Wikimedia South Africa/SOPA
Draft response of Wikimedia ZA to the US SOPA act
The US Stop Online Piracy Act is a piece of legislation intended to protect the copyrights and patents of US companies by providing means for companies to remove infringing content, to remove advertising from infringing pages, and to provide for criminal penalties for infringing parties.
Although the intent of the act is to protect copyright, it has unintended consequences that would threaten the way information is shared on the internet. Although a proposed piece of US legislation, the impact will be far-reaching - affecting both the global north and south by hindering our rights to have access to information and freedom of speech.
The South African Wikimedia Chapter - made up of local Wikipedians - supports the efforts of the international Wikimedia Foundation to highlight the shortcomings of this proposed legislation and to protest against its implementation. Whilst the local team will not be doing any active campaigning, we are aware that there is discussion to put up protest banners on Wikipedia in the next couple of days and we fully support this action.