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Tuesday, 13 December 2011 11:52

Wikipedia boss threatens to shut site down

Written by Nick Farell

wikilogo

Protest against US Piracy Act

The boss of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, has threatened a 'strike' where the entire English-language site would be turned off as a protest against  an anti-piracy bill currently under discussion in the US. Writing on his bog, Wales said he was planning a global strike of at least the English Wikipedia would put the maximum pressure on the US government.

The 'strike' is in response to the Stop Online Piracy Act, which is currently before the House Judiciary Committee. The Stop Online Piracy Act is an attempt by puppets of Big Content to sacrifice huge chunks of the US Constitution in a bid to get campaign funds to be re-elected.

It would mean that Big Content can accuse anyone of piracy and they can be punished without that nasty expensive process of going to court. Sites such as Wikipedia, where content can be published by any user, will be shut down the moment that anything that Big Content says belongs to it is posted. The Electronic Frontier Foundation said that any service that hosts user generated content is going to be under enormous pressure to actively monitor and filter that content.

In Italy, Wikipedia took down almost the entire site in response to a law that would have made it a criminal offence to publish the results of police wire taps. A few months ago, the Italian Wikipedia community made a decision to blank all of Italian Wikipedia for a short period in order to protest a law which would infringe on their editorial independence.

Wales thinks that the Italian Parliament backed down immediately, although we do not think it was anything to do with a strike. More the fact that they did not wanted to be identified too closely with Big Content when Silvio Berlusconi was about to go under,  Berlusconi is the King of Italy's media and has been involved in copyright battles against YouTube and Google.


Nick Farell

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