Wikipedia shutdown

Discussion in 'The OT' started by AntAltMike, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    To: English Wikipedia Readers and Community
    From: Sue Gardner, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director
    Date: January 16, 2012



    In other languages English • Català • Français • Polski

    Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate — that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.

    This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made. Here’s how it’s been described by the three Wikipedia administrators who formally facilitated the community’s discussion. From the public statement, signed by User:NuclearWarfare, User:Risker and User:Billinghurst:
    It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.
    Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a “blackout” of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.
    On careful review of this discussion, the closing administrators note the broad-based support for action from Wikipedians around the world, not just from within the United States. The primary objection to a global blackout came from those who preferred that the blackout be limited to readers from the United States, with the rest of the world seeing a simple banner notice instead. We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations.
    In making this decision, Wikipedians will be criticized for seeming to abandon neutrality to take a political position. That’s a real, legitimate issue. We want people to trust Wikipedia, not worry that it is trying to propagandize them.

    But although Wikipedia’s articles are neutral, its existence is not. As Wikimedia Foundation board member Kat Walsh wrote on one of our mailing lists recently,
    We depend on a legal infrastructure that makes it possible for us to operate. And we depend on a legal infrastructure that also allows other sites to host user-contributed material, both information and expression. For the most part, Wikimedia projects are organizing and summarizing and collecting the world’s knowledge. We’re putting it in context, and showing people how to make to sense of it.
    But that knowledge has to be published somewhere for anyone to find and use it. Where it can be censored without due process, it hurts the speaker, the public, and Wikimedia. Where you can only speak if you have sufficient resources to fight legal challenges, or if your views are pre-approved by someone who does, the same narrow set of ideas already popular will continue to be all anyone has meaningful access to.
    The decision to shut down the English Wikipedia wasn’t made by me; it was made by editors, through a consensus decision-making process. But I support it.

    Like Kat and the rest of the Wikimedia Foundation Board, I have increasingly begun to think of Wikipedia’s public voice, and the goodwill people have for Wikipedia, as a resource that wants to be used for the benefit of the public. Readers trust Wikipedia because they know that despite its faults, Wikipedia’s heart is in the right place. It’s not aiming to monetize their eyeballs or make them believe some particular thing, or sell them a product. Wikipedia has no hidden agenda: it just wants to be helpful.

    That’s less true of other sites. Most are commercially motivated: their purpose is to make money. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a desire to make the world a better place — many do! — but it does mean that their positions and actions need to be understood in the context of conflicting interests.

    My hope is that when Wikipedia shuts down on January 18, people will understand that we’re doing it for our readers. We support everyone’s right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment. We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States — don’t advance the interests of the general public. You can read a very good list of reasons to oppose SOPA and PIPA here, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

    Why is this a global action, rather than US-only? And why now, if some American legislators appear to be in tactical retreat on SOPA?

    The reality is that we don’t think SOPA is going away, and PIPA is still quite active. Moreover, SOPA and PIPA are just indicators of a much broader problem. All around the world, we're seeing the development of legislation intended to fight online piracy, and regulate the Internet in other ways, that hurt online freedoms. Our concern extends beyond SOPA and PIPA: they are just part of the problem. We want the Internet to remain free and open, everywhere, for everyone.

    Make your voice heard!

    On January 18, we hope you’ll agree with us, and will do what you can to make your own voice heard.

    Sue Gardner,
    Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation
     
  2. Cholly

    Cholly Old Guys Rule!

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    On the one hand, I won't miss a day of Wikipedia. On the other, I get their stand, and have to agree that SOPA and PIPA should just die away. If they're passed, it's a blow to the free speech amendment to the U.S. Constitution and lawsuits seem sure to follow.
     
  3. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    But think of all the students needing last minute research! They might have to look through books in the library! :)
     
  4. AntAltMike

    AntAltMike Hall Of Fame

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    I'm buying stock in Encyclopedia Brittanica. Is there still any such thing?
     
  5. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    I found a store on line that has the 32 volume 2010 edition for $1350.
     
  6. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    I agree with Cholly that SOPA and PIPA should die away. The less government in our lives the better.
     
  7. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

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    I don't knowingly patronize sites that might be offending or openly engage in piracy, but I'll never support anything endorsed by the MPAA or RIAA. When I see the mega-bucks mansions and estates of the execs, their lawyers and the entertainers, I have no sympathy for them at all. I really don't care if somebody snatches a piece of the pie.

    I buy 'real' when I can, but it's never when first released. It was only recently that I finally bought a copy of Rush's 'Moving Pictures'.

    I despise 'big money' and those who flaunt it.
     
  8. kocuba

    kocuba Icon

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    So much for shutting down....

    Hit Esc while the page is loading(might have to try a couple times) and you will still be able to see the content.
     
  9. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Since I use Wikipedia that was the first thing I tried this morning and it works, though when you search for an article you have to do it again.

    Still, I very much support their position and recognize that more than anyone else big media has a garrote around the throats of members of Congress. There aren't many U.S. Senators, particularly, who could be reelected if Disney, News Corp, CBS, and NBCU want them to protect their subsidiary-owned content and they voted "wrong." There's nothing more damaging than benign neglect by all the O&O broadcast stations particularly when other press outlets are also owned by the particular media company.
     
  10. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    +1
     
  11. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I'll let them have a day off. One less day for the self-righteous to destroy good articles by peppering them with "citation needed" tags on every line (when all they need to do is read to understand that entire paragraphs are based on a citation given). This on the same site where articles have NO attributions ... no named sources. It isn't worth the hassle to "work around" their blackout. It isn't that important.
     
  12. Drew2k

    Drew2k New Member

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    Many sites have gone down for the day, with Google doing a simple black box and Billerico doing the most artistic blackout I've seen ...

    http://www.bilerico.com/sopa.html
     
  13. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    That is cool how one can move the spotlight around the screen and change the shadows.
     
  14. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    One of the better uses of javascript!

    Tx for the link.
     
  15. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

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    Indeed! Now, let's incorporate that in our STB's User Guides!



    :D
     
  16. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    From CBS News today:
    Hopefully Congress will do nothing with these bills, an approach that seems to be a habit anyway.
     
  17. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    And so we learn from many sources, including the LA Times article SOPA sent back to the drawing board in wake of Internet protests:
    Meanwhile back at the Senate, we learn from the NY Times article Senate Delays Vote on Piracy Bill as House Balks, Too:
    And from The Washington Post we get a story headlined To protest SOPA, the strike was updated for the Internet age telling us:
    Ultimately, of course, this is a dispute between big media companies represented by Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America versus big internet companies like Google.

    So we find American songwriters, actors, and internet consumers caught in the middle of an argument over how to effectively stop content thieves in China and Russia, as if that were really possible.:rolleyes:

    By the way here's "The Day the LOLcats Died" :)grin: it has nearly 690,000 hits so far, so give it a chance though it isn't going to be a best seller):
    [YOUTUBEHD]1p-TV4jaCMk[/YOUTUBEHD]
     
  18. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    SOPA is not going to go away. There's a very interesting take on how the folks in Hollywood mishandled this in a long article The SOPA War: A Frantic Call, an Aborted Summit, and Dramatic New Details on How Hollywood Lost. Here's just one paragraph:
     
  19. scooper

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    The problem is not that people wouldn't support doing something on piracy - it was the way and the potential those bills represented that was the real problem.

    Hollywood does not want to spend their own money having to track down and send takedown notices to any / all (ala DMCA) potential infringers. The people have (rightly in my opinion) said - this is what you have - deal with it.
     
  20. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    What? You're not willing to let the profitable few like Disney, Sony, NBCU, etc., take over the criminal division of the Justice Department so that their executives can sleep well?;)
     

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