Do You Know What Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is?

by Mike on January 21, 2012

in News

SOPA – a New Term That Have Made People Wondering

The term SOPA is now the new crazy in the internet world. Almost every other person is wondering what this term means and what this is all about. In fact, SOPA or Stop Online Piracy Act is a bill that has been introduced by Lamar Smith, a representative and some other co sponsors of a group of 12 people. If this bill is passed, it will actually provide extended power or authority to the law enforcement division in the United States and also to the people who has the copyrights by now.

What SOPA Would Bring In:

When the bill will be on effect, the department of justice in the United States and the holders of the copyright will be able to case files and sue the websites that facilitate or will facilitate the distribution or sharing of contents or materials that are copyrighted. Since any one with the copyright holding documents can seek for court orders, this might create a lot of chaos in the wide world web. The payment processor companies like PayPal or Skrill might be forced not to continue business with companies that had record on copyright infringement, all the online advertising agencies might have to be really careful while selecting the advertisers and need to make sure none of them are related to any sort of illegal distribution of copyrighted materials. Even the search engines might be ordered to stop linking to those websites and the Internet service providers will be asked to block the access to such websites.

What Will Be The Punishment Against Infringement?

Along with many other stuffs, even the un authorized streaming or sharing of copyrighted contents will be considered as a crime according to this new bill and the implied punishment will be like five years of prison sentence for sharing or streaming of ten movies or music pieces over a period of six months. Besides, this law also allows the Internet services to take any action they want to take against the websites dedicated for copyright infringement and this also creates a door of opportunity for the copyright holders to create false allegation against any other website.

Debates on SOPA:

The supporters of the bill want to promote this by claiming that this bill will protect the interest of the intellectual property and the associated industry. And this will result in savings of revenue and jobs in those sectors. However, the opponent of this bill assumes that under the mask of the protection this law will in fact cripple the use of internet and also create obstacle for the freedom of speech and thus will infringe the First Amendment rights in the United States.

However, the debate is still just heating up as both the supporters and the opponents of the bill. The supporters says that this law will enable the revenue generation and revenue stream flowing to the American innovators for their own creations will stop the foreign counterfeits to stop misbranding or selling unauthorized goods. And on the other hand, the opponents says that this law will also create a chaotic response as other governments will also start to put ban on America’s products or take action against many medias like American newspapers or TV shows or other electronic products to enter in their market.

Another huge impact would be on the revenues of the internet based application worldwide. Specially the websites that allows users contents on their websites like Face Book, You Tube, Flickr and many others as the users will not be able to even share their favorite music, movies or photos that they found intriguing and thus the traffic in those websites will decrease and at the same time even these websites can be sued for their facilitation of spreading such copyrighted contents.

It is not yet sure whether the copyright act in the United States will work at all in the last or whether the law will get even stricter. Until the bill is passed or rejected it is a tension creating subject among the internet users and the web entrepreneurs as this bill is going to affect the way of internet usage and the spread of Internet based application at a large scale.

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