Wikipedia half-wrong



I don’t mean the accuracy of some articles of the world’s most important encyclopedia but its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18. 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.

Here is the problem that I see:

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Protesting, opposing and stopping SOPA is a very good cause that I fully support:

“SOPA requires online service providers, Internet search engines, payment network providers, and Internet advertising services, upon receiving a copy of a court order relating to an AG action, to carry out certain preventative measures including withholding services from an infringing site or preventing users located in the United States from accessing the infringing site. Requires payment network providers and Internet advertising services, upon receiving a copy of such an order relating to a right holder’s action, to carry out similar preventative measures.”

In plain English: Whoever builds and maintains the road on which bank-robbers escape is considered and accomplice, which is ridiculous.

PIPA on the other hand does something useful:

“PIPA authorizes the Attorney General (AG) to commence: (1) an in personam action against a registrant of a nondomestic domain name (NDN) used by an Internet site dedicated to infringing activities (ISDIA) or an owner or operator of an ISDIA accessed through an NDN; or (2) if such individuals are unable to be found by the AG or have no address within a U.S. judicial district, an in rem action (against a domain name itself, in lieu of such individuals) against the NDN used by an ISDIA.”

In plain English: Overseas websites that offer pirated movies for download will be blocked.

To sum up: SOPA Nay, PIPA Yea, Wikipedia should limit its protest to SOPA only.


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