Internet Users Outcry Over SOPA & PIPA Bills

January 19th 2012

Learn how SOPA legislation will affect our Internet freedom..

If you hadn’t heard of SOPA before, you probably have by now as some of the internet’s most influential sites – Wikipedia & Reddit among them – are going dark to protest the much-maligned anti-piracy bill. But other than being a very bad thing, what is SOPA? And what will it mean for you if it passes? SOPA is an anti-piracy bill working its way through U.S. Congress.

When Rep. Lamar Smith announced the Stop Online Piracy Act in late October 2011, he knew it was going to be controversial.

But the Texas Republican probably never anticipated the broad and fierce outcry from Internet users that SOPA provoked over the last few months. It was a show of public opposition to Internet-related legislation not seen since the 2003 political wrangling over implanting copy-protection technology in PCs, or perhaps even the blue ribbons appearing on Web sites in the mid-1990s in response to the Communications Decency Act.

Consider the concerted protest on January 18 by high-profile Web companies and organizations. Wikipedia’s English-language pages, for instance, went completely black, while Google put a big black box over the prominent logo on its home page, with a link to a page from which users could sign a petition entitled “Tell Congress: Don’t censor the Web.” Street protests have also been scheduled for that date in cities including New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Learn how SOPA, and its Senate cousin known as the Protect IP Act, would affect you in the following FAQs by CNET >

SOPA description in details on Wikipedia can be found here >