The Stop Online Piracy Act is currently being debated in the US house of representatives. Brian Pellot considers the potential consequences of the bill.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), currently being debated in the US house of representatives, aims to strengthen the enforcement of copyright infringement laws online. The bill would allow the Department of Justice and individual copyright holders to seek court orders that would bar US search engines, advertisers and internet service providers from linking to, doing business with or allowing access to infringing websites at home and abroad. On a user-level, the bill would also make unauthorised streaming of copyrighted content a felony.
Proponents of the bill, including Hollywood studios and record labels, say it would reduce illegal copyright infringement. Opponents, including executives at Google and Facebook, say the proposal would stifle creativity and innovation, undermine online security and constitute censorship that infringes on the free speech rights of individuals and companies.