The number of people who are protesting the SOPA/PIPA bill are growing day by day and now Wikipedia, the world’s largest encyclopedia have been added to this list and Executive Director of Wikimedia Foundation Sue Gardner have announced that Wikipedia’s English edition will be blacked out for 24 hours worldwide starting at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday January 18, 2012 (from 10.30 AM IST on January 18th in India).
This is move is made against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which is proposed by United States House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) proposed in the United States Senate. In case if these bills get passes there would be a serious and huge damage for the free and open Internet and every website will be scanned for its content and publishers will face huge difficulties in bypass all these proxies, these bills could be directly compared to the kind of laws in action by the Chinese Government where China Government will scan and restrict the kind of content that should be available to its citizens.
It has to be noted that it is the first time in the website’s history that Wikipedia’s English community is being staged in protest to a decision, according to Wikipedia’s director, administrators and team message:
“It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.
Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a “blackout” of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.
On careful review of this discussion, the closing administrators note the broad-based support for action from Wikipedians around the world, not just from within the United States. The primary objection to a global blackout came from those who preferred that the blackout be limited to readers from the United States, with the rest of the world seeing a simple banner notice instead. We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations.”
UPDATE: As scheduled Wikimedia Foundation Blacks out the English version of Wikipedia and here is the look of the webpage when it went dark against the SOPA/PIPA act.