Wikipedia UK goes offline in protest of SOPA

English language site among others to protest US anti-piracy law

The debate over America's planned anti-piracy laws has reached a new level with a number of websites, including Wikipedia going offline in protest

Wikipedia UK has shut down for 24 hours after the organisation confirmed it would be joining a number of websites going offline in protest to US anti-piracy laws that are currently being debated.

Wikimedia's Executive Director Sue Gardner released a statement on the website confirming that they would indeed be shutting down the English speaking version of Wikipedia for a period of 24 hours in protest.

"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"

"This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made."

Supporting the decision Sue Gardner goes on to state that while Wikipedia is a neutral organisation its existance is not, resulting in the foundation making this drastic decision.

Wikipedia will be joined by a number of website including the Cheezburger network of sites to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act.

Which side do you sit on, should these bills be allowed to pass? Let us know what you think via the comments box below...

Source: Wikipedia