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Wikipedia, Reddit To Shut Down Sites Wednesday To Protest Proposed Stop Online Piracy Act

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Published on Jan 17, 2012

www.democracynow.org - Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia and sixth most visited site in the world, will join websites like the content aggregator Reddit, to "go dark" on Wednesday in opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and its companion bill, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), which are currently being debated in Congress. "What these bills propose are new powers for the government — and also for private actors — to create effectively blacklists of sites that allegedly are engaging in some form of online infringement and then force service providers to block access to those sites," says Corynne McSherry, Intellectual Property Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. "What we would have is a situation where the government and private actors could censor the net." Chief technology officials in the Obama administration have expressed concern about any "legislation that ... undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet." But the bill's main backers, Hollywood movie studios and music publishers, want to stop the theft of their creative content and the bills have widespread bipartisan support. A vote on SOPA is on hold in the House now, as the Senate is still scheduled vote on PIPA next Tuesday.

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