|Reddit Gets Ready to Go Dark to Protest SOPA|
(Updates with supporters of law in fourth paragraph.)
Jan. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia where users contribute and edit entries, will shut the English version of its website for 24 hours tomorrow to oppose proposed U.S. anti-piracy legislation.
The move is a protest against pending legislation including the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, bill, according to a statement by Wikimedia Foundation Inc., the non-profit organization that operates the encyclopedia. The law being discussed in the U.S. is designed to combat issues including illegally copied films and TV content.
“If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States,” Wikimedia said in the statement.
The SOPA bill in the House of Representatives and a similar Senate bill are backed by the movie and music industries as a way to crack down on online content theft. Internet companies including Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are waging a campaign against the legislation, which they say will encourage censorship of Web content and harm technology innovation.
News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch called Google a “piracy leader” in a Jan. 14 post on Twitter, saying that it streams movies for free and sells advertisements around them. A day later he wrote in his Twitter account that Google is a “great company doing many exciting things. Only one complaint, and it’s important.”
Miranda Higham, a News Corp. spokeswoman, declined to comment.