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On January the eighteenth, 2012; the United States of America proposed a bill named "Stop Online Piracy Act" or "SOPA" for short and "Protect IP Act" and it was also shortened to "PIPA." These bills are threatening to Wikia due to these reasons posted on IP Law Wiki in the section called "Take Action" [1]:

Why this matters to you and to Wikia

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, I'm sure all of you have been reading about SOPA and PIPA in the news. While SOPA -- the bill in the US House of Representatives -- has gotten most of the attention, it's sister legislation, PIPA -- the bill in the US Senate -- represents a similar approach, these bills are driven by the content industry and are aimed at combatting online piracy, protecting intellectual property rights of copyright holders and protecting jobs that are claimed to be affected.

The content industry's key objective with this proposed legislation is to stop foreign companies who make millions of dollars on the backs of unlicensed content or counterfeit goods. The air supply for these companies are search engines like google who enable people to find them in the first place, ISPs who host the offending sites and payment processors (like Visa, MasterCard, Paypal, etc) who deliver payments.

While the goals of SOPA and PIPA are clear and we support them, the way SOPA and PIPA attempt to accomplish the goals amounts does not work for the internet and companies such as Wikia because:

  • they assign legal liability to site owners for ALL user generated content -- Wikia would have to inspect and filter everything users upload -- all text, images or video for copyright infringement and prevent it from being posted. This would be almost impossible to do and would create a terrible user experience with long delays between content submissions, approval and posting. We would have to do this even though we are not a target of this legislation.
  • they completely bypass today's notice/takedown provision of the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) where content owners can demand copyrighted content be taken down and site owners have to comply -- which was a carefully constructed approach that balances the needs of internet companies and the content industry. This will stifle innovation on the internet that has become the 7th largest sector driving the helath of the economy.
  • they deny site owners the due process of law by enabling DNS blacklisting based on any good faith assertion by an individual copyright owners. A site like Wikia could essentially disappear from the web because of the claim of a single content owner who asserted they saw infringing content on our site without recourse.
  • they also compel payment processors to stop doing business with the web site in question. Wikia could have our entire revenue stream stopped because a single good faith assertion of infringement on a single page in Wikia.
  • while the laws are aimed at foreign companies in general, they can be equally applied to US companies such as Wikia.

Our Actions

Battlefront Wiki, as a part of Wikia, agreed with this fully and create the decision to blackout along with millions of other sites.

For there is not a proper way, Anakin Skyobiliviator uploaded this on the main page to raise the awareness:

 Due to the United States Congress, no edits will be allowed as our site is on black out on January 18 2011 to raise the senses of the people of this involuntary action. 


Upon the next day of January the nineteenth of 2012, due to a few misunderstanding of sign, Anakin inserted a message on the Community Corner that said the following:

 ATTENTION 

Due to our protest against SOPA and PIPA, everyone please refrain from editing from January 18 to January 20. Talk page edits are allowed but article fixing must be held until the assigned date. Thank you for your cooperation.

- Administration

And to prove the point, he states that this blackout will last four days from January 18 to twentieth. He also uploaded an image that will replace the main page's normal format during the blackout. This is the image:

SOPA Blackout

The quote was taken from the 501st Journal of the first mission and revised to fit the situation.

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