Wikipedia SOPA / PIPA Blackout Tomorrow

SOPA Wikipedia Shut DownIn a move sure to strike fear into pub quiz teams and students alike, Wikipedia will be offline for 24 hours on Wednesday in protest against SOPA and PIPA, the controversial anti-piracy laws being considered by the US government.

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and its sister bill, PIPA (Protect Intellectual Property Act) would give movie studios, record labels and other copyright holders, as well as American Justice officials, the power to close websites down that are considered to be giving access to pirated material.

The English-language version of Wikipedia, which gets 25million hits per day, will be joining a day-long online blackout.

Founder, Jimmy Wales, tweeted “It is a decision of the Wikipedia community. I’m proud to be able in some small way to have a leadership role against censorship”

If they’re successful in securing court orders against websites accused of copyright infringement, the proposed laws would force US-based Internet service providers, search engines, payment and advertising companies to stop accessing, linking or doing business with those sites.

SOPA isn’t looking too strong at the moment after technology companies such as Google and Mozilla fought back. SOPA supporters such as hosting company GoDaddy have been forced to change their stance after customers protested by going elsewhere for their hosting needs.

Even the White House has spoken out to criticise the bill, saying the law must “guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses, large and small.”

Wikipedia and other participating sites will be blacked out for 24 hours from 5am on Wednesday.

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