Wikipedia Founder Talks SOPA, Receives Funding

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Wikipedia made bank this morning when the foundation received $1 million on stage during the Digital Life Design conference.

This morning on the DLD stage, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales began a talk with VKontakte, the Russian Facebook, founder Pavel Durov. The talk was centered around SOPA, other legislation and the Wikipedia blackout from last week. Durov began the conference, however, by pledging $1 million to Wikipedia.

Vkontakte CEO Pavel Durov just pledged $1 million to Wikipedia before talking w/Jimmy Wales. #DLD12 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPad · powered by @socialditto

"I want to give Wikipedia one million dollars, if Jimmy will accept it,” Durov said. Venture Beat reported that Wales responded with, “How old are you?” Then joked that he wished he could give away $1 million when he was 27-years-old.

The official DLD tumblr went on to outline Wales’ beef with Hollywood and SOPA. The Wikipedia founder said that while Wikipedia has always been subtly political, last week’s blackout was the most overtly political thing the foundation has ever done.

#DLD12 crowd gives Jimmy Wales a hand for the #SOPA blackout. All those who applauded should fear what Viviane Reding presented here. 3 hours ago via Twitter for iPad · powered by @socialditto

Wales had a message for Hollywood: “Let people buy what they want to buy.” He went on to give an example of how he had bought the first Star Wars film on blu-ray in Europe, but it wouldn’t play in the U.S. He tried to pay for it again on iTunes, but they don’t sell it here. He then said that it’s no wonder people pirate films when the industry makes it so hard to obtain them legally.

“Digital distribution platforms are an incredible opportunity for the movie industry,” he said.

He called on Hollywood to talk to people with a bit more humility instead of trying to push draconian laws like SOPA. “When you see Rupert Murdoch on Twitter calling Google a pirate, that’s just insane,” he said.

Other laws circulating around capitol hill came under fire from Wales as well. “Anything mandating that we keep more and more records on people is probably a very bad idea,” he said.

[Lead image courtesy of the DLD tumblr]

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