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Websites to go on strike in Sopa Act protest

January 17th, 2012 at 18:00 by Bob Pullen

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Tomorrow (18th January) Mozilla, Reddit and a wealth of other websites are to turn their lights off for 12 hours in protest of the controversial ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ (SOPA), whilst the English Wikipedia Site is set to be offline for a full 24 hours.

This means that from 5.00am tomorrow you may find that you’re unable to access certain websites from your Plusnet connection.

You can read the official statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here.

What is SOPA?

The Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa), also known as House Bill 3261 or H.R. 3261, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives late late last year as a measure to combat online piracy.

It would give content owners and the US government the power to request court orders to shut down sites they consider to be associated with piracy.

So why strike over it?

Not dissimilar to the UK’s oft-criticised Digital Economy Act, the proposals have been met with furore by a significant proportion of the Internet community.

The BBC quoted Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, as saying:

“Proponents of Sopa have characterised the opposition as being people who want to enable piracy or defend piracy.

But that’s not really the point. The point is the bill is so over broad and so badly written that it’s going to impact all kinds of things that, you know, don’t have anything to do with stopping piracy.”

Whilst the proposals have been made state-side many recognise that, should it become law, the implications could stretch much, much farther.

Who’s taking part?

A full list of the websites participating in tomorrow’s strike can be seen here.

If you happen to stumble across a website on the day that’s been taken offline then you’re likely to encounter a page like this:

sopa_block_page

Fortunately our award winning Support Staff are familiar with what’s happening which will undoubtedly help should any bemused students get in touch wondering why they can’t do their homework ;)

For those of you on Twitter you can follow developments using the hashtag #SOPASTRIKE

bobpullen

This entry was posted by Bob Pullen on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 at 6:00 pm and is tagged with and is posted in the category Industry News, Plusnet News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


7 comments on "Websites to go on strike in Sopa Act protest"

BRABUS

Thanks for posting this up or I would never have known. The first thing I would have done is to Google for a problem but even Google will be unavailable tomorrow.

nolan

Thanks for the heads-up and I fully support what they're doing so hope it helps get the message across.

alanf

The linked Wikipedia page says that it is a 24 hour protest not 12 hours.

I total agree with you, there too much hacking into personal life's here and something has to give, i have been a victim with my email address being hacked into and all my personal and confidence of useing the enternet is damageing my health as its breaking all code's of miss conducted here. people are in tittled to have privacy even on enternet. Too much virisuse from diffirent companys are makeing million's out of people useing the enternet. The fact's are there. They need to stop the hacker's onc and for all.

Strike all week and get a billion signatures. Maybe then there is a chance of getting some real say in the matter.

bobpullen

@alanf, you're right, Wikipedia is blacking-out for 24 hours. The campaign suggests a 12 hour black-out for other supporters though. To be honest how webmasters are showing support varies from site to site e.g. Reddit is going down at 1.00pm GMT rather than 5.00am.

Excellent work from all involved. Not sure that people understand the global implications of these "self appointed internet police" who are trying to push SOPA through congress. Everyone in the world should be outraged at this bill. Yes, stop piracy but not at the sacrifice of freedom.

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