Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Business

Wikipedia's Wales says blackout worked

Friday, January 20, 2012 - 02:32

Jan 20 - Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales tells Reuters TV that the blackout staged by the online encyclopedia over proposed anti-piracy legislation was effective in pressuring U.S. politicians. Matt Cowan reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Oxford University is a long way from Washington D.C. but proposed U.S. anti-piracy legislation - which has since been postponed - has been the subject of energetic debate here too. SOUNDBITE: JIMMY WALES, WIKIPEDIA FOUNDER SAYING (English): "Hollywood is very concerned about the problems of piracy. They are unfortunately in my view quite prone to exaggerating the size of the problem." It is something of a coincidence that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales was here to help launch of an online campaign called Free Speech Debate a day after his site was blacked out as part of an effort to generate debate about free speech...But following the blackout, Wales was happy to shed light on his views. SOUNDBITE) (English) JIMMY WALES, WIKIPEDIA FOUNDER SAYING: "My view is that the solution to this can't start with thinking about ways of censoring the internet, thinking about ways to block access to things. First of all it's completely hopeless, the internet just doesn't work that way." Oxford Professor Timothy Garton Ash explains why U.S. legislation is the focus of such attention so far away. SOUNDBITE: TIMOTHY GARTON ASH, OXFORD PROFESSOR OF EUROPEAN STUDIES SAYING: (English): "Everybody gets their knowledge online. Everybody who's online - which is two billion people - gets their knowledge online and a lot of it comes from sites which is basically first amendment U.S. jurisdiction. So the whole of Wikipedia, Google.com. So what America does impacts on the whole world." Wales admits shuttering a repository of free knowledge in order to take a stand about free speech is somewhat counterintuitive, but he also says it's been effective. SOUNDBITE) (English) JIMMY WALES, WIKIPEDIA FOUNDER SAYING: "On a normal day, 25 to 30 million people would come to English Wikipedia but we had over 160 million people check out what was going on. We had over eight million people in the U.S. look up the phone number for their Congressman. We don't know how many actually called but the reports we heard back from Capitol Hill was that they were swamped. The House phone system went down at one point so that was exciting." And by the end of the week, the politicians back in Washington decided it wasn't the right time to proceed with the Stop Online Piracy Act. Shelving the bills indefinitely. Matt Cowan, Reuters.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Wikipedia's Wales says blackout worked

Friday, January 20, 2012 - 02:32

Editors' Picks »

Most Popular »

Moving Pictures »

Images of November Images of November

Tue, 02 Dec, 2014 - (0:30)

Images of October Images of October

Mon, 03 Nov, 2014 - (0:57)

The world in a city The world in a city

Fri, 31 Oct, 2014 - (1:30)

Dance of the northern lights Dance of the northern lights

Mon, 20 Oct, 2014 - (1:08)

Images of September Images of September

Thu, 02 Oct, 2014 - (1:00)

Still missing – MH370 Still missing – MH370

Fri, 05 Sep, 2014 - (2:05)

Burning Together Burning Together

Mon, 01 Sep, 2014 - (2:23)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, 22 Aug, 2014 - (3:12)

Images of August Images of August

Fri, 29 Aug, 2014 - (1:00)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, 11 Aug, 2014 - (2:27)

Oddly Enough »

Bad bear to attack Santa! Bad bear to attack Santa!

Thu, 18 Dec, 2014 - (0:42)

Navy unveils robot fish Navy unveils robot fish

Thu, 18 Dec, 2014 - (0:42)

French students dig WWI trench to relive warfare French students dig WWI trench to relive...

Wed, 17 Dec, 2014 - (1:16)

Santa abseils down Berlin high-rise Santa abseils down Berlin high-rise

Mon, 15 Dec, 2014 - (1:06)

The Christmas spirit heads underwater The Christmas spirit heads underwater

Thu, 11 Dec, 2014 - (1:01)

Dateline Asia »

North Korea to blame for Sony hack: source North Korea to blame for Sony hack: source

Thu, 18 Dec, 2014 - (1:10)

China's child labor problem China's child labor problem

Thu, 18 Dec, 2014 - (2:19)

Measuring up North Korea's heir Measuring up North Korea's heir

Wed, 17 Dec, 2014 - (1:03)

Russia worries rock emerging markets Russia worries rock emerging markets

Wed, 17 Dec, 2014 - (1:14)

Seoul raises the "nut rage" stakes Seoul raises the "nut rage" stakes

Tue, 16 Dec, 2014 - (1:03)

Sydney in shock after hostage horror Sydney in shock after hostage horror

Tue, 16 Dec, 2014 - (1:07)

Not all merry and bright in China's manufacturing sector Not all merry and bright in China's...

Tue, 16 Dec, 2014 - (1:29)

Beneath the surface of Abe's big win Beneath the surface of Abe's big win

Mon, 15 Dec, 2014 - (1:15)

Some hostages escape from Sydney cafe Some hostages escape from Sydney cafe

Mon, 15 Dec, 2014 - (1:06)

Reuters Investigates »

Where the sea is closing in Where the sea is closing in

Thu, 20 Nov, 2014 - (3:41)

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, 19 Feb, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, 10 Jan, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, 29 Aug, 2013 - (13:22)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, 05 Aug, 2013 - (1:36)