This is the VOA Special English Economics Report , from | http On January eighteenth, Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, blacked out its English language website for twenty-four hours. The move was part of an organized protest against a proposed United States law to fight illegal copying of intellectual property on the Internet.Jay Walsh is head of communications for the Wikimedia Foundation which operates Wikipedia. He says the legislation “is detrimental to the free and open Web. It’s detrimental to Wikipedia. And we want to make sure that we send a message.”The blogging site Boing Boing and social news website Reddit also went black. Erik Martin, the general manager of Reddit, said: “This is a really big deal and this is something we’re going to fight, and this is something we think threatens the entire tech sector.”Both Wikipedia and Reddit urged users to contact their congressional representative. Internet search leader Google also protested, although it continued to provide service.The protest was against two bills — the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA, and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, or PIPA. PIPA is the Senate version; SOPA is the version in the House of Representatives. Supporters say the law is needed to fight foreign websites that sell pirated copies of American movies and music. Steven Tepp is a lawyer with the US Chamber of Commerce. He says piracy of books, music, movies and other forms of intellectual property hurt the

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