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Announcements/Communication regarding SOPA and Wikipedia Blackout on 18 January 2012

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Sub : Communication regarding SOPA and Wikipedia Blackout on 18 January 2012

Dear Wikimedians,

You may already be aware that the English Wikipedia community has decided to support the protest against the introduction of the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA) in the US House of Representatives and the “Protect IP Act” in the US Senate. To that end, the English Wikipedia will be blacked out for a period of 24 hours on 18 January 2012.

A press release from the Wikimedia Foundation states that “if passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States.” [1], [2]

English Wikipedia response to SOPA and PIPA

  • The English Wikipedia will be blacked out, worldwide at 10.30 am IST on 18 January 2012 until 10.30 am IST, 19 January 2012.
  • Wikimedia Commons and other sister sites will not be affected by the planned blackout..

Please be aware of the following points:

  • 1) The black out is a decision taken by the global community of volunteers who edit Wikipedia, and will be implemented by the Wikimedia Foundation.[3]
  • 2) Wikipedia is a volunteer-led movement and country-specific Wikimedia chapters have no direct role in the community decision making process.
  • 3) The Wikimedia India Chapter is an independent organization and does not have control over Wikipedia and sister projects hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation.

Request to members and Wikimedians:

  • 1) There is immense media interest in the Wikipedia’s role to the SOPA issue. We request you to refrain from making comments and statements to the local / national press on this issue on behalf of the Wikimedia chapter.
  • 2) You could however choose to speak to the media as a community member if you wish to voice your individual opinion. While you are free to state your personal opinions, please do clarify that you are making these as individual community members. A good to follow is to ask the journalist to share the exact text quoting you.
  • 3) Please redirect all press queries to the Wikimedia Foundation Press Team (press@wikimedia.org) / Jay Walsh, Head of Communications, Wikimedia Foundation jwalsh@wikimedia.org or our Wikimedia India Chapter Press Team (press@wikimedia.in)


Sincerely,

Tinu Cherian
Head of Communications,
Wikimedia India Chapter

Notes :
1) The official Press Release from the Wikimedia Foundation [1]
2) Blog post from Sue Gardner, Executive Director, Wikimedia Foundation [2]
3) English Wikipedia Community decision : [3]