MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Internet giant Wikipedia will join several other websites on Wednesday and cease operations that day as a protest of the Stop Online Privacy Act currently in the House of Representatives.
SOPA, as its known, has also sparked the website Reddit to shut down for 12 hours Wednesday. The “Cheezburger Network” will also join the web blackout to protest SOPA.
The bill, which has a sister version in the Senate called Protect IP, according to CNET.com. Both bills are supported by the deep pockets of the big record companies and Hollywood film studios.
SOPA would allow the U.S. attorney general to seek a court order to shut down access to offshore Web sites.
Once the court order is granted, the attorney general could force U.S. Internet service providers to block the sites.
In addition, according to CNET the bill could end up requiring ISP’s to monitor what web sites individuals visit and block sites that may be infringing on copyright.
The bill would essentially create a blacklist of potentially millions of websites that may or may not be engaged in copyright infringement regarding movies, television, and music.
So, a site like YouTube or Wikipedia could be blacklisted due to alleged copyright infringement.
Wikipedia owner Jimmy Wales said the decision to go dark on Wednesday was “a decision by the Wikipedia community.”
The site, according to comScore, receives roughly 25 million daily visitors from around the globe.
Texas Republican Lamar Smith, who sponsored the SOPA bill, has been financially benefiting from leading the charge.
The top donors to his 2012 campaign committee are from the TV, movie, and music industries, according to CNET.
President Barack Obama has said he is against both SOPA and the Senate version, PIPA.
Both bills are likely to be brought up to a vote in the two Congressional chambers, but a White House veto could be looming if they are passed.