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
LATEST ARTICLES
8 Agenda Apps to Help Students Stay Organized

Webopedia's student apps roundup will help you to better organize your class schedule and stay on top of assignments and homework. Read More »

20 Ways to Shorten a URL

If you need to shorten a long URL try this list of 20 free online redirection services. Read More »

Top 10 Tech Terms of 2015

The most popular Webopedia definitions of 2015. Read More »

STUDY GUIDES
Computer Architecture Study Guide

This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »

Network Fundamentals Study Guide

Networking fundamentals teaches the building blocks of modern network design. Learn different types of networks, concepts, architecture and... Read More »

The Five Generations of Computers

Learn about each of the five generations of computers and major technology developments that have led to the current devices that we use today. Read More »