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Wikipedia co-founder defends 24-hour shut down

18 January 2012 Last updated at 02:10 GMT

The English version of the Wikipedia website will be shut down for 24 hours in protest at new laws being proposed in America to stop online piracy.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives are considering bills that would allow the US authorities to seek to block sites that allow illegal file sharing.

Wikipedia's founder, Jimmy Wales, told Newsnight he agrees with protecting copyrighted content but not with the way it is being done.

But Michael O'Leary of the Motion Picture Association of America said that Wikipedia's 24-hour blackout was a "cute gimmick".