Wikipedia shuts down to protest anti-piracy bill

NEW YORK (AP) -- Don't be surprised if you can't find Wikipedia today.

The online encyclopedia's English language website is down until midnight. The 24-hour blackout is to protest anti-piracy legislation under consideration in Congress.

The Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act are designed to crack down on sales of pirated U.S. products overseas.

Supporters including the film and music industry say the legislation is needed to protect intellectual property and jobs.

Click here to view an exhibit of protesting sites

Critics say it could hurt the technology industry and infringe on free-speech rights. Tech companies such as Google , Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, eBay, AOL and others have said it threatens the industry's livelihood.

Several online communities such as Reddit , Boing Boing and others have announced plans to go dark in protest as well.

But Wikipedia volunteer editors who disagree with the shutdown say it threatens the credibility of their work. Editor Robert Lawton says, "Before we know it, we're blacked out because we want to save the whales."

Full text of the SOPA bill

Full text of the PIPA bill

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