Until this week, entertainment industry executives thought they had the votes for new federal legislation cracking down on foreign websites that traffic in pirated movies and music and cost them billions.
They lined up support from the powerful pharmaceutical industry and labor unions, and organized an impressive bipartisan coalition in Congress.
Then Silicon Valley struck back and appears to have outflanked Hollywood.
The result was on full display Tuesday night as Wikipedia,Craigslist and other popular sites shut down for a threatened 12- to 24-hour strike, said to be the Internet's first such stoppage. As many as 10,000 others had also threatened to go dark.
Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia's founder, said the strike was meant to protest the legislation's "frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world." Visitors to Wikipedia's English-language site and others participating in the strike were met with a page urging them to write to Congress to oppose two proposed bills.More from AP: