United States Senate 968 (PIPA) and HR 3261 (SOPA): What Does This all Mean?

Facebook- Default 11/11Confused already? Well, this can have a direct impact on the internet as we know it so we better get unconfused and figure this out!

Have you noticed that many popular websites are ‘going black’ to protest the proposed legislation of the United State Senate 968 (PIPA) and HR 3261 (SOPA)? What exactly is this legislation all about? Let’s look at what Wikipedia has to say about them.

 Senate 968 - PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 or PIPA) is discussed in depth in this link to Wikipedia.  Below is a brief description they have listed for PIPA:

Nonauthoritative domain name servers would be ordered to take technically feasible and reasonable steps to prevent the domain name from resolving to the IP address of a website that had been found by the court to be “dedicated to infringing activities.” The website could still be reached by its IP address, but links or users that used the website’s domain name would not reach it. Search engines—such as Google—would be ordered to “(i) remove or disable access to the Internet site associated with the domain name set forth in the [court] order; or (ii) not serve a hypertext link to such Internet site.”

Trademark and copyright holders who have been harmed by the activities of a website dedicated to infringing activities would be able to apply for a court injunction against the domain name to compel financial transaction providers and Internet advertising services to stop processing transactions to and placing ads on the website but would not be able to obtain the domain name remedies available to the Attorney General.


Now let’s look at H.R. 3261 “Stop Online Piracy Act” (SOPA). Wikipedia discusses this legislation in depth as well and can be read in full here. Let’s read below for a brief description of this legislation.

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 facilitatingcopyright 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. The bill would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a crime, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison for ten such infringements within six months. The bill also gives immunity to Internet services that voluntarily take action against websites dedicated to infringement, while making liable for damages any copyright holder who knowingly misrepresents that a website is dedicated to infringement.

The list of who is for and who is against is long and slanted on both sides. Take a look at the list Craigslist has published for users to read as they enter the site.

Supporters of PIPA and SOPA: RIAA, MPAA, News Corp, TimeWarner, Walmart, Nike, Tiffany, Chanel, Rolex, Sony, Juicy Couture, Ralph Lauren, VISA, Mastercard,Comcast, ABC, Dow Chemical, Monster Cable, Teamsters, Rupert Murdoch, LamarSmith (R-TX), John Conyers (D-MI)

Opponents of PIPA and SOPA: Google, Yahoo, Wikipedia, craigslist, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, eBay, AOL, Mozilla, Reddit, Tumblr, Etsy, Zynga, EFF, ACLU, Human Rights Watch, Darrell Issa (R-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Ron Paul (R-TX)

To see a video that will explain why we need to be concerned about this legislation, please click here. Knowledge is power, People. Without seeking the knowledge necessary to form an educated opinion, you can’t weigh in. Understand this legislation and the impact it could/will have on the future of the internet as we know it. Contact your lawmakers to let them know how you feel!

What do you think of this proposed legislation? For or against? Are you planning on contacting your lawmakers to voice your opinion? Tell us your thoughts below. We would love to hear your opinion!

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