Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a privacy act that is currently pending in the House of Representatives of the US. The law was proposed on 26th October, 2011 and aimed to catch copyright violators through the restriction of access to the website that provides the material (Masnick, 2012). Through, SOPA aimed to target external violators; it eventually made various US companies accountable under the law. The biggest supporters of the SOPA act are various Hollywood studios, who are the owners of copyright material. This is because; they may have to face huge loss in case of their copyright material being pirated. Though the Hollywood companies highly back the law, major computer and internet companies are against it, as they have to be accountable under the law for violations of copyright of others, using their website.
What the government sees as a law that needed to protect copyrighted material, others think is an infringement on the rights of US citizens. Many companies through their main web pages were encouraging that their visitors were made aware of SOPA and its implications. While SOPA's goal is “To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes”, internet giants like Google, Craigslist, Etc (“House of Representatives”, 2011). decided to pick one day where they would “black out” their websites, in an effort to show what kind of grim future the internet would be face if this came to pass.
This paper aims to research the law “Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)” that in the state of the US, and its implications and affects on people and business. Considering the current situation of the law, I do not support the current condition of the law, as I think it requires considerable amount of amendments to get passed.
SOPA has engendered fierce debate on several fronts. The legislation has broad support from organizations that rely on copyright, as well as trademark dependent companies, and unions. On September 22, 2011, a letter signed by over 350 businesses and organizations - including the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), NBCUniversal, Nike Inc, Pfizer and many others, was sent to Congress encouraging passage of the legislation. These organizations contend that consumers are lured or duped into purchasing counterfeit or pirated products and material. Additionally, there are health and safety concerns stemming from poorly constructed or contaminated counterfeit goods. Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna (2011) summed it up thusly, "The sale of counterfeit products and piracy of copyrighted content online not only undermines our nation's economy [but also] robs state and local governments of much-needed tax revenue and jobs (“Global Intellectual Property Center”, 2011).
Even worse, some counterfeit goods can pose serious health and safety hazards to consumers. Rogue sites legislation seeks to clamp down on this scourge." According to the aforementioned September 22 letter, the supporting organizations argued that global sales of counterfeit goods through the ...