SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) has been a hot political topic as of late. At face value, the rhetoric can be a bit overwhelming and confusing to those who haven’t been following it. This is a quick post to provide an introduction to the controversy:
Goal of the Act: Protect American intellectual property.
Feared outcome of the Act: The mechanism used to enforce SOPA will degrade the quality of legitimate internet content, cripple technological innovation, censor free speech, and violate civil liberties. Ultimately, the level of web censorship could become similar to that of China.
The Act was introduced by republican Texas senator (and former ranch manager), Lamar Smith and has 31 cosponsors (http://1.usa.gov/tL0PQA). It’s supported by the television, music, and movie industry (http://1.usa.gov/vIYgIc). The same industry is Lamar Smith’s largest donor (http://bit.ly/rCe6qI). The Act is opposed by major technology companies and many others (http://bit.ly/rKXYTR).
I recommend this NYTimes contribution if you’re interested in learning more: http://nyti.ms/vV54Fy It’s excellent.