13
Jan

How could SOPA affect Wikipedia?

Wikipedia, in the same way as other influential online brands like Facebook and Twitter, relies on user-generated content. It is therefore in the same danger bracket if SOPA legislation sinks its teeth in to the online encyclopedia.

The proposed laws are not clear-cut.

As one debater noted, Wikipedia is probably riddled with copyright violations. Unless Wikipedia was willing to spend an enormous budget — for which it doesn’t have — regulating and checking every contribution, it probably wouldn’t be able to survive in the online world of SOPA.

It seems to be an opinion in other countries than the U.S that the enforcement of this legislation wouldn’t affect international sites. The U.S based company Verisign controls the .com, .net, and .org registries — which in turn makes SOPA an immediate, global issue, and not one purely restricted to U.S websites.

If the SOPA bill is passed in America, it is likely that other governments will follow suit.

The discussion prompted by Wales’ straw poll has prompted interesting debate. A Wikipedia blackout could be used to promote knowledge of the proposed legislation, and allow internet users in other countries to become more aware of how the bill would eventually affect them.

Because it will. SOPA is not a U.S website central issue — it is a global concern.

However, the risk Wikipedia takes is moving from a politically-neutral platform.

If Wikipedia is willing to do this in order to protest legislation that may affect them, then perhaps using a blackout as a last resort may be a more sensible option. Or, on the other hand, staging a potential ‘future Wikipedia scenario’ now might contribute to changes in the legislation before it’s too late.

If the SOPA bill does come in to play, Wikipedia may end up on more than a voluntary, short-term blackout.

Source: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/igeneration/would-a-wikip...


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