January 17, 2012 by staff
Do not try to look up “Internet Censorship” or “SOPA” or “PIPA” on Wikipedia, the giant online encyclopedia, on Wednesday. SOPA and PIPA are two bills in Congress meant to stop the illegal copying and sharing of movies and music on the Internet, but major Internet companies say the bills would put them in the impossible position of policing the online world.
Wikipedia’s founder, Jimmy Wales, says his site will go dark for the day on Wednesday, joining a budding movement to protest the two bills.
“This is going to be wow,” Wales said on Twitter. “I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday. Tell everyone you know!”
Several sources said members of Congress, reacting to the online objections, were pulling back on parts of SOPA and PIPA to which Internet companies object. But the protest movement continued for the time being.
Other sites, such as Reddit and Boing Boing, have already said they would go dark on Wednesday. And some of the biggest names online, including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, have vocally opposed the proposed legislation.
PIPA, the Protect IP Act in the Senate, and SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, have been presented as a way to protect movie studios, record labels and others. Supporters range from the Country Music Association to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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