For those who are not aware, SOPA stands for ‘Stop Online Piracy Act’ and PIPA is actually the PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act). So what happened to SOPA and PIPA?
SOPA: USA proposed Bill to allow the ability for U.S law enforcers to tackle copyright and counterfeit related issues. In a nutshell people who opposed this bill argued that the Bill will threatens free speech and innovation as it will allow law enforcers to block a whole domain if a blog post was seen as breaking the law.
PIPA: USA proposed Bill allowing the US government and others further powers to take legal actions against those seen as selling counterfeit goods. Opponents of the Bill argue that this could harm freedom of speech, innovation and Internet integrity.
The underlining issue related to both acts was the issue of mis-use and how allowing greater power will lead to further closing the Internet rather then opening the Internet.
The reality was that SOPA and PIPA was not known to most of the world except to a few congressmen and techies. The turning point for the SOPA and PIPA opponents was the “Blackout Day’ held on Wednesday January 18 2012, where an estimated over 115,000 websites went offline including Wikipedia.
The online activism, lead to major corporations such as Google, Facebook, Mozzila, Yahoo, Ebay, American Express and the like to support the opponents of the acts.
So did the Internet kill SOPA and PIPA? The likelihood of SOPA and PIPA dying are like the end of a movie where you get the impression the ‘bad guy’ has died but then suddenly shows signs of life just when the movie ends. SOPA and PIPA are not dead just undergoing surgery to appear as a different ‘bad guys’. The U.S congress is working to rewrite the Bill as we speak.