January 18, 2012

Wikipedia, Reddit to shut down for 24 Hours Today

Internet encyclopedia Wikipedia and social media site Reddit will shut down today for 24 hours to join the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) protest against the US online piracy legislation.

The most popular websites will go dark in protest against the piracy bill. The SOPA will expand the ability of US law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.

The protest began after the SOPA was introduced in the US House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, by House Judiciary Committee Chair Representative Lamar Smith and a bipartisan group of 12 initial co-sponsors.

The protesters said that the bill would affect social networking sites like YouTube, Facebook as well as Wikipedia. It will seek to hold the sites responsible for any illegal copyright content uploaded by the users.

However, some major companies like Viacom and Walt Disney support the bill saying the internet piracy is a form of digital theft, which needs to be stopped.

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