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“The End of the Internet as We Know It”

What are SOPA and PROTECT IP?

The PROTECT IP Act (S. 968) and the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA (H.R. 3261) would devastate job-creating American technology companies and social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube in the name of protecting Hollywood copyrights. These bills would create a “Great Firewall of America” by embracing the same Internet censorship tactics as the world’s worst human rights abusers, including regimes like communist China, Iran, Syria, and Burma. A number of technology experts have concluded that these bills would mean “the end of the Internet as we know it.” 

What does it do? 

What doesn’t it do? 

Actually prevent people from accessing pirated movies, music, and goods. Anyone looking for pirated content can simply visit the IP address of an infringing site instead of its domain name. 

Who’s lobbying for SOPA and PROTECT IP and stands to gain from it? 

Hollywood, the recording industry, trial lawyers, copyright trolls, and labor unions. 

Who opposes it? 

America’s most innovative and successful technology companies, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, Constitutional law experts, free speech advocates, the Tea Party Patriots, and political activists right and left. 

Are there better ways to stop piracy? 

Yes. We can focus on shutting off revenue and payment processing for true “rogue” websites. Since the financial system is much more tightly concentrated than the Internet, these financial controls will be far more effective than a difficult to administer, unconstitutional, and ultimately ineffective censorship of the Internet. 

When the entertainment industry focused on heavy handed legislation and suing its customers, it failed -- teetering on the brink of extinction. When it finally came around and provided legal content options, first through iTunes, and today through Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, and Spotify, it made a comeback. Expanding legal online viewing and listening options is the only way proven to stop piracy. 

Don't Censor the Net