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Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

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  • Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

    Widgets Magazine
    For those of you that like to use Wikipedia for your studies or other things, don't plan on using it this Wednesday. They're planning to going dark to protest two proposed federal Internet regulation bills - the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced the blackout on his Twitter page. He and other websites believes that the acts "will hold website owners liable for links to sources of illegal music and movie downloading, with a detrimental effect on free speech online".
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  • #2
    Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

    Sounds like a great opportunity to start using legitimate resources.

    Sorry, I really dislike Wikipedia, primarily the fact that SO MANY PEOPLE think that any entry there is 100% accurate, which is hardly ever the case with the authoring model used there. But then I come from that as a historian who knows how all too easily data is skewed based on an author's biases in print so of course an online venue where people can change content on a whim would exacerbate the problem.
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    • #3
      Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

      Originally posted by Ryos View Post
      Sounds like a great opportunity to start using legitimate resources.
      Agreed. I use Wikipedia on some occasions when I need to quickly look something up, but it'll never replace libraries or other legitimate sources of research.
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      • #4
        Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

        Most higher level schools don't allow wikipedia as a referenced source for documentation anyway, so it's not going to affect those. It's only going to affect elementary, middle and some high school classes. Also lazy web browsers like we who don't want to go find a real encyclopedia to look up historical information. :D
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        • #5
          Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

          I'll admit to sometimes using things like Wiki, Wikia, etc. However it's mostly for simple stuff. Often stuff more geared toward entertainment. Also, I have to wonder. People keep mentioning Wiki as the most inaccurate thing ever, but no one ever suggests alternative sites to visit for varied information. Then again for all I know everything is a lie on the internet.
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          • #6
            Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

            Originally posted by Momoka Kibi View Post
            People keep mentioning Wiki as the most inaccurate thing ever, but no one ever suggests alternative sites to visit for varied information.
            Unfortunately, almost every site that offers credible (well, mostly credible) information is online collections of journal articles, most of which require either a subscription via a school or have you pay an arm and a leg to gain access. It's better than nothing but really, that's about all it is. The problem is it's very easy to post complete tripe out there that seems professional but is a complete waste of time.
            "Ninjas, sushi, schoolgirls, samurai, and boobs. These are the things that cross all borders, and tie us together!"

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            • #7
              Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

              My thought on Wikipedia is that it's a great place to look to know where to start looking for research. Pull up a Wiki article, then check its sources. Go direct to those sources. That is, the ones that are credible. I find it useful for things that are factually known, but anything with even a bit of dispute needs to be cross-checked.

              Now, the blackout. I think it's a mistake. I understand where they're coming from, and the laws are poorly worded. But something does need to happen to protect IP. And what is this shutdown going to accomplish? Nothing. And yes, they did get their self-analysis correct- doing this does cost them their stance on neutrality.
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              • #8
                Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

                Originally posted by dunno001 View Post
                Now, the blackout. I think it's a mistake. I understand where they're coming from, and the laws are poorly worded. But something does need to happen to protect IP. And what is this shutdown going to accomplish? Nothing. And yes, they did get their self-analysis correct- doing this does cost them their stance on neutrality.
                I'm another person who doesn't like the idea of the blackout.

                Yes, I myself am against SOPA. However, in my honest opinion, I have a feeling that when it comes to regular joe Internet users, this little blackout is only going to annoy them (given how Wikipedia isn't the only site taking part in the blackout tomorrow). After all, it was annoying to see those "censor" bars when something similar was done two months ago to protest the bill.

                Also, from what I'm reading online, the bill is currently being shelved until Congress can get a better consensus of how the Internet works. Hence, that kinda makes the "blackout" tomorrow against SOPA a little pointless.
                Last edited by TnAdct1; 01-17-2012, 07:39 PM.
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                • #9
                  Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

                  Originally posted by dunno001 View Post
                  But something does need to happen to protect IP.
                  But there already are legal procedures for enforcing copyright, such as DMCA "takedown notices".

                  As I understand it, the main reason why the operators of Wikipedia and others object to this new proposed law is that any sort of search engine or service with user-contributed content can potentially be used by people to look up IP addresses (thus bypassing the DNS and its blacklist), and thereby would run afoul of the "anti-circumvention" provision. Effectively, it mandates censorship of the DNS and requires anyone who maintains an alternative listing of IP addresses to self-censor (and unlike with the DMCA, they're not told specifically what information they're not allowed to host).
                  Last edited by Dracula on a bike; 01-18-2012, 04:59 AM.
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                  • #10
                    Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

                    I'm all for this, but I wished they would have done it earlier in addition to this time, to capitalize on finals season for students. Censorship in any form leads to a very muddled line, and I vehemently oppose these bills. Wikipedia doing this is a bit dramatic, but when all it takes is one click to learn about these bills, I think in this case Wiki is in the right.

                    Also, Wiki is a great source of initial info, just to dive into a topic. Always go to the references section at the bottom, that's how you cite in your papers .

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                    • #11
                      Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

                      Originally posted by Dracula on a bike View Post
                      But there already are legal procedures for enforcing copyright, such as DMCA "takedown notices".
                      That's all well and good for sites hosted in the US, but what about overseas, which is where a lot of the problem sites are? Regretfully, for proper protection, something fairly draconic will be needed due to the unregulation of the internet up to this point.

                      But that also said, like I mentioned, the wording of SOPA doesn't please me either; it's too presumptuous of guilt, and yes, it would disable the DNS for the offending sites. What I think is that it would need to go further on one aspect- have ISPs block known IP addresses to sites that are problems. But, a problem site needs to be tighter defined, perhaps to only include sites that have clear and major intent (Yes, I know this would need to be legally defined also.) to violate copyright. Such a clause, when properly worded, would protect sites such as Youtube with user-generated content, but still be able to go after the torrent and pirate sites whose sole function is to facilitate theft, regardless of user ability to add files to these sites.

                      Some people aren't going to like this, but I do see most of the anime tracker sites getting hit by my proposal. Their primary function is to host files that allow me to get access to someone else's copyrighted material, or, as I alluded to before, to facilitate in the theft of IP.

                      I'm also glad to see that Congress has shelved it for the time being; if it were to pass as written, it would be a problem. The fear of user-generated content sites is real given the current iteration, and if it were to pass... well... I don't want to think about it...
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                      • #12
                        Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

                        Originally posted by dunno001 View Post
                        I'm also glad to see that Congress has shelved it for the time being; if it were to pass as written, it would be a problem. The fear of user-generated content sites is real given the current iteration, and if it were to pass... well... I don't want to think about it...
                        My understanding is that SOPA, the House of Representatives' version of the bill, has been temporarily shelved. However, PIPA, the Senate's version of the bill, is still active in the legislature.
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                        • #13
                          Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

                          Originally posted by LKK View Post
                          Originally posted by dunno001 View Post
                          I'm also glad to see that Congress has shelved it for the time being; if it were to pass as written, it would be a problem. The fear of user-generated content sites is real given the current iteration, and if it were to pass... well... I don't want to think about it...
                          My understanding is that SOPA, the House of Representatives' version of the bill, has been temporarily shelved. However, PIPA, the Senate's version of the bill, is still active in the legislature.
                          Okay, I stand corrected on that front. I heard on the radio this morning that SOPA was on hold, and that seems to be the bigger buzz word in the news. But I did hear this afternoon that the Senate plans on voting on PIPA relatively soon. I still reserve the same issues, though...
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                          • #14
                            Re: Wikipedia To Go Dark on Wedensday (January 18)

                            Originally posted by dunno001 View Post
                            Regretfully, for proper protection, something fairly draconic will be needed due to the unregulation of the internet up to this point.
                            Understand, though, that basically any technical measure (such as DNS blacklisting or traffic filtering by IP address) isn't completely immune to circumvention. Legislation like these proposals makes it illegal to circumvent those imperfect technical measures — even when doing so for purposes other than copyright infringement. (For example, the exact same techniques that could circumvent this proposed blacklisting for copyright purposes, e.g. mirroring / proxying services, are exactly the same as have been used to circumvent politically-motivated censorship.) So effectively, it's responding to the fact that some people don't obey one law (copyright) by criminalizing other activities that previously were allowed.

                            Here's a real-world example of the kind of side-effects anti-circumvention laws cause that people here are well aware of: it's possible to bypass DVD region coding, but requires hardware/software that's not authorized by the DVD CCA, and therefore might qualify as illegal according to the "anti-circumvention" part of the DMCA. Similarly, I doubt that any DVD CCA-authorized players support playing back subtitle files (such as .SSA or .SRT) from a hard disk drive together with video from a DVD (though I'm not sure; maybe there are some such players that I haven't heard of?). So in this case, people are doing an activity (buying foreign DVDs, downloading translated-and-timed scripts from the Internet, and combining them during playback) that actually benefits those who receive royalties from the copyrighted work in question, an activity that itself is not copyright violation (the script files could count as fair use because they increase, rather than decrease, the "potential market for or value of the copyrighted work"), but despite that still qualifies as a violation of the "anti-circumvention" law.

                            I don't support those who violate copyright just to avoid paying for something, and don't object to them being prosecuted for copyright violation. However, I don't believe that it's justified for governments to ban other previously-legal activities for the sole reason that doing so stands a chance of decreasing how often copyright violation occurs.
                            Last edited by Dracula on a bike; 01-18-2012, 10:25 PM. Reason: s/the/that/
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