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”
(PIPA) 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
   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

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 ( / Jay Walsh, Head of Communications,
   Wikimedia Foundation or our Wikimedia India
   Chapter Press Team (


Tinu Cherian
Head of Communications, Wikimedia India Chapter

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