Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales took some time out of his busy schedule on Tuesday to talk with CNN’s Erin Burnett about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) both of which threaten a great deal of harm to various internet properties and personal rights regarding censorship and first amendment protections.
In his interview he talks about the burdens placed on community sites such as Wikipedia which would be required under the law to police their communities with absolute authority at every turn.
Burnett asks Jimmy Wales about Pirate Bay, asking if he supports sites setup for piracy.
“For me I think that site is a problem and I think the right way to fix it is to not place censorship on the internet, not to force Google to stop listing them, not to force Wikipedia to stop talking about them, the right answer is too follow the money, if you got large scale piracy going on it’s a trade issue and I think that’s the right approach.”
When asked how the bill would affect Wikipedia he states:
“In the worst versions of the bill Wikipedia would be considered a search engine and we would not be able to even link to something like the Pirate Bay even in our encyclopedic description of what Pirate Bay is. I think that’s a real problem, that raises really serious first amendment issues.
Here’s the full video of the conversation:
Wales’ interview comes at the same time that Wikipedia has went dark for 24-hours in protest of the internet crippling acts.
Do you side with Jimmy Wales and Wikipedia or do you think Congress needs to pass the SOPA and PIPA bills?