Word of the Week: SOPA
SOPA: The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a bill that was introduced late last year in the House of Representatives that is aimed at protecting intellectual property on the Internet. Supporters of the bill cite its ability to improve the enforcement of copyright laws as well as protect Internet users against scams aimed at convincing them to purchase illegal or counterfeit goods. Opponents of the bill have a differing opinion about SOPA, claiming it violates the first amendment and will create Internet censorship. There is also the fear that, if made law, it could have a chilling effect on user-generated content. This is such an important issue that several major Internet companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, PayPal, Yahoo! and Wikipedia, are planning a coordinated blackout in protest of the bill. They say this will give us “a taste of what we could expect from post-SOPA Internet.” This is quite the controversy, and regardless of what side you take, SOPA is a term we’ll be hearing a lot during 2012.