Wikipedia—the sixth most-popular webbie on the whole damn Information Superhighway—will black itself out Wednesday (for 24 hours). It is protesting legislation intended to fight online piracy, which would, in actuality, regulate the Internet in other ways and potentially hurt online freedom, according to the site.
Currently, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is in the House and the Protect IP Act (PIPA) is before the Senate. The proposed legislation “would be devastating to the free and open web,” Wikipedia says. Simply put, the bills are an attempt to stop overseas piracy of music and movies from such torrent sites as The Pirate Bay. But Silicon Valley is concerned it will lead to censorship and unnecessary government oversight, when piracy is already illegal, via the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The online encyclopedia handles 234 million page views a day on the English edition alone, which is quite a few more than The Smoking Nun, I’m thinking. No worries, cool cats, while I see the protest as a valid call to arms against the feds monitoring the internet, I’ll be here for you Wednesday, promise. *