Wikipedia blackout for 24hrs in protest against anti-piracy legislations

Wikipedia blackout for 24hrs in protest against anti-piracy legislations
Published: 17 January 2012 (666 Views)
In protest against two anti-piracy legislations under consideration in Congress, free online knowledge site Wikipedia will shut down for 24 hours on Wednesday, founder Jimmy Wales said on Twitter on Monday.

Beginning at midnight ET, visitors will see a protest message for 24 hours, Wales tweeted. "Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday!" Wales said on the microblogging site.

Wikipedia and several other sites are calling on lawmakers to block the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), which are designed to crack down on sales of pirated U.S. products overseas.

The draft legislation has won the backing of Hollywood, the music industry, the Business Software Alliance, the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Supporters say the legislation is needed to protect intellectual property and jobs, while the critics say the laws will hurt the technology industry and infringe on free-speech rights.

Tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo and others have questioned the legislation and said it poses a serious risk to the industry. Several online communities such as Reddit, Boing Boing and others have announced plans to go dark in protest, according to AP reports.

Volunteer-staffed Wikipedia turned 11 years old on Jan. 15th and boasts being the largest encyclopedia in history with more than 20 million articles in 282 languages.

- Xinhua

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