With some websites (such as Google and Flickr) making statements today, along with other sites completely shutting down for the day (such as Wikipedia, reddit, and WordPress), the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) are gaining mainstream attention.
SOPA, in the U.S. House of Representatives, and PIPA, in the U.S. Senate, are bills are aimed at foreign websites that infringe copyrighted material. The US Department of Justice would have the authority to block access to, as well as force advertisers to cease business with, an infringing site. Search engines would also have to remove these sites from their search results.
Arguments against these bills (made by the tech giants named above, as well as eBay, Craigslist, Twitter, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and many more) claim that they're too vaguely written, they won't actually curb piracy, and that they could be applied to their own websites. This is a big concern with sites that allow users to upload content, as the sites fear that they could be completely shut down due to infringing content that a single user might upload.
However, SOPA/PIPA supporters claim that things are being blown out of proportion. Cary Sherman, CEO of the RIAA, has stated that there are safeguards in place to prevent false claims against sites.
This is an extremely basic look at SOPA & PIPA. This post is intended to be an informative post, leading readers to additional/complete information; this is NOT an opinion piece. Take a look at the additional info yourself, and if YOU have an opinion feel free to post it in the comments section!
- Library of Congress: Read both the SOPA and PIPA bills in their entirety.
- InfoWorld: "SOPA and PIPA: The pros and cons" article.
- CNET News: "RIAA chief: Copyright bills won't kill the Internet" article.
- Opposing Viewpoints in Context database: In this database, search for SOPA or PIPA for news, audio recordings, and magazine articles about these bills.
- Stop American Censorship: AmericanCensorship.org, an anti-SOPA/PIPA site, provides infographics and videos about the bills.
- SOPA Strike: A list of the websites striking and/or shutting down today in protest to SOPA/PIPA.
DISCLAIMER: These links are provided as a convenience, offering differing viewpoints. The links are NOT an endorsement of these sites, nor the content contained within.