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Jan 18 2012

The Web Goes Dark Over SOPA

This has been in the mainstream news a bit but I thought I’d cover this off briefly here for the sake of awareness.

Wikipedia Goes Black

Wikipedia Goes Dark

Wikipedia, one of the most popular websites on the web has gone dark in opposition to SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) which is a bill that will be tabled in the United States House of Representatives. SOPA, like many pieces of legislation before it, attempts to stop online copyright infringement however it does so by placing the burden of policing content on website owners under the threat of blocking entire websites. This hands quite some heft  to the large media companies who can have other sites blacklisted quite easily which opens the door for abuse of power and potential suppression of competition.

While this is a US-specific piece of legislation I really do think it’s an important thing to get across particularly if similar proposals are raised in our own countries. If you want to read more about it you can check out this page at Wikipedia (which still works today despite the blackout).

One last thing, if you really need to access Wikipedia during the blackout you can still get to it from mobile devices or by disabling JavaScipt in your browser – if you need help doing this then read this page. Otherwise, just put “?banner=none” (without the quotation marks) at the end of the page you are trying to visit. However, all edits will be halted during the blackout (so you Wikipedia addicts out there will have to sit tight).

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