January 17, 2012

Why Wikipedia is going down at midnight

1-17-2012 Global:

(CNN) -- Go to Wikipedia at midnight and you won't find any of the usual encyclopedia articles.

Instead, you'll be greeted with a message about anti-piracy bills that are topics of heated debate in the U.S. Congress -- stirring opposition from tech companies in Silicon Valley and support from media companies in Hollywood.

Wikipedia, one of the highest-traffic sites on the Internet, will shut down for 24 hours in protest of these laws, which the website says would make it very difficult -- maybe impossible -- for its nonprofit encyclopedia to continue to operate.

The blackout starts at 12 a.m. ET on Wednesday.

CNN spoke on Tuesday with Jimmy Wales, a co-founder of Wikipedia, to find out exactly why the site -- long a defender of independence -- is making its first leap into the scrum of U.S. politics. The following is an edited transcript:

For the remainder of this story: by CNN

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