Jan 18, 2012

I know I can't be the only wondering what the hell is SOPA. Just like you, I am a slave to the internet. So while perusing the 'net as I normally do, I kept running across the words SOPA and PIPA. Now, initially I kept ignoring it because I figured it probably was something I had absolutely no interest in anyway. I mean seriously I got other stuff to worry about besides some new acronyms popping up on the internet. But after awhile, I started to see the acronyms popping up a the top of all the major search engines. This discovery prompted me to do a little investigating on my own and what I discovered was something I felt I should share with my readers.

What is SOPA?
SOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act, now pending in the House of Representatives

What is PIPA?PIPA is the Protect IP Act which is the companion bill to SOPA, now pending in the Senate

The website Politico has done a wonderful job breaking down exactly what is going on and why the bills are causing such an uproar. Here's a snippet of what they are reporting:

What’s the big idea?

SOPA and PIPA are designed to crack down on websites based offshore that peddle illegal content — think pirated Hollywood blockbusters and fake Viagra. No one disputes that that’s a worthy goal. The rub is whether it would give the government and copyright holders too much control over the Web.

Here’s how it would work: If the Justice Department or a copyright holder believed a site was directing users to pirated content, they would go to court. Depending on who’s complaining, different remedies would come into play: In some instances a judge could order an Internet service provider like Verizon to cut off access to a site. In others, a search engine like Google could be directed to delete links to an infringing site. The idea is to starve the offending sites of the web traffic that keeps them in business.

Why’s it such a big deal?

What’s happening now on the Web, the bills’ backers say, is nothing short of rampant unpoliced theft of American goods. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, so-called “rogue” sites draw hundreds of millions of clicks a year — at a huge toll to the American economy. The business lobby cites research by brand protection firm MarkMonitor estimating that illegal sites cost legitimate businesses more than $130 billion in revenue annually.

Enter SOPA and PIPA.

Click here to read the entire report.


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