Debate Over Piracy Acts Continues With Wikipedia Blackout

A message posted on Wikipedia.com.

Internet and tech companies are in an uprising against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA), bills making their way through Congress which have drawn support from copyright holders in the music and film industries.

Wikipedia is instituting a self-imposed blackout tomorrow in protest. Designed to draw attention to the bills, Wikipedia will go offline at midnight ET tonight (1/16) and resume operations 24 hours later.

Other sites joining the blackout include user-submitted news site Reddit, tech blog Boing Boing and the Cheezburger network of comedy sites. WordPress, a platform which helps bloggers build websites, is offering users a protest-SOPA widget to be place on their own blogs.

Other internet giants who have spoken out against the legislation include Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, eBay, and AOL.

The RIAA announced its support of the bill when it was introduced to the House of Representatives in October.

Last week a panel of experts assembled at Nashville’s Ocean Way Studios to discuss SOPA’s implications.

The Obama administration released its first statement about the bills on Saturday (1/14), noting that it would not support legislation that mandates “tamper[ing] with the technical architecture of the Internet through manipulation of the Domain Name System (DNS).”

DNS blocking is no longer part of SOPA or PIPA.

Currently, SOPA is in the U.S. House of Representatives, and PIPA is under consideration in the Senate. The
 Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN Act) has been proposed as an alternative.

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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