Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales announced Monday that the Internet's collective knowledge bank will be blacking itself out Wednesday, Jan. 18 to protest both the Stop Online Piracy Act moving through the U.S. House of Representatives and the PROTECT IP Act that will be voted on by the U.S. Senate Jan.26.
From Wales's Twitter:
This is going to be wow. I hope Wikipedia will melt phone systems in Washington on Wednesday. Tell everyone you know!
This will be "wow" indeed, Mr. Wales.
Keep in mind that, as of this writing, only the English language Wikipedia will be blacking itself out; those fluent multilinguists among us will still be able to get all of the "research" they need using Wikipedia's other languages.
For an early analysis on the effects of SOPA and PIPA, read CNET's take.