To protest two U.S. bills about online piracy and intellectual property, Wikipedia will black out the English Wikipedia for 24 hours. The English language version of Wikipedia will not be available for 24 hours, back online after midnight tonight.

SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act, H.R. 3261 and PIPA, PROTECT Intellectual Property, S. 968 are bills focusing on copyright protection in the online environment. While this is a laudable goal that most everyone approves of, Wikipedia, Google, and other groups feel the bills will lessen online freedoms.

If you’re interested in this, read the full text of the bills (see above links). Cruise the web and you’ll find tons of opinions about the protest and the bills themselves.

If you’re just not sure you can live for a day without Wikipedia, take heart! The library offers plenty of online resources you can use. We have many online encyclopedias, and our research guides also point to reference resources. You can always ask a librarian the question you would have asked Wikipedia.

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