A Wiki Boycott

Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. is publically considering shutting down Wikipedia in protest of SOPA.

The proposed shutdown has nothing to do with technical problems or money issues, and everything to do with the Stop Online Piracy Act, an anti-piracy bill that has raised the ire of many major technology companies. This past weekend, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales posted a discussion on his Wikipedia user page suggesting that the English-language version of Wikipedia may temporarily go dark to protest the bill, which critics say gives movie studios and other copyright holders unprecedented power to shut down Web sites seen as infringing on their content.

SOPA endangers the very existence of Wikipedia,  and most any other site that relies on links or user input.  SOPA would criminalize links to sites that offer copyright violations, or other things that offend the sensibilities of the Hollywood crowd. On the surface this might sound reasonable bu the penalties kick in with out trial or court orders and site owners have little opportunity to defend themselves. Web owners and maintainers have a difficult time keeping their websites clean as it is. Most of us don’t want this crap on our sites and work hard and dilligently at keeping our sites clean, but it isn’t our job to protect the Hollywood moguls and their revenues.

SOPA is an attempt to shut down the internet, and restrict voices to only the Hollywood approved.  It is an attempt to shutdown search engines like Google or Bing. Google is very worried, and concerned that it will crimminalize every search engine.

An online piracy bill in the House would “criminalize linking and the fundamental structure of the Internet itself,” according to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Schmidt said the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would punish Web firms, including search engines, that link to foreign websites dedicated to online piracy. He said implementing the bill as written would effectively break the Internet.


“By criminalizing links, what these bills do is they force you to take content off the Internet,” Schmidt said, calling it a form of censorship.


The search giant has been at the forefront of a tech industry backlash against the legislation from House Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas).

“If Congress writes a bad law, we all suffer,” Schmidt said.

He compared the proposal to the Web censorship practiced by repressive foreign governments like China and doubled down on that comparison when speaking with reporters after his remarks at the Economic Club of Washington.

If Wikipedia shuts down in protest of the of SOPA I will pull the plug on my little Wiki , and if I can safely take my blog down for the duration I will take down this blog.  The Wiki is easy, I can literally just pull the plug.

About Liberty

Blogging is something I do for myself. I've been blogging since Sept. 2003, mostly about politics, guns, and observations about the word around me.
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