If you can’t do without Wikipedia . . .
As I’m sure you know, Wikipedia is dark today to protest the bills pending in Congress that would give content providers new tools to stop copyright infringement. The legislation is awful (when it comes to IP, that’s par for the course) and I endorse this protest wholeheartedly. Alleged copyright infringers should have an opportunity to defend themselves–the notion that they can be punished through an ex part proceeding or by simply telling a host that you think somebody is engaged in illegal activity is contrary to due process and to the First Amendment. Moreover, a policy that allows a site to be, in effect, disconnected from the Web is more suited to Beijing than Washington DC. When I lived in China, it would be fun to figure out what websites you could or could not access. (Legal blogs from the US were always blocked back then.) What Congress is contemplating is not as bad, but the underlying principle is the same. The state should not get to decide what websites we can visit–period.
Though I have class this morning, I’ll be available after that to answer all questions that you would normally take to Wikipedia. Consider it a game of “Stump Gerard.” I accept the challenge!