Wikipedia goes offline in protest to the SOPA and PIPA

New level of escalation in the dispute over two U.S. Internet Laws: The English edition of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia on Wednesday in protest for a day off. Other frequently visited sites are close to the action.

In the U.S., the debate rages about the controversial anti-piracy laws Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). On 18 January will therefore besides the several English-language Wikipedia, especially in the U.S. much-used Web sites to go offline for 24 hours. They want to protest the bill that will prevent the spread of piracy and protect intellectual property abroad. Supported are the laws of the U.S. film and music industry, which argues that the illegal sale of its products infringe copyrights and destroy jobs in the U.S.

Participation in the blackout had previously been the social news service reddit.com and the Mem-Catalog “I Can Has Cheezeburger”announced. The Wikipedia community has voted on whether and how they will join the protests. A large majority of users was for the “Blackout”, as turning the page is called for a day. Also the founder of the community, Jimmy Wales spoke strongly in favor of the temporary closure of Wikipedia.

The controversial law will make the downloading of copyright-protected files to serious crime. In addition, the owner of the copyrights have the opportunity to block “criminal” websites relatively easily. This should no longer appear in Google search results, or by entering the address into the URL bar of your browser to reach. Also, payment services like Paypal should then no longer work together with the operators of such sites.

Opponents of legislative initiative fear that go with this one innovation blockade and the American economy could be harmed. In addition, the U.S. government could then censor the Internet – such as China do it now. Interventions into the architecture of the Web would also undermine security mechanisms on the Internet.

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