The average American may not spend much time thinking about individual bills working their way through government machines. But popular websites are making sure the average web user knows exactly what SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (the Protect IP Act) are by hitting them where it hurts: in the Wikipedia.
Internet companies have been objecting to the SOPA and PIPA bills for weeks, but now sites like Wikipedia, Reddit, and Boing Boing are shutting down for 24-hours in protest of the regulations that the companies say would force them to police the internet. Google is posting a link to highlight the issue on its homepage.
If the giants of the internet oppose the legislation than you may be wondering who is supporting it? Mostly it's movie studios and record companies, still railing against the impact file sharing has made on their business since the advent of Napster.
So if your fifth grader is looking to write a research paper, or you need to settle a bar bet tonight, you'll have to turn to an actual encyclopedia-or at least a site other than Wikipedia.