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On Jan. 18, 2012, neglected encyclopaedias were taken down from bookshelves, as Wikipedia.com closed its virtual doors to people in the English-speaking world. They did so in protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), two pieces of prospective U.S. legislation regarding the use of copyright material on the Internet. Now a similar storm is brewing in Europe over an international treaty known as ACTA (the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement).

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