Statement from the Wikimedia Foundation regarding developments in Washington on SOPA and PIPA
San Francisco, CA -- January 20, 2012 -- On January 18, millions of people called their Congressional representatives to denounce SOPA and PIPA as attacks on the free and open Internet. This morning, leaders in the House and Senate announced consideration of the bills would be indefinitely postponed, after many members of Congress, including some supporters of the bills, issued statements disassociating themselves from the legislation over the past two days.
Sue Gardner, Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, said:
- The Wikimedia Foundation welcomes these developments. This is another step towards the ultimate destruction of these two pieces of proposed legislation. But let’s be clear, these bills are not dead. They will return, and when they do, they must not harm the interests of the hundreds of millions of people who contribute to the free and open Internet.
- The blackout was led by millions of ordinary Internet users, and the people who make projects like Wikipedia possible - writers, photographers, editors and illustrators. They sent a clear message to Congress: don’t mess with free expression, don’t destroy the free and open Internet, don’t do the bidding of traditional corporate interests. This is a moment in history when the people who create and share works on the Internet as part of the free knowledge movement, and the people who depend on access to those works, are asking to be heard and to have their freedom of speech protected.
The Wikimedia Foundation is the non-profit organization that operates Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. According to comScore Media Metrix, Wikipedia and the other projects operated by the Wikimedia Foundation receive more than 474 million unique visitors per month, making them the fifth-most popular web property world-wide (comScore, November 2011). Available in 282 languages, Wikipedia contains more than 20 million articles contributed by a global volunteer community of more than 100,000 people. Based in San Francisco, California, the Wikimedia Foundation is an audited, 501(c)(3) charity that is funded primarily through donations and grants.
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