Poll: Should UG shut down in protest of SOPA/PIPA for 24 hours?
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View poll results: Should UG shut down in protest of SOPA/PIPA for 24 hours?
**** Yeah!
175 71%
Aww Hell nah!
70 29%
Voters: 245.
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#1
Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). 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 – that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.

This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made. Here’s how it’s been described by the three Wikipedia administrators who formally facilitated the community’s discussion. From the public statement, signed by User:NuclearWarfare, User:Risker and User:Billinghurst:

It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.

Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a "blackout" of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.

On careful review of this discussion, the closing administrators note the broad-based support for action from Wikipedians around the world, not just from within the United States. The primary objection to a global blackout came from those who preferred that the blackout be limited to readers from the United States, with the rest of the world seeing a simple banner notice instead. We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations.

In making this decision, Wikipedians will be criticized for seeming to abandon neutrality to take a political position. That’s a real, legitimate issue. We want people to trust Wikipedia, not worry that it is trying to propagandize them.

But although Wikipedia’s articles are neutral, its existence is not. As Wikimedia Foundation board member Kat Walsh wrote on one of our mailing lists recently,

We depend on a legal infrastructure that makes it possible for us to operate. And we depend on a legal infrastructure that also allows other sites to host user-contributed material, both information and expression. For the most part, Wikimedia projects are organizing and summarizing and collecting the world’s knowledge. We’re putting it in context, and showing people how to make to sense of it.

But that knowledge has to be published somewhere for anyone to find and use it. Where it can be censored without due process, it hurts the speaker, the public, and Wikimedia. Where you can only speak if you have sufficient resources to fight legal challenges, or if your views are pre-approved by someone who does, the same narrow set of ideas already popular will continue to be all anyone has meaningful access to.

The decision to shut down the English Wikipedia wasn’t made by me; it was made by editors, through a consensus decision-making process. But I support it.

Like Kat and the rest of the Wikimedia Foundation Board, I have increasingly begun to think of Wikipedia’s public voice, and the goodwill people have for Wikipedia, as a resource that wants to be used for the benefit of the public. Readers trust Wikipedia because they know that despite its faults, Wikipedia’s heart is in the right place. It’s not aiming to monetize their eyeballs or make them believe some particular thing, or sell them a product. Wikipedia has no hidden agenda: it just wants to be helpful.

That’s less true of other sites. Most are commercially motivated: their purpose is to make money. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a desire to make the world a better place – many do! – but it does mean that their positions and actions need to be understood in the context of conflicting interests.

My hope is that when Wikipedia shuts down on January 18, people will understand that we’re doing it for our readers. We support everyone’s right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment. We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States, don’t advance the interests of the general public. You can read a very good list of reasons to oppose SOPA and PIPA here, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Why is this a global action, rather than US-only? And why now, if some American legislators appear to be in tactical retreat on SOPA?

The reality is that we don’t think SOPA is going away, and PIPA is still quite active. Moreover, SOPA and PIPA are just indicators of a much broader problem. All around the world, we’re seeing the development of legislation intended to fight online piracy, and regulate the Internet in other ways, that hurt online freedoms. Our concern extends beyond SOPA and PIPA: they are just part of the problem. We want the Internet to remain free and open, everywhere, for everyone.

Make your voice heard!

Bookmark with Facebook Share on Twitter Share on reddit.com Share on Digg.com

On January 18, we hope you’ll agree with us, and will do what you can to make your own voice heard.

Sue Gardner,
Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation


I propose that we shut down in support of Wikipedia and others taking a stand against SOPA and PIPA, what do you guys think about that?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhwuXNv8fJM

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2012/01/how-pipa-and-sopa-violate-white-house-principles-supporting-free-speech
#2
I agree, down with UG!
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#8
I'm all for it, if they want to have a blackout then they can, it's for a good cause. Although, my day will be utterly meaningless ;_;
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#15
Yes.

These bills affect UG in several ways, so if any Russians are reading this, strongly consider to join the protest tomorrow.

If they do not, however, as a CC, I am obligated to do my duty. Saying that, I WILL log in to check the columns twice or thrice, but other than that, I will personally be removing myself from this site tomorrow, along with pretty much the rest of the Internet.

You guy do not have to remove yourself from UG if you guys don't want to, but I do recommend that anybody who wishes to help in the protests tomorrow to remain off Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or any other social network. Just for tomorrow.
#20
Quote by ethan_hanus
No, just no....UG should stay out of everyones political business and stick to what it does best.....

Misleading news titles?
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#21
Quote by stepco12345
You guy do not have to remove yourself from UG if you guys don't want to, but I do recommend that anybody who wishes to help in the protests tomorrow to remain off Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or any other social network. Just for tomorrow.

It's not protesting the Internet, it's raising awareness of SOPA/PIPA.
The point isn't to stay off the Internet, the point is to reach as many people as possible and get them to contact their congressman.

and I do think UG should black out.

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#22
Soviet Russia will shut YOU down!


Edit:

Quote by stepco12345
Yes.

These bills affect UG in several ways, so if any Russians are reading this, strongly consider to join the protest tomorrow.

If they do not, however, as a CC, I am obligated to do my duty. Saying that, I WILL log in to check the columns twice or thrice, but other than that, I will personally be removing myself from this site tomorrow, along with pretty much the rest of the Internet.

You guy do not have to remove yourself from UG if you guys don't want to, but I do recommend that anybody who wishes to help in the protests tomorrow to remain off Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr or any other social network. Just for tomorrow.
I'm going to call my senator. Why not use UG?
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Last edited by metal4all at Jan 17, 2012,
#24
Quote by ethan_hanus
No, just no....UG should stay out of everyones political business and stick to what it does best.....

UG might shut down permanently if these bills pass... You don't think a 24 hour black out won't go some way towards raising awareness as well reminding everyone how much we take online freedom for granted?
#27
Yeah, sure, I might actually get something done then.

281-330-8004, that's my cell phone number, hit me up on the low
#28
#30
Quote by Rising
UG might shut down permanently if these bills pass... You don't think a 24 hour black out won't go some way towards raising awareness as well reminding everyone how much we take online freedom for granted?


UG wont shut down, UG is a completely legal site, so there would be no reason for the government to shut it down...it's also an international site, not just limited to the US. So the US government can't shut down an international website. I think this is being overblown by the internet dweebs who like to pirate music and videos and now are facing having to actually pay for their music and movies.
#33
Quote by ethan_hanus
UG wont shut down, UG is a completely legal site, so there would be no reason for the government to shut it down...it's also an international site, not just limited to the US. So the US government can't shut down an international website. I think this is being overblown by the internet dweebs who like to pirate music and videos and now are facing having to actually pay for their music and movies.



You apparently haven't read SOPA, have you?

SOPA gives companies the right to force service providers to block a site, domestic or international, if they believe copyrights are being violated. UG is a prime target, being based in Russia and filled to the brim with material that could be mistaken as violating copyright.
#34
I absolutely know nothing about SOPA other then it's really controversial and wikipedia is shutting down for the day.

So sure, UG should too
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#35
Yes Shut It Downnnnnnnnnn
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#36
What time do I close it?

Jus' wondering.

Yeah, I tl;dr'd the crap out of the first post. And I read about 3 replies.
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Last edited by S0n1c '97 at Jan 17, 2012,
#37
I don't think UG's really big enough for it to have a real effect. If they do do it though good on them.
#38
I hope UG doesn't do this. Wikipedia wont be here for me tomorrow, so if UG does the same then my life will be completely meaningless for the day.
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#39
Quote by ethan_hanus
UG wont shut down, UG is a completely legal site, so there would be no reason for the government to shut it down...it's also an international site, not just limited to the US. So the US government can't shut down an international website. I think this is being overblown by the internet dweebs who like to pirate music and videos and now are facing having to actually pay for their music and movies.


According to the Terms of Use:

11. CHOICE OF LAW AND CONSENT TO JURISDICTION

The Service is created, operated and controlled by Ultimate Guitar in the State of California, United States of America. The laws of the State of California will govern this Agreement without giving effect to any principles or conflicts of laws.


UG is under the jurisdiction of the California and the United States all together.
#40
Quote by L2112Lif
You apparently haven't read SOPA, have you?

SOPA gives companies the right to force service providers to block a site, domestic or international, if they believe copyrights are being violated. UG is a prime target, being based in Russia and filled to the brim with material that could be mistaken as violating copyright.


I don't have to read it to know the US has no control outside their own country, and if they try, well, war.

The worst the US can do is block anything from outside the US from being seen in the US, and the same with companies, they can only block stuff and file lawsuites within the country.

Plus, nobody can control the internet, the hackers will have their way with the US government and all hell will break loose.
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