The community that manages Wikipedia
, the popular online encyclopedia have announced that they will "black out
" the English-language version of the site Wednesday, January 18, in protest of two bills before the US Congress: the Stop Online Piracy Act
(SOPA) in the House of Representatives and the Protect IP Act
(PIPA) in the Senate. A number of other sites, such as WordPress
have joined in the protest, as well. Other prominent sites that oppose the legislation, such as Google
, have chosen not to go dark, but may show alternate forms of protest.
The bills are mainly supported by organizations from the motion picture
and music industries
, who claim that measures are necessary to prevent pirating of copyrighted content through sites like YouTube.
Opponents believe that the bills make sites like Google and YouTube liable for their users' copyright violations and that they ultimately threaten to "kill the internet" as an efficient way of sharing information.
There are some sites that attempt to give a balanced overview
, and you can also find plenty of newspaper
articles about the issue in the library's research databases (requires library card for access).
Where do you stand on the issue? Add your comments.