Websites Protest Article 13 With Large Blackout Campaign

Some are calling it a repeat of the SOPA blackout protests. Various websites around the web are blacking out their sites to protest article 13.

It’s the next step in a massive week of action. As we reported last week, websites are scheduled to participate in a massive blackout protest. If you are seeing websites you visit being blacked out, that is why.

Germany’s Wikipedia page is one of the big sites that said that they would be participating. TheLocal picked up on the story explaining why the site is down:

In place of the usual Wikipedia site, for Thursday visitors will see a black screen with white writing describing the reasons for the protest.

The black screen is led with a capitalized banner which says “This is our last chance. Help us to modernize copyright in Europe.”

At the centre of the campaign is a European copyright law reform, which Wikipedia says “could severely restrict the free internet” and “significantly affect freedom of opinion, art and the press”.

Currently, platforms such as YouTube are not responsible for copyright violations – although they are required to remove content which is found to be breaching copyright. The new laws will shift the balance, making companies liable for copyrighted content that appears on their platforms.

We visited the site ourselves and got this screen:

Another website, Techdirt, is also participating in the protest. Here’s a screenshot of their site:

The European Digital Rights organization (EDRi) is also participating in the protests. Here’s what their site looks like:

Another organization, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is also participating:

One other major site that joined the protests is Reddit. One user posted a screenshot of what that page did.

With so much extra publicity this issue is earning, it seems likely to help further fuel the protests on the streets and online as we get closer to the next vote.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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