The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) would ruin so much of what's best about the Internet: They will give the government and corporations new powers to block Americans' access to sites that are accused of copyright infringement, force sites like YouTube to go to new lengths to police users' contributions, and put people in prison for streaming certain content online.
There's a good chance this legislation will pass – but Senator Ron Wyden is a steadfast opponent, and he says he'll try to block it by filibustering if it comes up for a vote.
At a House Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, Democrats and Republicans joined together to voice support for legislation that would criminalize much of the activity that occupies the Internet. The bipartisan bill known as the Stop Online Piracy Act would establish major new powers for corporations intent on corralling copyrighted materials -- powers that would lead to big legal bills for start-ups and Silicon Valley giants alike.
SOPA's Senate counterpart, the PROTECT IP Act, was already voted out of the Senate Judiciary Committee in September.
Both political parties -- flush with campaign contributions from Hollywood studios and trial lawyers -- are eager to pass the legislation-SOPA, Internet Censorship Bill, Lauded By Both Parties In Key House Hearing