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Wikipedia protests against “internet blacklist”

18 Jan 2012 2:35 GMT Back
Wikipedia protests against “internet blacklist”
Person online on laptop

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Today (18 January 2012) sees a total blackout of the English version of Wikipedia in protest against proposed US legislation designed to fight online piracy

Wikipedia is the first organisation to take action in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (Pipa). 

The two bills are in the House of Representatives (Sopa) and Senate (Pipa), and are expected to be voted on next month.

If passed, the bills will allow government and corporations to order an internet service provide to block and entire website accused of copyright infringement.

While much of the debate focuses on what is seen as internet censorship and an attempt by big business and government to control information, it has implications for any website that links to hosting sites such as YouTube or Wordpress.  

It could, for instance, result in an entire website containing thousands of pages (eg YouTube) being blocked if it a single page on its site is accused of copyright infringement

Sopa could require internet providers to monitor traffic on their sites and block websites suspected of copyright infringement, or face being shut down.  

As the bills target companies that provide internet connectivity it is no surprise that other opponents include Google, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Mozilla and LinkedIn

Sopa proposes penalising copyright holders who knowingly make false claims of illegal activity against a website but Pipa doesn’t have this safeguard. 

Posted by 

Smarayda Christoforou

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