The House Judiciary Committee met to debate changes to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) on Thursday. Both sides have been slinging mud at each other since the bill was first introduced in the House this October.
If the bill at issue, SOPA, were to become law, it would create a “blacklist” of websites that infringe on copyrights. Private companies who allege that a site is unlawfully publishing their copyrighted content could, with a judge’s signature, demand that ad networks and companies such as PayPal and Visa stop doing business with such sites. Internet service providers would need to prevent Americans from visiting them.
On one side of the debate are entities that rely heavily on copyright such as Disney, the Motion Picture Assoication of America and (MPAA) the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). They argue that SOPA prevents piracy and revenue they’re entitled to. On the other are giant Internet companies such as Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Facebook and eBay as well as Internet freedom organizations, who argue the law threatens to destroy the Internet as we know it.
A group of 83 prominent Internet engineers kicked things off on Thursday with a scathing open letter to Congress stating their opposition to both SOPA and its sister Senate bill PIPA stating “If enacted, either of these bills will create an environment of tremendous fear and uncertainty for technological innovation, and seriously harm the credibility of the United States in its role as a steward of key Internet infrastructure.”
Lot of actions is seen so far protesting against such proposed law. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales floated the idea of shutting down the site for American visitors in protest of the proposed laws. Twitter and Square co-founder Jack Dorsey, Arianna Huffington and Marc Andreessen signed by the likes to an open letter protesting against SOPA. Google co-founder Sergey Brin, followed it up with a Google+ post that compares SOPA to censorship in China, Iran and pre-revolution Libya and Tunisia.
What do you think about SOPA? Do you support the proposed law or not? Let me know your thoughts here.