Wikipedia shutting down for 1 day?


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I can't find official news about this, but I heard on on the radio that Wikipedia will be shutting down for 1 day (this Thursday) due to a protest against a proposed US anti-piracy legislation.


What pisses me off is that the person on the radio urged students, etc. to find their sources for their studies elsewhere on Thursday.


Since when has Wikipedia been a reliable official source for research?


EDIT: Found something.


tvnz.co.nz/...
 
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I think that may have changed as the White House has sided with Google's views. $35k per plate fund raisers have that effect. Congress has 86 the bill.
 
They suspended the SOPA bill, but hiding behind that smokescreen is PIPA (explanation). The Wikipedia blackout is going ahead, along with Reddit and many other sites. It's a shame Google isn't doing it too. That would really F some S up.


It's finally getting some coverage in Aus, and thank god for that. This is the first most people here will be hearing of SOPA and PIPA, and it affects everyone.


http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/antipiracy-protest-triggers-wikipedia-shutdown-20120117-1q3wu.html


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-17/wiki-to-go-dark-in-piracy-protest/3778452
 
It was on the Dutch news broadcast this morning.


They mentioned that opponents of the bill claimed that the bill harmed the freedom of speech. I hate it how they oversimplify the problems with such bills in the general news. The problems of this bill are way bigger than a simple limitation on the freedom of speech.
 
Since when has Wikipedia been a reliable official source for research?

On the other hand, I've had University professors completely rip into the review process for articles that go into encyclopedias. Say a handful of employee's, all of which have some general background in biology (with actually a heavier background in technical writing), are given the responsibility to oversee all of the biology and biology related articles. Now is that better or worse than Wikipedia?

It was on the Dutch news broadcast this morning.


They mentioned that opponents of the bill claimed that the bill harmed the freedom of speech. I hate it how they oversimplify the problems with such bills in the general news. The problems of this bill are way bigger than a simple limitation on the freedom of speech.
But you can't fit problems into a 30 second segment. And you can't get people to care about something for more than 30 seconds.


What a world.
 
Wikipedia is slowly becoming a reliable source, when it becomes an official source, I don't know.
 
Looks like the MPAA are getting a little cranky: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/sopa-livesand-mpaa-calls-protests-an-abuse-of-power.ars


Possibly my favourite phrase: "working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals"


That's an absolutely classic "appeal to idiotic xenophobic Americans" phrase... ooo... foreign criminals. If it were just "foreign criminals" committing acts of piracy, it wouldn't be a problem in the first place.


But this phrase ties close with: "resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns"


I suspect the MPAA know a thing or two about corporate pawns. What with their own corporate pawns being the people responsible for this nonsense in the first place.


Do people really believe that SOPA will have an affect beyond making life hell for totally innocent, every day uses of theoretically "copyright" material. The idea of "fair use" is already shat on pretty frequently.


All this nonsense will ultimately serve to push piracy further underground and make it far more resilient and distributed. It will NEVER stop. Simple as that. A favourite quote: "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it."
 
Well, it "blacked out" now. What's lame is that it actually loads the page completely and then overlays it with the blackout message, instead of just serving a static page.


I predict people being annoyed and posting methods to "un-blackout" all over the place, which would be contrary to the intention - of thinking what it would be like if Wikipedia no longer existed... <_<
 
Haha fair enough. I used the dev tools in IE and Chrome to remove the "display:none" from the content div and add it to the sopa div!
 
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Yeah, plenty of ways to read the site if you really need to. You could even do a quick ctrl-a, ctrl-c before the page blacks out and dump the text into notepad. Google cache might be an option too. Their point is not to prevent access though, it's to put the issue in everyone's face so they know what's happening.


It has parallels with what would happen if the US really did try to lock down the internet. Most people would be screwed (innocent & guilty alike), but the people who know what they're doing will find a way to carry on regardless. As Gadgetoid said, the net routes around damage.
 
Just turn off Javascript. So much less hassle.


Edit:

As Gadgetoid said, the net routes around damage.

This quote should be rightfully attributed to John Gilmore, one of the EFF founders and a self-proclaimed Internet Activist: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Gilmore


He said it back in 1993. Which shows how painfully little has been learned since.


Since then, we've seen real world examples of the net routing around censorship. We've seen the rise of the Torrent, replacing sites with a far, far more robust filesharing system which has proven a bigger thorn in the MPAAs side. If torrents go down, who can tell what resilient file-sharing beast will lift them up again upon its shoulders.


Think about it; when Torrents first landed they had a high barrier to entry and most people didn't know what the hell they were. But Torrent wraps up a very technical concept into a very simple and accessible format that is now almost ubiquitous as a method of piracy for the average job. Obviously file sharing sites still exist for the more experienced user, but these have been pushed underground.


What will come next? A secure, distributed and untouchable method of sharing torrent files, without the need for websites. It'll then become illegal to link to anything helping people get onto that new method... so, in short, it will be illegal to:


Link to a site that explains how to get into a network that contains sites which link to torrent files which link to servers which link to users' computers which contain pirated material.


Where does it end? Soon it will be illegal to link to anything that, in an arbitrarily long chain of links, might possibly lead to some source of pirated material. IE: links will be illegal.
 
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