If you’ve been online at all over the past few weeks, odds are you’ve run across stories, comments and posts regarding two pieces of current U.S. legislation: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
Both bills revolve around the issue of online piracy and protecting copyrighted materials. SOPA is a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives and PIPA was introduced in the U.S. Senate. Generally, numerous media outlets, publishers and lobbyists for the media industry are in support of the bills. Detractors, including a majority of companies and associations in the technology industry, claim that these bills will have a negative, and even long-term detrimental effect, on the Internet’s stability, security and innovation.
Both pieces of legislation are complex and fairly difficult to understand. This Mashable article offers a succinct layman’s explanation of the two bills and where they stand today while this PR Daily article goes a bit more in depth. Currently, SOPA is being held up in the House, but the Senate is planning a vote on PIPA as early as next week. All of this is causing quite a stir online. Multiple prominent online companies – including Wikipedia, Reddit and Mozilla – are planning a 24-hour blackout tomorrow in protest of both SOPA and PIPA.
The subject of online copyright enforcement has been around as long as the Internet and impacts companies of all sizes. The same can be said about innovation, creativity and the sharing of ideas and information online. Where do you stand?