Wikipedia to Shut Down in Protest of Anti-Piracy Act

Popular site joins other online companies in a 24-hour protest against SOPA

Wikipedia will shut down for 24 hours Wednesday to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act, founder Jimmy Wales announced on Monday.

In doing so, Wikipedia joins a long list of web companies such as Reddit and Mozilla that are taking similar measures against the proposed legislation.

Wales used his Twitter account to spread the news, writing “Student warning! Do your homework early. Wikipedia protesting bad law on Wednesday! #sopa

In place of Wikipedia, users will see instructions for how to reach local members of Congress, which Wales hopes "will melt phone systems in Washington."

He also noted that comScore estimates the English Wikipedia’s web traffic at 25 million daily visitors worldwide.

Also Read: MPAA: It's Time to Stop Obstruction on Anti-Piracy Legislation (Updated)

The White House issued a warning Saturday about SOPA, as well as related legislation such as the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) and the Online Protection and Digital Enforcement Act (OPEN), which would give the government and content companies more power to police the unlawful promulgation of their intellectual property.

It insisted any effort to combat online piracy “must guard against the risk of online censorship of lawful activity and must not inhibit innovation by our dynamic businesses large and small.”

The Motion Picture Association of America was conciliatory — but firm — in its response to the White House's statement.

"We welcome the Administration's clear statement that legislation is needed to stop foreign based thieves from stealing the hard work and creativity of millions of American workers," the MPAA said, in a statement prepared by Michael O’Leary, Senior Executive Vice President for Global Policy and External Affairs for the MPAA.