The reason why SOPA and PIPA came about was due to companies annoyed with stolen content- which has proponents and opponents in a heated debate. Prior to SOPA and PIPA, there were two other bills that had the same foundation but did not pass. PIPA was first called, Combating Online Infringement (COICA) that failed in 2010. The re-written legislation had come back as PIPA to the Senate on May 12, 2011 by Senators Patrick Leahy, Orrin Hatch and Chuck Grassley. The second bill SOPA, was legislation that had been first been introduced as the Pro-IP Act in 2008 however failed.
Then on October 26, 2011 SOPA was presented to the U. S. House of Representatives by Representative Lamar Smith. Creative America which is considered, the entertainment community, who basically own all the entertainment companies is the largest supporters of PIPA and SOPA. Creative America is comprised of many companies like The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA. ) On top of the MPAA: The Screen Actors Guild, The American Federation of TV and Radio Artists are pro-SOPA and PIPA.
Even the music label companies are out to support, as well as the music publishers associations, and a long list of publishing houses who also support the acts. These companies have been estimated of paying100 million dollars on lobbyist in 2011 to pass these bills in order to protect their copyrights. SOPA and PIPA are two bills that work in conjunction of each other.
Proponents claim, copyright holders are permitted to sue all domains that have their patent infringed whether or not their origin is from the U. S. First corporations will create a hit list of websites who they feel are violating their copyright polices, then the corporation will be able to contact the websites payment processors to force them to cut their ties to whomever is infringing their copyrights. This will give the website five days to act before being shut down. The government will allow immunity to payment networks that comply with the bill, plus take recognition to sites that severely cut ties. Copyright holders who knowingly misrepresent a website for infringing copyrights will have to pay for all damages occurred.
Opponents believe that SOPA and PIPA must not pass due to the domino effect it will create. Internet users are in fear that it will block freedom of speech. Many argue that the Internet cannot have any censorship because it violates Americans first amendment. These two bills will enable the U. S. Attorney General access to watch all Internet domains. The Internet Service Provider (ISP) will have to give up all information to the government when asked. Whats unfair is the government would not fund ISP even though they would be there minion.
Moreover, other countries will follow suit, thus creating no access to foreign websites. Another issue is when a person posts someones intellectual content without permission, the website will have be shut down. All Internet users are in fear that this stifles innovation. A way that this stifles innovation is if someone posts on a blog of an article that features a logo or trademark of a corporation to use as a teaching method, the corporation can dislike the display and the blog can be shut down.
Because SOPA and PIPA are so vague, it can be manipulated to the corporations advantage and be found true. If this bill was around when the Internet was first made, then there would have never been any websites like Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Dropbox etc. because those sites will be liable for any person that violates the two bills. Due to the Acts liability, those companies wont last one minute without being sued. For example, Youtube created a new trend of letting their users upload their version of an artists song known as a, cover song.
If the two bills were to pass, this will disable users to gain any attention to the music industry which can stop any discovery of the next biggest artist. January 18, 2012 was the day these two bills went to Congress for voting. Companies like Reddit, GoDaddy. com, Wiki, etc. went black in protest of the two bills. Many sites directed Internet users to sign a petition and to call or email the House of Representative- for the state the user resides in. Voices were heard and many supporters understood the vague thought of the two bills and backed out, thereby SOPA and PIPA didnt pass.
Even if the bill did pass, it would have done little to stop pirating because the criminals who want to download illegal content will only need the IP address in order to reach the supposedly blocked sites. Criminals will find a way to get pass the Acts, thus making challenges for companies who want to follow the law waste time worrying about the implications of SOPA and PIPA. Although the opponents made sure that SOPA and PIPA didnt pass, Internet users know there is a problem with stolen intellectual property; however SOPA and PIPA was not the answer.