The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a bill going through Congress ostensibly aimed at stopping online piracy. In reality it looks like a payoff to big political donors in Hollywood who want to stop the dissemination of their products among people not willing to pay top dollar.
This is short sighted as people who download torrents and sample music are more likely to pay for the products at a later point than those who do not. In many ways their mindset resembles that of football club owners who for many decades resisted live televisions coverage of games because they didn't realise that it fueled the demand for tickets rather than replaced it. However they have the right to want their intellectual property protected by the law.
The problem with the bill is that the powers to enforce copyright are so vague and punitive to advertisers and search engines that wealthy producers merely need to threaten a site to effectively kill it.
A committee seems to have delayed the legislation for now but it isn't dead yet.
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