back to article Wikipedia to shut down Wednesday in SOPA protest

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has announced that the "encyclopedia anyone can edit" will go dark this Wednesday in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act, aka SOPA, that's dividing Washington DC – not to mention pitting online content providers against ISPs, search-engine sites, civil libertarians, and others. Wales tweeted on …


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  1. Neil Greatorex

    The motives may be laudable

    But the average US politicians propensity to vote is directly proportional the the size of the lobbyists wedge, I fancy.

    1. FredScummer


      I don't agree with politicians (many of whom are democratically elected) on some subjects either. But their selective hearing capability won't be damaged by actions such as this. Hitting them in the cash department definitely will.

      Targetting ordinary Internet users, most of whom are very honest people, won't resolve this problem. The world community have to go after the paymasters who keep the politicians on the wrong side of the fence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I disagree

        The idea that the voting public are somehow not involved in the corruption is just not so. The public are the ones who voted the politicians in and it is completely within their power to ignore the private-interest-funded glitz and vote for someone who will represent THEIR interests. They don't, ergo, it is their own stupid fault.

        BTW: It has elec-tro-lites!

        1. Vic

          > BTW: It has elec-tro-lites!

          *Excellent*. Haven't seen that in ages.

          Amazon has it for 4 quid :-)


          1. moiety

            Will adsense be switched on?

            I'm gonna buy and coin it in.

      2. Ben Tasker Silver badge


        You _really_ don't get the idea of a protest do you?

        They are not 'Targetting ordinary Internet users'. What the blackout will do is (in theory) make some more aware of SOPA and what it entails. The idea being to help trigger a public backlash against SOPA.

        Whether or not it'll work is up for debate, but protests aren't about 'targetting x' they are at most 'incovenience x so maybe they'll show some support having realised the potential implications of change a'.

        Whether or not you support the change being proposed (in any protest) is down to the individual, but don't make the mistake of thinking any protest/strike is targetted at you unless you're the one trying to change something.

        In this case, if enough people complain the Politicians may have to listen. If the majority of your constituency (do the yanks use that term) are against something, supporting it could cost your career come election time. Of course voter apathy needs to be considered as well

  2. JDX Gold badge

    Same old...

    What does SOPA have to do with wikipedia? Or is it just a case of powerful nerds turning off their toys to get attention?

    Try turning Facebook off if you actually want to get some traction.

    1. Neil Greatorex


      Only fools use that?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Neil Greatorex

        >Only fools use that?

        Unfortunately those fools are also allowed to vote. FB may be their only source of information and shutting it down for a day could be the only way to let them know of an external issue.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          FB may be their only source of information....

          We are all doomed as myself (the minority) have nothing to do with facebook and actively avoid it and anything it represents.

    2. Old Handle

      The connection is that SOPA could be a disaster for 2.0rrific sites like Wikipedia and yes, Facebook. So by taking their site offline for a day, they're basically they're saying "this is what could happen if the law passes".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Screw facebook.

        If Wikipedia does it voluntarily and Facebook doesn't, a conclusion can be drawn. Right now that's the only thin wedge there is. It's a wedge all the same...

    3. ddm

      I'd have thought SOPA has an awful lot to do with Wikipedia. As I understand it, if anyone posts something that infringes (or even looks like it infringes) copyright on a website, under SOPA the copyright holder can get access to the whole website shut down (at least within the USA), without any sort of due process. Now look how easy it is to post something on Wikipedia - anyone can do it. I'm sure it wouldn't be long before Wikipedia was shut down.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why just Wednesday?

    Forever would be just fine.

  4. Adam B

    Didn't like

    Wednesdays anyway

    1. Vic

      Re: Didn't like Wednesdays anyway

      It would have been far more suitable to have blacked out Monday.

      I don't like Mondays...


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Tell me why...

        1. Vic

          I don't like Mondays.


          1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

            I could never get the hang of Thursdays.

            1. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

              You don't like Mondays

              because Someone's Looking At You(r posts)?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Brilliant. Clearly lost on most people that one....Especially Vic...

  5. Piloti

    And.... ?

    Will anybody really care if website made up of mostly inaccruate tosh is missing ?


    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  6. Naughtyhorse

    Obama has thrown in his lot with Silicon Valley paymasters.....

    asshat throws his toys out of his pram on account of him not being the paymaster anymore...

    film at 11

  7. Lamont Cranston

    Will be a good day

    to get some work done, then.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    How the hell are any of Thursday's newspapers going to get content if professional, qualified, experienced Journalists can't paste copy from Wikipedia?!

    Still, at least if Andrew Lloyd Webber drops dead, we won't get any obituaries listing writing Sugababes records amongst his accolades...

    1. SteveK

      "How the hell are any of Thursday's newspapers going to get content if professional, qualified, experienced Journalists can't paste copy from Wikipedia?!"

      Back to the answerphones again then I guess...

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I am only one individual with a tiny Internet presence, but on Wednesday my website will consist of a single page with a message about SOPA and PIPA

    You can't complain about being ignored if you're not prepared to make any effort at all. This doesn't just affect a handful of sites, it is likely to have a knock-on effect to every website that has any links at all to any other URL.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Will Godfrey

      Same here.

      I'll be blacking out my various blogs and other online presences on Wednesday. Unfortunately the stuff I publish is so shite, I worry that its disappearance from the intarwebs may come as such a relief to folks, it will actually increase support for SOPA.

    2. Steven Roper
      Thumb Up

      I'm with you

      On Wednesday, my 3 personal sites will also be displaying only an anti-SOPA message. I've also convinced my company management to turn our main website black and place an anti-SOPA banner across the top of the page for 24 hours (the CEO wouldn't allow us to disable the site completely, but this at least is the next best thing!)

  10. admiraljkb

    The one time that I would expect BiPartisanship

    It would be this. SOPA doesn't accomplish what they are trying for. Near as I can tell, they just need to prosecute existing laws (or enhance existing law), not make whole new ones.

    1. Local Group

      The one time that I would expect BiPartisanship

      Bipartisanship is so last century

      1. admiraljkb

        The one time that I would expect BiPartisanship

        >Bipartisanship is so last century

        *sigh* yeah, that's true... The second a politician mentions the word (or cooperation), means they're about to do the opposite. Since this is mostly "benefits"* Hollywood types (who hate Republicans), it does beg the question why Republicans supported it other than Murdoch who is a bit of a looney? (see current UK cases and purchase of Myspace)

        * NOTE: benefits in quotes above, since I don't think SOPA as written benefited anyone.

        1. Local Group

          Bipartisanship can only exist

          when lobbyists create a vacuum of payola. Which isn't very often.

  11. Paul RND*1000

    Let's not forget to mention...

    Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R) Virginia 6th District who introduced SOPA.

    As for Wikipedia, the warning should always be present with the wording "STUDENT WARNING! Refer to more than one source when researching your homework. Wikipedia may not be accurate or unbiased."

    1. Chad H.


      Referencing it will likely get you an F on principle.

  12. Wombling_Free

    Might I suggest...

    MPIAA ARE CUNTS, SO IS SOPA - Motion Picture Industry Ass of America And Related Entities Controlling Unlawful New Technology Scenarios, Swiftly Obliterating Internet Sinners Stopping Online Piracy Act.

    It doesn't count as sweary if it's an acronym, right?

    1. Vic

      > It doesn't count as sweary if it's an acronym, right?

      Doesn't matter either way.

      MPAA *are* cunts.


      1. LaeMing Silver badge

        Very offensive

        My reproductive canal does not appreciate the association, thank you very much!

    2. Field Marshal Von Krakenfart

      Following the silly fad of giving bills acronymic monikers

      Can I offer:-

      Bill Of Legislature Linking Online Crime with Killing Sales, or BOLLOCKS for short.

  13. Thomas 4


    Preventing Real Online Threats as opposed to fake ones?

  14. Mikel

    Better that we lose Wikipedia for one day

    It is better that we lose Wikipedia for one day, than to lose it forever for failing to speak up.

  15. Nanki Poo

    correct me if I'm wrong, but . . .

    "Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property"

    So you could read that as "Preventing Real Online Threats to . . . Theft of Intellectual Property" . . . surely that should be pro-piracy...?

    1. Local Group

      So you could read that as "Preventing Real Online Threats to etc.

      Most graduates of Titipu City College read it exactly like that.

  16. Paul 129
    Black Helicopters

    Sites that include anti DRM

    Hmmm, I wonder how this would play with MS's secure boot concept. Ducks in a row? The bonus is, it keeps google up to its neck in strife.

    Where's my tinfoil hat.

  17. jai

    I hope El Reg will also be going dark (at least to site requests coming from across the pond) on Wednesday? Wouldn't like to think an intelligent bunch of chaps and lasses as yourselves are pro-SOPA are you?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I hope not

      but its going to be a dull day for me with no El-reg / wiki/ world+dog websites to browse...

    2. alain williams Silver badge

      El Reg darkening

      ''I hope El Reg will also be going dark''

      The idea is to bring the issue to the attention of the great majority who have not heard what is happening or who have vaguely heard but not bothered to find out what SOPA is. El Reg readers are very likely to know what the fuss is all about - so there is little point is darkening El Reg.

      However a large banner, in sympathy, would not go amiss.

    3. Eddie Edwards

      Are you going to take an unpaid day off work, or are you pro-SOPA too?

    4. Drewc Gold badge

      Pro Sopa?

      No we are not pro SOPA or a supporter of legislation that imposes block lists in such a crude, illiberal manner.

      But no we did not go dark. This protest is self-indulgent - and late - in my view. SOPA was effectively killed at the weekend, for starters.

      Andrew O. sums up our position here.


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