Wikipedia anti SOPA Protest Blackout and ways Around

by Kenneth Gray on January 17, 2012

in Democracy, Intellectual Property


Wikipedia to close down in protest of SOPA on January 18, 2012

Wikipedia Blackout January 18, 2012

A number of high profile internet sites will be going black tomorrow  to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (or “SOPA”) as it is now known. SOPA would impose draconian regulations upon internet providers and content creators all for its presumed goal of fighting online piracy. Among the bill’s provisions are the ability to seize domain names without judicial process and order internet providers to ban services from the internet based on allegations of piracy (without judicial review).

SOPA is absurd. It would destroy the fabric of the internet, one of America’s greatest assets. It’s like saying let’s nuke the Everglades because Alligators kill and  injure a few people a year in Florida.

Why SOPA will fail

Also, SOPA won’t work. Wikipedia wants to show what the Internet will be like without Wikipedia. Of course, like all things in computing, there’s a workaround for that. Meet The Free Dictionary. It contains a mirror of the US version of Wikipedia and should be up on anti-SOPA day.

To use The Free Dictionary’s Wikipedia mirror, just go to the site, run a search query and then view that query on the Wikipedia encyclopedia tab in the search bar. Easy.

The mirror is not as good as the real thing, but it proves that a bill like SOPA will do grave harm to the Internet, commerce, and digital discourse in general. What it won’t do is stop people from circumventing its prohibitions on content (it won’t keep pirates from getting pirated goods). It won’t be able to do its job, unless its job is to punish and censor decent, law-abiding Americans. If that is what SOPA is for, it’s about time Congress let us know that.

What say you? Leave your comments below.

Brave Jeweler January 17, 2012 at 5:02 am

It is obvious that a law as stupid as this would never work. Seems to me that laws like this are made to justify Congress members receiving their salaries. I’ve seen pirate versions of my books. I’ve also seen them sold out in the bookstore a couple days after they’ve been released. Despite there being free pirate versions of them. Congress needs to stop making fools of themselves and start addressing some real issues this country has to deal with.

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