Why the Wikipedia founder is Protesting Strongly against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

The founder of Wikipedia is leading calls for search engines and social media sites including Google, Facebook and Twitter to take themselves offline for an entire day in protest against a controversial bill winding its way through the US Senate that could have profound implications for the internet.

Jimmy Wales has called for a “public uprising” against the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa), which critics say will have a “chilling effect on innovation” by forcing websites to keep a much closer tab on what is posted by users on their pages….

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, Blogging & the Internet, Consumer/consumer spending, Corporations/Corporate Life, Economy, Globalization, Law & Legal Issues, Politics in General

6 comments on “Why the Wikipedia founder is Protesting Strongly against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)

  1. Cennydd13 says:

    I don’t rely on Wikipedia for information, since I have an up-to-date set of encyclopedias and I also have other resources, and therefore, I don’t need the site. But I do understand how shutting it down could affect others.

  2. billqs says:

    I see no good that can come from setting a precedent that allows the government to block websites or force search engines to refuse to acknowledge certain website’s existence.

    We protested when China and North Korea blocked “dangerous” websites, so it seems somewhat hypocritical for us to now do the same.

  3. DavidBennett says:

    Good for wikipedia and other sites. One reason people in power fear the Internet is because it shines light on their heavy-handed and overreaching ways. SOPA is great for the government and a few industries, but bad for most everybody else, especially given the possibility for its use to limit speech.

  4. Scatcatpdx says:

    Boohoo, Wikipedia is have the terrible twos tantrum.
    Here I feel is the most sane explanation of the bill without all the rhetoric and fallacies.
    The is in line with I read the bill; the bill addresses the problem offshore pirate web sites to stream video back into the US to skirt US copyright law and enforcement.

    There is a bigger issue I see: when it right to steal what other produce because a narcissistic immoral, unethical user post it the Net. What about Wikipedia
    Imagine a World
    Without Free Knowledge
    Rubbish I say. The most valuable commodity is what one produce in ones mind. It is though the mind we get great art, music and businesses. The producer owns it and can give it way or sell it. It not the right of Wikipedia or any site to use it without compensating or getting permission from the producer. Wikipedia and other protestors thinks the net trumps property rights.
    Thou Shall Not Steal.

  5. BillB says:


    While the sponsors of the bill may claim it is for that purpose, it can be applied to any website, anywhere. There are already laws in place that can be used to remedy the problems. It is a means for certain industries to use the Government (and the taxpayer’s money) to take action that they should take.

    DavidBennet has the correct analysis.

  6. Katherine says:

    The problem with the approach is that blocking websites or banning even sites that link to others could be done without due process, merely on a complaint. The potential for abuse is enormous. It is not right to try to prevent theft of intellectual property by shutting down other people’s blogs or businesses which may not even be involved in theft, and doing it without proper judicial review.