I’m sure you’ve heard the recent buzz about the new bills set forth by Congress: PIPA and SOPA.

I myself was slightly confused so I decided to figure out what the real story was and report back to you all. 

SOPA, or the Stop Online Privacy Act, would “allow the U.S. Department of Justice, as well as copyright holders, to seek court orders against websites accused of enabling or facilitating copyright 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.” (Wikipedia)

That paragraph, I know, is long, but it is the best explanation I’ve found. Basically, privately owned companies, under SOPA, would have the ability to shut down websites that stream “copyrighted content” like YouTube, Tumblr, Wikipedia, Reddit, WordPress (Goodbye bloggers)  and many others. 

PIPA, or the Protect IP Act,  is an act “giving the US government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to “rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods”, especially those registered outside the U.S.” (Wikipedia)

If you don’t live under a rock, you’ve probably noticed the Internet Revolution that has begun. Anti- SOPA sentiments are trending on almost every social networking site, including Twitter, Facebook, and many others. 

Many websites blacked out today to raise awareness including Wikipedia, Reddit, Google, and WordPress.

The Obama administration has in fact made a statement saying that they do not support SOPA or PIPA.  

Take the internet into your hands. The internet is a platform designed for people to bounce information back and forth to one another. Allowing private companies to remove or block websites is censorship. China, Syria, and Iran have similar policies to those outlined in SOPA. How do you want the internet to look in a year?


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Miranda Feneberger

Miranda Feneberger

In the middle of an existential crisis. If you have one of those super long phone chargers can you send it to me?