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.
It's not just your lawnmower and household tools that your neighbor won't return. Our top picks include everything from updating device firmware... Read More »Interesting Times: Transformation in the IT Channel
Business transformation will remain the buzzword of the moment as channel firms continue to assess the direction of their companies in the age of... Read More »What is a Virtual Private network (VPN)?
Companies and organizations will use a VPN to communicate confidentially over a public network and to send voice, video or data. Read More »
From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »Network Fundamentals Study Guide
A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »Computer Architecture Study Guide
This Webopedia study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »
Stay up to date on the latest developments in Internet terminology with a free weekly newsletter from Webopedia. Join to subscribe now.
- Watch Datamation's editor James Maguire moderate roundtable discussions with tech experts from companies such as Accenture, Dell, Blue Jeans Network, Microsoft and more »