Members of Congress are trying to do the right thing by going after pirates and counterfeiters but SOPA and PIPA are the wrong way to do it.
SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act, legislation making its way through the U.S. House of Representatives. In the Senate, PIPA, or the Protect IP Act, is its counterpart. From CNN:
“The bills propose new enforcement tactics to be carried out by Internet intermediaries — Internet service providers, search engines, payment processors and ad networks — against foreign websites that flagrantly infringe U.S. intellectual property rights. This is a laudable goal, but some of the proposed measures would do more harm than good, and there is significant risk that the bills as they currently stand could infringe on First Amendment rights.”
1. SOPA and PIPA would censor the Web
The U.S. government could order the blocking of sites using methods similar to those employed by China. Among other things, search engines could be forced to delete entire websites from their search results. That’s why 41 human rights organizations and 110 prominent law professors have expressed grave concerns about the bills.
2. SOPA and PIPA would be job-killers because they would create a new era of uncertainty for American business
To make matters worse, SOPA and PIPA won’t even work. The censorship regulations written into these bills won’t shut down pirate sites. These sites will just change their addresses and continue their criminal activities, while law-abiding companies will suffer high penalties for breaches they can’t possibly control.
There are effective ways to combat foreign “rogue” websites dedicated to copyright infringement and trademark counterfeiting, while preserving the innovation and dynamism that have made the Internet such an important driver of American economic growth and job creation. Congress should consider alternatives like the OPEN Act, which takes targeted and focused steps to cut off the money supply from foreign pirate sites without making US companies censor the Web.
Companies Supporting Protest
Opposition to the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) grows with each day. a small list….millions are supporting….