What are SOPA and PIPA ?

What Are SOPA and PIPA?

SOPA is the Stop Online Piracy Act. PIPA is the PROTECT IP Act, also known as Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act. SOPA and PIPA are two parts of the same legislation passing through the U.S. Congress. SOPA is the version of the bill proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives while PIPA is the version of the bill proposed in the U.S. Senate. (PIPA was introduced in the Senate first; SOPA came to the House of Representatives as a bigger, badder version of PIPA.) Essentially both SOPA and PIPA are brothers from different mothers; both, generally speaking, propose online piracy countermeasures. If passed by Congress, both will most likely be merged into one single act before being made law.

SOPA/PIPA can broadly be termed as anti-piracy acts. The goal of these acts, on paper, is to stem online piracy of intellectual property and copyrighted content. The acts loosely define what “copyright infringement” is and gives copyright holders and the government far-reaching powers to sue websites/companies/individuals suspected of copyright infringement. Consequences of lawsuits brought under SOPA/PIPA include freezing of funds for accused entities by baring ad networks and payment processing companies from doing business with accused infringers; forcing search engines to de-link accused websites; and making ISPs block access to infringing websites. Additionally, unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content is made a crime punishable by jail time and companies that voluntarily act against copyright infringers will gain immunity from prosecution.

Any copyright holder that knowingly abuses SOPA/PIPA against an entity (i.e. claims a website/company/individual is infringing on copyrights when the website/company/individual actually is not) is liable for damages.

Will this affect me ? as I’m not in USA.

If you are under the impression that SOPA/PIPA will only affect USA citizens, you are wrong. In laymen’s terms, SOPA/PIPA will do things such as: Force US-based domain registrars to hijack the domains of infringing websites, regardless of if the accused infringer is a USA-based website or not; make US entities, including web hosts, search engines, blogs, magazines, etc., not do business with infringing websites; etc. These actions will have ripple affects throughout the world. For example, a UK-based website’s domain is registered with GoDaddy. GoDaddy is an American company and thus under the jurisdiction of SOPA/PIPA. If the UK-based website is accused of copyright infringement under SOPA/PIPA, its domain can be hijacked and taken away from it. In short, SOPA/PIPA does not have the ability to cut off the head of accused copyright infringers that are outside the USA; but it will break their legs and thus cripple them in the process.

Furthermore, a website of a USA company, such as YouTube, will be no longer be accessible by people outside the USA if that USA company is hit by SOPA/PIPA. Plus once USA passes such a law do you really think other countries will sit still and do nothing? Other nations will draft similar legislation, some of which may be more abusive than what we have proposed here.

We already have anti-piracy acts. What is new with these ACTS?

Yes, much of the anti-piracy measures mentioned above are already in place and being enforced. The problem with SOPA/PIPA isn’t necessarily the punishment it dishes out, although some may argue that is also an issue. The biggest issue with SOPA/PIPA is how it defines who can be targeted by the legislation; it broadly widens the scope of anti-piracy measures. For example, a website – such as a non-infringing social network or blog – that lists a link to an infringing website (posted by a reader, not the website itself) can potentially be shutdown under SOPA/PIPA.

Who Is For And Against SOPA/PIPA ?

Companies who’s intellectual property is regularly pirated are for SOPA/PIPA; companies such as Viacom, Disney, ABC, CBS, etc. — basically the entertainment industry plus a few others. Companies who can potentially be targeted by SOPA/PIPA are against it; companies such as Google, AOL, eBay, Facebook, etc. — basically all Web 2.0 companies.

The official list of SOPA supporters is as follows:

  • 60 Plus Association
  • ABC
  • Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies (ASOP)
  • American Bankers Association (ABA)
  • American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
  • American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
  • American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)
  • Americans for Tax Reform
  • Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States
  • Association of American Publishers (AAP)
  • Association of State Criminal Investigative Agencies
  • Association of Talent Agents (ATA)
  • Beachbody, LLC
  • BMI
  • BMG Chrysalis
  • Building and Construction Trades Department
  • Capitol Records Nashville
  • CBS
  • Cengage Learning
  • Christian Music Trade Association
  • Church Music Publishers’ Association
  • Coalition Against Online Video Piracy (CAOVP)
  • Comcast/NBCUniversal
  • Concerned Women for America (CWA)
  • Congressional Fire Services Institute
  • Copyhype
  • Copyright Alliance
  • Coty, Inc.
  • Council of Better Business Bureaus (CBBB)
  • Council of State Governments
  • Country Music Association
  • Country Music Television
  • Creative America
  • Deluxe
  • Directors Guild of America (DGA)
  • Disney Publishing Worldwide, Inc.
  • Elsevier
  • EMI Christian Music Group
  • EMI Music Publishing
  • Entertainment Software Association (ESA)
  • ESPN
  • Estée Lauder Companies
  • Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)
  • Gospel Music Association
  • Graphic Artists Guild
  • Hachette Book Group
  • HarperCollins Publishers Worldwide, Inc.
  • Hyperion
  • Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA)
  • International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE)
  • International AntiCounterfeiting Coalition (IACC)
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
  • International Trademark Association (INTA)
  • International Union of Police Associations
  • L’Oreal
  • Lost Highway Records
  • Macmillan
  • Major County Sheriffs
  • Major League Baseball
  • Majority City Chiefs
  • Marvel Entertainment, LLC
  • MasterCard Worldwide
  • MCA Records
  • McGraw-Hill Education
  • Mercury Nashville
  • Minor League Baseball (MiLB)
  • Minority Media & Telecom Council (MMTC)
  • Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA)
  • Moving Picture Technicians
  • MPA – The Association of Magazine Media
  • National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)
  • National Association of Prosecutor Coordinators
  • National Association of State Chief Information Officers
  • National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA)
  • National Center for Victims of Crime
  • National Crime Justice Association
  • National District Attorneys Association
  • National Domestic Preparedness Coalition
  • National Football League
  • National Governors Association, Economic Development and Commerce Committee
  • National League of Cities
  • National Narcotics Offers’ Associations’ Coalition
  • National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA)
  • National Songwriters Association
  • National Troopers Coalition
  • News Corporation
  • Pearson Education
  • Penguin Group (USA), Inc.
  • Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA)
  • Pfizer, Inc.
  • Provident Music Group
  • Random House
  • Raulet Property Partners
  • Republic Nashville
  • Revlon
  • Scholastic, Inc.
  • Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
  • Showdog Universal Music
  • Sony/ATV Music Publishing
  • Sony Music Entertainment
  • Sony Music Nashville
  • State International Development Organization (SIDO)
  • The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO)
  • The Perseus Books Groups
  • The United States Conference of Mayors
  • Tiffany & Co.
  • Time Warner
  • True Religion Brand Jeans
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
  • UMG Publishing Group Nashville
  • United States Chamber of Commerce
  • United States Olympic Committee
  • United States Tennis Association
  • Universal Music
  • Universal Music Publishing Group
  • Viacom
  • Visa Inc.
  • W.W. Norton & Company
  • Wallace Bajjali Development Partners, L.P.
  • Warner Music Group
  • Warner Music Nashville
  • Wolters Kluewer Health
  • Word Entertainment

An unofficial list of SOPA/PIPA opposers is as follows:

  • AOL
  • Boing Boing
  • Creative Commons
  • Daily Kos
  • Disqus
  • eBay
  • Etsy
  • Facebook
  • Foursquare
  • Google
  • Grooveshark
  • Hype Machine
  • Kickstarter
  • Kaspersky
  • LinkedIn
  • Mozilla
  • MetaFilter
  • OpenDNS
  • O’Reilly Radar
  • Reddit
  • Techdirt
  • PayPal
  • Torrentfreak
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter
  • TechCrunch
  • Yahoo!
  • Zynga
  • Scribd
  • YCombinator
  • Wikipedia
  • Reddit
  • Namecheap
  • Petzel
  • ICanHasCheezburger
  • Quora
  • Embedly
  • MediaTemple
  • CloudFlare
  • StackExchange (Stack Overflow)
  • Github
  • Linode
  • Hostgator
  • Square
  • The Huffington Post
  • Craigslist
  • ESET
  • 4chan

So do you support SOPA and PIPA ? Think about it ……..



About Sri

An Electronics Engineer by profession. But as a hobbyist I'm drawn towards various topics which is what this blog is all about. :)


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