SOPA and PIPA are the new buzz words on internet. Every geek on internet is talking about them and the most geekiest protest is held every now and then in US. All the big tech giants are against it and they want to stop these acts this very moment. So, being an average user how can it hurt you ? Google will be no more ? What happened to Wikipedia ? Will techroz will be the victim of this act ? These are the questions that every user on internet is seeking an answer to (except the last question :P). So, lets drill this down and see what is this complicated thing, that is creating headlines on TV and internet.

What is SOPA and PIPA ?

The birth of SOPA and PIPA has been established through the efforts of the lobbying arms of the studios and labels The MPAA and RIAA.  SOPA or (Stop Online Piracy Act) is in the Senate and PIPA, or (Protect Intellectual Property Act) is in the House.  Both bills are essentially the ‘same wolf in sheep’s clothing’ so there is really no need to try and differentiate . Today the studios and labels rely on DMCA take down notices to handle piracy on websites such as YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook.   The DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) allows the website to take down the content within a specific period of time after receiving a DMCA notice without penalty. In most cases all of the companies mentioned above do a fantastic job, and thus far have not done too much complaining about the costs of implementing technology and resources for a successful DMCA compliance structure.  The studios and labels have a much more difficult time with websites such as Piratebay.org or, what the studios would call ‘Rogue’ websites,  and it requires a little more knowledge about the details of technology that drives such websites to understand why they are such a complicated issue.

SOPA:

  1. SOPA is an acronym for the “Stop Online Piracy Act” .
  2. SOPA is an advanced form of PRO-IP Act of 2008.
  3. SOPA was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives by Represenative Lamar Smith on October 26, 2011.
  4. If SOPA approves then USA Government and private corporation will have the following rights:
    • The U.S. Attorney General can now seek a court order that would force search engines, advertisers, DNS providers, servers, and payment processors from having any contact with allegedly infringing websites
    • It will allow private corporations to create their own personal hit lists composed of websites they feel are breaking their copyright policies
    • Payment processors will have the power to cut off any website they work with, as long as they can provide a strong reason of why they believe this site is violating copyrights

PIPA:

  1. PIPA is an acronym for the “Protect IP Act”.
  2. PIPA is a re-written legislation, the original was Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA) of 2010.
  3. First introduced to the U.S. Senate on May 12, 2011 by Senators Patrick LeahyOrrin HatchChuck Grassley.
  4. If PIPA act is approved by US government then this act will give the following rights
  • Force U.S. internet providers to block access to websites deemed as enablers of copyright infringement.
  • Seek legal action by suing search engines, blog sites, directories, or any site in general to have the black listed sites removed from their website.
  • Will be able to force advertising services on infringing websites, and those supporting of them, to remove them from their advertising accounts.
  • Companies will also have the power to sue any new websites that get started after this bill is passed, if they believe that they are not doing a good job of preventing infringement on your website.

Stance of Tech Gaints

Originally, the majority of technology corporations that put their input into these bills, were in support of it. Companies like Apple, Intel, Corel, Dell, Microsoft, Adobe, and 23 other big name tech companies are supporters under the BSA(Business Software Alliance).  Mozilla and Google, have gone public with their issues with these bills and their reasons why they can no longer offer their support after further research was done.

Help Mozilla by signing an Online petition: https://donate.mozilla.org/page/s/sopa-pipa-petition

Help Google and sign a petition: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/

List of All companies supporting SOPA : http://theoriesofconspiracy.com/2011/11/list-of-major-companies-supporting-sopa.htm

How can this affect you ?

Well, you all might have gained a little knowledge about SOPA and PIPA and can guess the disadvantages of these acts. Here is the list of possible disadvantages.

  1. Private companies and US government will hunt the internet for small copyright issue and website like Techroz can be blocked or permanently shutdown.
  2. Innovation will not be the cup of tea for the developers. Website like facebook, flickr, Youtube and many more will be blocked as users can break the copyright law.
  3. You cannot upload a song, you heard on Youtube, in your own voice (the lyrics are not yours !!!! COPYRIGHTS VIOLATED).
  4. Millions of people will become unemployed and we will have a monopolized web.
  5. According to the law, you can go to JAIL!!!! if you have any copyright content.

What can we do?

We can help companies like Google and Mozilla and to save internet. We are already fighting with security threats on internet and this act will open new door for hackers. So, do the following

  1. Keep following the SOPA and PIPA act and share updates among your circle.
  2. Tell others about this and spread awarness.
  3. Sign online petitions.

Current Scenerio:

Hurrah!! both the acts are delayed now. This means that they are reviewing the situation and are honestly thinking about the jobs of millions that are on threat currently. Check out the following words by SOPA representative Smith.

“I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy,” Smith said. “It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.”

“The Committee will continue work with both copyright owners and Internet companies to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property,” Smith continued. “We welcome input from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem.”

Even former Senator Chris Dodd, the head of the Motion Picture Association of America, seemed to concede defeat.

“With today’s announcement, we hope the dynamics of the conversation can change and become a sincere discussion about how best to protect the millions of American jobs affected by the theft of American intellectual property,” he said in a statement. “It is incumbent that they now sincerely work with all of us to achieve a meaningful solution to this critically important goal.”

NOTE:The Senate will begin voting on January 24th. Please let them know how you feel. Sign this petition urging Congress to vote NO on PIPA and SOPA before it is too late.

Google petition: https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/

 

Mozilla petition: https://donate.mozilla.org/page/s/sopa-pipa-petition

 

References:

http://www.mozilla.org/sopa/

https://www.google.com/landing/takeaction/

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/internet-wins-sopa-and-pipa-both-shelved.ars

http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/design/how-sopa-pipa-can-affect-you/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/derekbroes/2012/01/20/why-should-you-fear-sopa-and-pipa/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act