What is SOPA?
SOPA stands for Stop Online Piracy Act. It is a legislative attempt by the United States congress to stop people from pirating or using content they do not have permission to use.
Section 102(a)(2) permits the attorney general to take action against foreign sites (i.e., sites that do not fall under U.S. jurisdiction) if “the owner or operator of such Internet site is facilitating the commission of [copyright infringement].”
The movie and music industry are putting pressure on Congress to stop piracy. The movie industry and music industry claim that piracy causes economic losses they can’t recover from. In one aspect, they are right. Businesses operate within a balance of supply and demand. Piracy causes an uncontrolled amount of supply making it impossible to capitalize on the demand for the content that pirated. Additionally,the average person does not understand that when they buy a movie, a song, or a book they own the plastic, paper, or materials, but not the content. The content is still owned by the publisher of the content.
Many boys and girls in their teens years and collage age years like to pirate music and movies. Older people pirate, too, but I find that people under 30 simply have no respect for other people’s property — especially when it is digital.
Is SOPA Good or Bad
Clearly the intent is good, but the execution is bad. The wording of SOPA is ambiguous and may make perfectly acceptable use of rights protected content illegal. The bill does not distinguish whether the offending website is for the purpose of piracy or simply points to pirated content.
Presidential candidate Ron Paul (R-TX), along with nine Democrats, signed a letter to other House members warning that the bill would cause “an explosion of innovation-killing lawsuits and litigation.” (Ars Technica)