Information seekers everywhere will have a hurdle to their keyword searches on Wednesday, January 18th as Wikipedia will be completely unavailable for 24 hours.
The editable encyclopedia will be going dark in support against the piracy acts being debated in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Stop Internet Piracy Act, or SOPA has several tools that could enable more denial of access to users from internet providers. The associated Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) is also being protested by many sites going black in a few hours. The Motion Picture Association of America is calling the demonstration a stunt.
Please read the acts for yourself for the most complete picture of the situation. It is important for everyone to have a free and open internet, or as close to such as possible. Sue Gardner from Wikipedia believes this to be a threat, more than a stunt: “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.”