Internet on Strike! Wikipedia, Google, Reddit and others protest the Stop Online Piracy Act
Noticed anything strange today? Have you tried Google or Wikipedia lately? You’ll see that these as well as many other websites & search engines are blacked out today as part of a web strike against SOPA.
In cities across the country, as well as online, protesters are speaking out today against SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), two bills before Congress that would use extreme means of preventing and punishing online piracy.
According to Wikipedia’s website:
“SOPA and PIPA would put the burden on website owners to police user-contributed material and call for the unnecessary blocking of entire sites. Small sites won’t have sufficient resources to defend themselves. Big media companies may seek to cut off funding sources for their foreign competitors, even if copyright isn’t being infringed. Foreign sites will be blacklisted, which means they won’t show up in major search engines. SOPA and PIPA would build a framework for future restrictions and suppression.”
NPR put it this way in a radio broadcast yesterday:
“The most controversial provision is in the House bill … to ‘blacklist’ sites that are alleged to distribute pirated content,” The Associated Press writes. “That would essentially cut off portions of the Internet to all U.S. users. Supporters, as the AP adds, “include the film and music industry, which often sees its products sold illegally. They say the legislation is needed to protect intellectual property and jobs.”
Those in favor of these bills argue that stricter measures are the only way to stop piracy of digital content. Those against see it as Congress and the entertainment industry trying to limit freedom of information and free speech.
Want to get involved? NY Tech Meet Up (a local group on meetup.com) are holding a rally Wed. January 18th at 12:30pm in front of the offices of Senators Schumer and Gillibrand.
Need to do some research? Even when Wikipedia and Google are not blacked out in protest, Purchase faculty, staff and students can always use Online Library Resources, any day, any time.
Check out the Library’s online Reference Shelf to connect to online encyclopedias that the library subscribes to. Keeping sites like Google and Wikipedia free and accessible to the public is important, but don’t forget that Library resources are always at your fingertips as well– and generally contain more reliable content than Wikipedia and more targeted searching than Google!