final details under consideration but consensus seems to be for 'full' rather than 'soft' blackout!, Wales said.

Last week, the news aggregation site, Reddit, announced it would shut down for 12 hours on Wednesday to express its displeasure with SOPA and Protect IP, its Senate counterpart.

Other sites, including the Cheezburger Network, home to massively popular Internet meme sites like I Can Has Cheezburger, have also said they will join Wednesday's "black out" protest.

The two bills are backed by a wide group of copyright owners, including major record companies and Hollywood film studios, who say that online piracy has damaged their business.

However, Web companies and human rights groups have asserted that the proposed legislation will harm harm freedom of expression online and will create new tools for censorship of international websites inside the US.

"We have no indication that SOPA is fully off the table. We need to send Washington a BIG message," Wales wrote on Twitter.

Wikipedia will be inaccessible for 24 hours and the outage will affect only the English language version of the site.

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Tags: Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia, internet piracy, copyright, Mozilla Firefox


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