SOPA, that means Stop Online Piracy Act is a law project (Bill) introduced by the House of Representatives of United States. It was presented on October 26, 2011 by the republican Lamar S. Smith, with the only purpose of expanding the capacities of the owners’ rights to combat the traffic on the internet. Basically, the objective of it is that the products, media or any internet information were protected by copyright or by intellectual property. This law project (bill) has serious repercussions for its current structure of the internet in every sense. It allows the department of justice and any owner to obtain a judicial order against any service or website that facilitate or allow infringement of copyright.
Some of the actions that the company or website can do are:1. Being blocked by the Internet providers to the service in question or web, including hosting and the DNS (Domain Name System).2. Internet companies like PayPal, have to freeze and restrict the use of the funds, service.3.
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Any advertising services should bloc the service or web. An example of this can be Yahoo ad sense can’t offer service on websites denounced.4. All the links to the website or service reported has to be removed. The law could extend the existing criminal laws, including the streaming of material with rights as a penalizable attitude; and imposing a sentence of up to five years of prison. This bill has been compared many times with the “Ley Sinde”, that is designed to fight against piracy. This law basically, expands the powers of action to prevent any exchange of this type of content, like movies, music, games, etc. The network has been already denounced because it’s a form of censorship; by time they are a lot of campaigns against this Stop Online Piracy Act.
I this bill get to be approved, the legislation will force Internet companies to block access to pages that allow illegal downloads. It will prohibit advertisers from posting their advertisements on those websites. Also, in any case of litigation, the burden of proof fails on the content distributor, instead to the complainant. Opponents claim that the proposed legislation threatens freedom of expression, investment and innovations on the Internet, as it enables justice to block access to a complete domain for a single infringement on a single web page.
On January 18, 2012, the English edition of Wikipedia, Reddit, and an estimated number of 7,000 smaller websites coordinated a protest measure that included the blackout of services, the display of censored images, and links to pages that explained the SOPA and PIPA laws and their possible consequences. After that “Online Firestorm”, Weisman (2012) in a new to Lamar Smith said, “The committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.” But he added, “The House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution.”