Wikipedia founder hails halting of US piracy bills

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) ? The founder of Wikipedia has hailed the online encyclopedia’s role in helping halt U.S. legislation aimed at cracking down on Internet piracy.

Jimmy Wales told The Associated Press in an interview Thursday that the idea to black out Wikipedia’s English pages for 24 hours came from the site’s volunteer editors, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of the move.

Wales says the two bills that Congress postponed indefinitely last week were “very badly designed, technologically incompetent, and just something that we felt needed to be stopped.”

Wikipedia was among a number of sites that argued the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect Intellectual Property Act would hurt technological innovation and infringe on free-speech rights.