What's Up with SOPA/PIPA - Internet Blackout Day - Digital Space

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

What's Up with SOPA/PIPA - Internet Blackout Day

So the American congress is planning to sensor the internet? Can they do that?

I didn't even know what SOPA or PIPA stood for 24hours ago until a good friend of mine alerted me on twitter - asking me what my take was.

Well, I admitted I didn't know what it was and decided to dig and read up. To my amazement, the long and short of the story was that the American congress wanted to pass or propose a bill to practically shut down the freedom in the internet. How? Read on


Above is image of the popular Wikipedia.org protesting the proposed bill. Many internet giants and companies have followed suit including Google (who are even sponsoring a petition signing here)

So what is SOPA/PIPA?
According to 1stwebdesigner: PIPA is an acronym for the Protect IP Act, and was first introduced to the U.S. Senate on May 12, 2011 by Senators Patrick Leahy, Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley. It is also good to take note that PIPA is a re-written legislation, the original being the failed to pass Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) of 2010.

And...

"SOPA is an acronym for the Stop Online Piracy Act, and is a bill introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Represenative Lamar Smith on October 26, 2011. In similarity with PIPA, SOPA is a build on a previous legislation. This legislation being the PRO-IP Act of 2008."

They say when this bill is passed, Senate or congress or whoever else can practically look over your shoulder and determine whether you are violating intellectual property and then go ahead to force you to either take it down or face the music. For details on the bill check here.

Here's a document (PDF) that shows a list of opposers to the bill.