Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Reflective chat: Wikipedia Protest

While this week's chat covered quite a few interesting topics, I have decided to dedicate this post to Wikipedia.


Wikipedia is today protesting against SOPA and PIPA by blacking out the English Wikipedia for 24 hours. SOPA and PIPA represent two bills in the United States House of Representatives and the United States Senate respectively. SOPA is short for the "Stop Online Piracy Act," and PIPA is an acronym for the "Protect IP Act." ("IP" stands for "intellectual property.") In short, these bills are efforts to stop copyright infringement committed by foreign web sites, but, in our opinion, they do so in a way that actually infringes free expression while harming the Internet. Detailed information about these bills can be found in the Stop Online Piracy Act  and Protect IP Act articles on Wikipedia, which are available during the blackout. GovTrack lets you follow both bills through the legislative process: SOPA on this page, and PIPA on this one. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advocating for the public interest in the digital realm, has summarized why these bills are simply unaceptable in a world that values an open, secure, and free Internet. From Wiki, click here to learn more.

I believe that the general consensus of the group were that these bills should not be allowed to get through. They are an infringement on rights of expression;  and will have a disastrous effect on the internet. This is not the way forward for the future of the internet.

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