Wikipedia and Other Internet Sites Go Dark Tomorrow
Tomorrow you’re going to have to rely on the dusty old Encyclopaedia Britannica if you need to know the founder of Moldavia or the name of Track 2 on Side 1 of ‘The Grateful Dead From the Mars Hotel’. It’s ‘China Doll’ by the way. I just know that, so bite me Wiki (Even though Track One is US Blues and it’s the best cut on the album.)
Wikipedia and several of its Internet website compadres will go dark tonight at Midnight to publicize their dissent of another silly government idea. It’s been nicely called the SOPA Act by the original instigators. Er, I mean authors.
The move is designed to protest The House of Representative’s SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and its Senate special needs sibling act PIPA (Protect IP Act), both have been moving swiftly thorough committees on Capitol Hill and may soon be up for vote on the floors of our esteemed legislative bodies. The quick movement is being fueled by an unlikely source that generally hates Washingtonian types: Hollywood. Both bills seem to have bipartisan support, which seems almost surreal since most Republicans denigrate Hollywood for its continued destruction of American morals.
The bill’s supporters say passage will stem internet piracy of TV shows and movies. Nearly every major Hollywood studio is supporting this and the list of backers is huge, and consists mostly of gigantic entertainment corporations with some strange additions; such as Zippo (the lighter company) and the Red Wing Shoe Company.
The detractors, most notably Wikipedia and the online content sharing site Reddit, say the bills would force them to look over every item added as soon as it’s added in order to stay compliant. Which means sites like YouTube would have to review that video of your neighbor’s kitten playing the banjo before publishing it (OK so maybe there ARE some merits to this).
At any rate, whether you’re pro or con on this issue, you’re gonna be without Wikipedia and Reddit for 24 hours starting at Midnight tonight.
But look on the bright side. Porn sites might actually load faster, since all the nerds in their mom’s basements will be playing World of Warcraft, instead of sharing screenshots of their elf-mage on Reddit and updating the Dropkick Murphy’s Wikipedia page with inane observations about the lead singer’s haircut.