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The Stop Online Piracy Act ( SOPA ) is a United States bill introduced by U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith (R-TX) to expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement to combat online copyright infringement and online trafficking in counterfeit goods . Provisions include the requesting of court orders to bar advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with infringing websites, and search engines from linking to the websites, and court orders requiring Internet service providers to block access to the websites.
Go to a town hall, visit your state forum : Voice your concerns directly to your Senator before the Jan 24 vote at a town hall or in-person meeting. Get the latest and work with people in your area to kill the censorship bills, SOPA and PIPA in the House and Senate, respectively. Get meeting materials here. Congress is about to pass internet censorship, even though the vast majority of Americans are opposed. We need to kill the bill to protect our rights to free speech, privacy, and prosperity.
The PROTECT IP Act ( Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act , or PIPA ) is a proposed law with the stated goal of giving the US government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to "rogue websites dedicated to the sale of infringing or counterfeit goods", especially those registered outside the U.S. [ 1 ] The bill was introduced on May 12, 2011, by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) [ 2 ] and 11 bipartisan co-sponsors. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that implementation of the bill would cost the federal government $47 million through 2016, to cover enforcement costs and the hiring and training of 22 new special agents and 26 support staff. [ 3 ] The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill, but Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) placed a hold on it. [ 4 ] The PROTECT IP Act is a re-write of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), [ 5 ] which failed to pass in 2010.
Over the weekend, the Obama administration issued a potentially game-changing statement on the blacklist bills, saying it would oppose PIPA and SOPA as written, and drew an important line in the sand by emphasizing that it “will not support” any bill “that reduces freedom of expression, increases cybersecurity risk, or undermines the dynamic, innovative global Internet." Yet, the fight is still far from over. Even though the New York Times reported that the White House statement "all but kill[s] current versions of the legislation," the Senate is still poised to bring PIPA to the floor next week, and we can expect SOPA proponents in the House to try to revive the legislation—unless they get the message that these initiatives must stop, now.