Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » S »

SOPA - Stop Online Piracy Act

Introduced by U.S. Representative Lamar Smith, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a United States bill intended to extend the U.S. law enforcement to "fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods." The law would expand existing laws to include unauthorized streaming of copyright material and impose a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Under SOPA, law enforcement could request court orders to bar advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with infringing websites, bar search engines from linking to the sites, require Internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to the websites.

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a controversial bill as proponents claim the bill would protect the intellectual property market, and that it has become necessary to increase enforcement of copyright laws. Opponents claim SOPA threatens free speech and enables law enforcement to block access to entire Internet domains due to infringing material posted on a single webpage or blog.

Several thousand websites, including Reddit, Boing Boing, Wired, WordPress, Wikipedia and Mozilla Firefox launched a service blackout on January 18, 2012 in protest of SOPA and, by extension, the Senate bill, the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA). During the service outage, participating websites left readers with information about SOPA and PIPA, citing examples of what "could" happen if the SOPA/PIPA bills were passed.

See also PIPA (PROTECT IP Act) and OPEN (Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act).







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
The Great Data Storage Debate: Is Tape Dead?

Tape clearly is on the decline. But remember, legacy systems can hang for a shockingly long time. Read More »

Apple Pay Promises to Strengthen Payment Security

Experts believe that Apple Pay and other competitive payment systems will be far more secure than cards, even cards equipped with EMV chips. Read More »

Internet of Things Shaping IT's Future

To make the IoT both work and pay off, IT is juggling upgrading and building app-centric networks, mapping out new data center architectures and... Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
Webopedia Polls

The trend for the past two years has been for shoppers to spend more online during the holiday season. How do you typically shop for holiday... Read More »

How to Create a Desktop Shortcut to a Website

This Webopedia guide will show you how to create a desktop shortcut to a website using Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer (IE). Read More »

Flash Data Storage Vendor Trends

Although it is almost impossible to keep up with the pace of ongoing product releases, here are three recent highlights in the flash data storage... Read More »