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SOPA – Stop Online Piracy Act – A proposed Bill to stop or restrict access to sites that host pirated content.

Sopa is basically looking for a way to finally completely shutdown all torrent sites such at Pirate Bay.

Good you say……

So then why are so many social media or websites and search engines supporting or joining the black out protest against SOPA and PIPA  which is the Protect IP Act the companion bill.

Sopa Blackout

Sites such at Google, Reddit, Wikipedia, Minecraft, Twitpic, Flickr, Tumblr, Umgur, Boing boing, and many other sites are opposing the acts saying that American companies being asked to censor the internet. Its Big Brother.They say, the internet will be fully censored, people won’t share anything and if they do, search engines, websites, ad networks and providers are to withhold their services.  Pirates would include anyone that is infringing copyrights. Thus will be the end of the internet as we know it.  So the sites are protesting this now to raise awareness while SOPA is on hold.

List of websites supporting the SOPA blackout 

The RedTape Contronicles say this 

SOPA’s supporters say the bill would give intellectual property rights holders — such as TV studios — a powerful new tool to protect their creative works. But opponents say it would allow federal authorities to shut down entire portions of the Internet without due process, and fundamentally alter the Internet’s ability to provide a platform for free speech.

I’m not sure what would happen to sites such as YouTube, read on…

Money.Cnn.com explains it here

If SOPA passes, copyright holders would be able to complain to law enforcement officials and get websites shut down. Search engines and other providers would have to block rogue sites when ordered to do so by a judge. Sites could be punished for hosting pirated content in the first place — and Internet companies are worried that they could be held liable for users’ actions.

And The Telegraph said

The most controversial provisions of SOPA would force websites that carry user-generated material, such as Wikipedia, to impose new restrictions on posting or constantly monitor activity, it’s claimed. Under current laws if websites remove pirated content when they are notified by the copyright holder they are not liable for damages.

Strangely Twitter is not going to participate in the blackout over the bills, even though they were great supporters of the opposition.

I’ve tried to explain this in the simplest of ways as many people have asked why is the bill being opposed? or What is the problem the pirates are criminals, it’s illegal, they should be stopped.  Maybe this will show you.

I’m not sure how widespread this blackout will actually be on the 18th January 2012 but I do hope there is some sort of an impact this seems to have gone a little to far.

You can show your support on wordpress self hosted websites by going to new plugins and search for stop SOPA ribbon, like I have.

Hope this helps