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Wikipedia (and others) to Shut Down in Protest of Proposed SOPA and PIPA Legislation [VIDEO]

(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Do you use the internet? Do you think the government, any government, should have the power to decide what sites you have access to? There are two a new pieces of legislation in the works called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) and some say thew will do anything but protect the internet.

Some say that the bills will be the end of the internet as we know it – if passed.

Some major internet sites are taking big steps to draw attention to this legislation. This information comes from Pulse Of Radio, an online prep service I subscribe to.

Online encyclopedia Wikipedia is set to shut down for 24 hours on Wednesday (January 18th) in protest of online piracy legislation currently before the U.S. House and Senate. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales said on Twitter Monday (January 16th)m “Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday!” Quoting Martin Luther King Jr. on the national holiday celebrating the civil rights leader, Wales tweeted, “‘Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.’ MLK — on Wednesday, Wikipedia demands.” The draft Stop Online Piracy Act legislation is backed by Hollywood, the music industry, the Business Software Alliance, the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. But the founders of Google, Twitter, Wikipedia, Yahoo! and other big Internet players expressed concern about the legislation in an open letter last month, saying it would, quote, “give the U.S. government the power to censor the Web using techniques similar to those used by China, Malaysia and Iran.” They said, “We urge Congress to think hard before changing the regulation the underpins the Internet. Let’s not deny the next generation of entrepreneurs and founders the same opportunities we all had.”

It seems like they think it’s a pretty big deal. A tech savvy friend of mine shared a video that tries to put the whole thing into perspective and use language that most of us will understand.

Watch this video that tries to explain what the legislation may do.

What will happen? I don’t know. But when you log into Wikipedia on Wednesday and it’s not there, at least you’ll know why.

Click here for a list of other sites going dark in protest to the SOPA and PIPA bills

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