SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) also known as House Bill 3261 or H.R. 3261, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, by House Judiciary Committee Chair Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of 12 initial co-sponsors. The bill, if made law, would expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods.
And yesterday (January 16, 2011), The Founder of the non-profit behind information archive named Wikipedia; “Jimmy Wales“, announced that the site will go dark for 24 hours on Wednesday in protest of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
This causes only the English version of Wikpedia for the shutdown. But, even-though it accounts for 25 million daily visitors according to Jimmy Wales:
comScore estimates the English Wikipedia receives 25 million average daily visitors globally.
comScore estimates the English Wikipedia receives 25 million average daily visitors globally.— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) January 16, 2012
As per the next web;
When we talked to Wales in November, he told us that Wikipedia had over 420m unique monthly visitors, and there are now over 20 million articles on Wikipedia across almost 300 languages.
As we reported last week, the site was contemplating taking this action along with Reddit who announced that it would black out its site in protest against SOPA.
The 24 hour shutdown of Wikipedia will be replaced with instructions on how to reach out to your local US members of congress, and Wales says he hopes the measure will “melt phones” with volume:
This is going to be wow. I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday. Tell everyone you know!
This is going to be wow. I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday. Tell everyone you know!— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) January 16, 2012
Along with Reddit, Wikipedia joins huge Internet names like WordPress, Mozilla, and all of the Cheezburger properties in Wednesday’s “black out” protest.
The proposed act endangers the future of sites like these by holding them directly accountable for content placed on them. It has been widely reported that if an act like this passed through and became actionable, many Internet businesses would suffer greatly due to new scrutiny placed on them by the government.