Get ready for the great SOPA blackout of 2012
How will lazy students get by on Wednesday (January 18)?
Wikipedia has announced the English version of its oh-so-reliable encyclopedia will hold a "blackout" that day in protest of the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act in the U.S.
Student warning!Do your homework early.Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday! #sopa— Jimmy Wales (@jimmy_wales) January 16, 2012
Even Google, while not staging a blackout, is set to put a protest link on its popular homepage.
You may have been wondering why you've been seeing so many tweets containing the acronyms SOPA and PIPA.
Wired has a guide to SOPA that calls the pending legislation "draconian":
If passed, Sopa would allow the US Attorney General to get a court order against foreign websites that would then be served on internet service providers with the intention of making the site in question virtually disappear to users within the United States. These actions have to be taken within five days based solely on an accusation.
A site can be shut down for a single infringing link, even if you didn't post it, for example if a commenter posts a copyrighted image inappropriately. Users can only defend themselves once their site has been taken down.
There is even a special provision for the ordinary web user that says they can be jailed for five years for posting copyrighted work.
In other words, dear students, your shoddy term paper can wait another day.