I have just recently been made aware of the bills PIPA and SOPA. I did a lot of research to ensure that I had the correct information because, as we all know, the internet can really twist the truth about potential bills.
The best breakdown of SOPA, that I have read, was written by Chris Heald. His article, “Why SOPA Is Dangerous” breaks down the entire bill step by step to ensure people understand what each element means. You can read his article here: http://mashable.com/2012/01/17/sopa-dangerous-opinion/
Also, as you may have noticed, there are many websites that have shut down their sites to show you what the internet would look like if these bills passed. As a Photographer, I was pretty upset to find out that many photography sites would shut down because of SOPA. Below is a statement from FLICKR Blog.
Article Written by Flickr Blog: http://blog.flickr.net/en
Two bills are currently being considered in the U.S. Congress: PIPA the “Protect IP Act” and SOPA the “Stop Online Piracy Act” Both are designed to address a legitimate problem – foreign-based websites that are engaging in digital piracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods. Unfortunately, we and many others believe that these bills miss the mark. These bills have the potential to stifle innovation, require censorship of search results, impose monitoring obligations, and change the way information is distributed on the web. Government regulation of online activities is a slippery slope and these proposed bills fall down that slope without truly addressing the issues that ignited this debate.
With the pending votes on these bills, Flickr is joining other sites on the web on January 18th to help raise awareness about the potential impacts of this legislation.
If you would like to participate in this awareness campaign, Flickr is letting members darken their photos — or the photos of others — for a 24-hour period to deprive the web of the rich content that makes it thrive. Your symbolic act will help draw attention to this issue and let others know about the potential harmful impacts of these bills.
If you are a concerned about these bills we encourage you to learn more at http://www.netcoalition.com/.
If you are a U.S. Citizen you can also get information on how to contact your representatives in congress at http://protectinnovation.com/.
I hope this helps you understand SOPA. Let me know what you think of it!