Wikipedia goes on strike

Picture of Jimmy WalesIf you want to find anything out about any random subject in a hurry then today's the day - tomorrow Wikipedia will be unavailable tomorrow in protest of forthcoming American Internet piracy legislation, according to founder Jimmy Wales (pictured).
The top of today's English Language pages give a warning - linking through to this open letter about the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act (SOPA and PIPA) in the US. There will be a 24 hour Wikipedia blackout in protest at these Acts.


The objectors are saying that SOPA and PIPA would damage the health of the Internet, while a lot of copyright owners are saying their legitimate business is being damaged by people helping themselves to music, movies and e-books they don't own.

A kneejerk reaction might be that the copyright holders have a point, but consider yesterday's story that says whereas you can sell an old DVD, in an Internet age you can't sell a downloaded movie you no longer want to watch. Rights as to what to do with content and media you no longer want appear to be shrinking as the legislators get stuck into it.

Recently the SOPA draft was amended so that a judge can't just order a website to cease to exist, which was progress in the eyes of many. This clearly wasn't enough for large sections of the online community and a number of American sites, Wikipedia being the largest, will be blank for between 12 and 24 hours tomorrow.
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