Congress Drops SOPA and PIPA in Response to Public Outcry

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Much of the Internet was affected by blackout protests of SOPA on January 18, 2012. Image adapted from an image by elessar x

From Internet giants like Google and Wikipedia to threats from Anonymous, social media campaigns and online petitions, the outcry throughout the World Wide Web was loud enough to be heard in the halls of Congress. Both SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) have been dropped or postponed, as of today.

SOPA and PIPA Concerns

For the creators of any original and copyrighted work, piracy is a problem. ‘Scraper’ websites and blogs steal text, information and images from the original creators regularly. Entire websites are devoted to streaming pirated movies and music. Internet theft, in general, is a big business – so what’s the problem with anti-piracy legislation? In a nutshell, critics claim that these bills are like using a chainsaw for plastic surgery – they will do more harm than good.

Google, for example, included this comment with their online petition:

Fighting online piracy is important. The most effective way to shut down pirate websites is through targeted legislation that cuts off their funding. There’s no need to make American social networks, blogs and search engines censor the Internet or undermine the existing laws that have enabled the Web to thrive, creating millions of U.S. jobs.

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