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Wikipedia founder defends '24-hour-black out protest' over anti-piracy US legislation

London, Wed, 18 Jan 2012 ANI

London, Jan 18 (ANI): Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has defended his decision to shut down the website for 24 hours in protest against new laws being proposed in America to stop online piracy, despite other technology firms refusing to participate in the back out.


The digital encyclopaedia's English version will voluntarily shut down today in a protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) and Protect IP, two bills aimed at combating online piracy.


"The general sentiment seemed to be that US law, as it impacts the Internet, can affect everyone," The Telegraph quoted Wales, as saying.


"As for me, what I am hoping is that people outside the US who have friends or family who are voters in the US, will ask them to make a call to their senator or representative, and I hope we send a broad global message that the internet as a whole will not tolerate censorship in response to mere allegations of copyright infringement," he added.


Wales said the decision to either enforce a US-only blackout versus a global blackout had been made as a result of a close vote of the Wikipedia community.


"The community vote on the choice of US-only blackout versus global blackout was 479 to 591 in favour of going global, so while there was a solid majority, it wasn't the overwhelming majority that we had for the whole concept. It seems to have been somewhat of a tough choice for many people," the paper quoted him, as saying.


Wales estimated that 100 million English-speaking Wikipedia users will be affected by the blackout and warned students via his Twitter feed to "do your homework early".


Meanwhile, Twitter and other tech leaders were less enamored by his move. In a tweet, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo called Wikipedia's plans to pull the plug on its website 'foolish and silly'. (ANI)


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