Wikipedia Going Dark to Protest SOPA
Green Hosting Provider, GreenHostIt, Chimes In: “Yes – The Internet Must Remain Free!”
As is the case with many of the Mega websites on the Internet, Wikipedia has announced its opposition to SOPA and PIPA so much so that they have announced a “blackout” of their website in protest of the two bills, according to Co-Founder Jimmy Wales. Wales made the proclamation via a series of tweets.
“This is going to be wow,” reads one tweet. “I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday. Tell everyone you know!”
Wikipedia and several other sites are calling on lawmakers to block the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). They are concerned the laws will “hold web site owners liable for links to sources of illegal music and movie downloading, with a detrimental effect on free speech online,” The Financial Times reports.
I absolutely support Wikipedia’s stance on these two controversial bills. I applaud Wikipedia’s decision to take a strong stand in opposition of SOPA and PIPA and GreenHostIt fully commends their decision.”, said top exec of Austin, Texas web hosting firm, GreenHostIt .
Hollywood execs who defend the two controversial bills say SOPA and PIPA are designed to stop online piracy, and are necessary to crack down on online copyright infringement, which is hurting businesses and destroying jobs.
But the opposition groups to SOPA and PIPA are gaining in strength and have sparked backlash from Internet freedom advocates and Web companies, including Google, Yahoo and Facebook, who say it would stifle innovation and censor free speech. Recently, green hosting provider, GreenHostIt, announced its opposition to the SOPA bill and provided links to an article written by several Stanford law professors titled “Don’t Break the Internet” on SOPA in the Stanford Law Review, as well as noted free speech scholar Lawrence Tribe of Harvard Law School.
SOPA challengers organized a boycott of popular domain name registrar, Go Daddy, who initially supported SOPA, but in a quick “about-face”, revoked its support for the bill after the boycott gained traction on the Internet. It is estimated that Go Daddy was hit hard by the boycott when over 70,000 domains were removed from its services the week before Christmas and large organizations continue to pull their domains from Go Daddy even today. The most recent Internet strength to yank their domains is “Major League Gaming”, who issued a press release announcing their intentions and the reason being Go Daddy’s support of SOPA. According to a Talking Points Memo article, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) pointed out that SOPA already excluded certain operators of sub-domains, such as GoDaddy, from being subject to shutdowns under SOPA. When news of Go Daddy’s possible exemption from SOPA leaked, popular bloggers voiced even more reservations about the domain registrar giant.
The legislation has turned into a “Hollywood vs. the Internet” battle, with media giants uniting in favor of SOPA, while tech companies throw their influence against it. Mega Internet News agency, CNET, has coined the author of SOPA, Rep. Lamar Smith, “Hollywood’s Favorite Republican”.
The White House responded to a petition urging a veto of the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) on Saturday and laid out its conditions for supporting anti-piracy legislation.
While we believe that online piracy by foreign websites is a serious problem that requires a serious legislative response, we will not support legislation that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet,” the president’s advisers wrote.
The president’s advisers said they oppose a controversial provision that would require Internet service providers to block infringing websites through a process known as Domain Name System filtering.
“Proposed laws must not tamper with the technical architecture of the Internet through manipulation of the Domain Name System (DNS), a foundation of Internet security,” the White House wrote. “Our analysis of the DNS filtering provisions in some proposed legislation suggests that they pose a real risk to cybersecurity and yet leave contraband goods and services accessible online.”
GreenHostIt execs made it clear that GreenHostIt is leading the way among web hosts in anti-SOPA activism.
Will Rogers once wrote that “every time Congress makes a joke it’s a law. And every time Congress makes a law it’s a joke.” Rogers is probably looking down and having a good laugh at the truly idiotic proposal to stop online piracy, otherwise known as SOPA. I agree with Neil Stevens, at Red State Tech At Night, when he wrote: Kill. The. Bill. One would think that the approach outlined in SOPA would be an obvious denial of due process and therefore unconstitutional. After all, Internet speech will be restricted.
Finally, GreenHostIt exec states that “GreenHostIt is in the right place at the right time to help Internet entrepreneurs with the right web-based tools to be successful, while at the same time offering a corporate culture based on principles of environmental protection and entrepreneurial liberty.”