SOPA and PIPA. How does it affect us?

What do you think of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act) blackout? Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla, Google, and many others protest proposed law by the U.S. I went onto Wikipedia last night, 18 January 2012 and saw the blackout. It said that it will be for a full 24 hours from today, January 18th, starting at midnight ET. I asked around and not many people know of the internet strike.

So what is SOPA and PIPA? The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as House Bill 3261 or H.R. 3261, is a bill that was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on October 26, 2011, by House Judiciary Committee Chair Representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of 12 initial co-sponsors. The bill, if made law, would expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. Presented to the House Judiciary Committee, it builds on the similar PRO-IP Act of 2008 and the corresponding Senate bill, the PROTECT IP Act.
The originally proposed bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as copyright holders, to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright infringement. Depending on who makes the request, the court order could include barring online advertising networks and payment facilitators from doing business with the allegedly infringing website, barring search engines from linking to such sites, and requiring Internet service providers to block access to such sites.

Those in favour of the bill say it protects the intellectual property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue, and is necessary to bolster enforcement of copyright laws, especially against foreign websites. But where do we draw the line? Right now those in favour are just talking about how jobs will be boosted, etc but they don’t say that this could spread to religious websites too. That bothers me. What do we do if the U.S feels that an Islamic site has terrorist tendencies… which let’s say for argument’s sake, doesn’t. I wonder how many pornographic sites will be censored? Not many I’m sure. So I wonder how beneficial these acts are.
On 24 January 2012, Congress will vote to pass internet censorship. So many are protesting to protect their right of free speech as it were.

Visit http://sopastrike.com/ to see a list of all the sites protesting SOPA and PIPA.

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