What is SOPA?
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a bill that was introduced to the House of Representatives on October 26, 2011. It is intended to expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight piracy online, especially from rogue websites located overseas.
Big media has been trying for years to curb piracy of copyrighted material. This is by no means the first bill of this type to be proposed.
Why all of the attention then?
Although SOPA belongs to a long line of anti-piracy bills, its broad provisions and harsh penalties are creating a scare among legitimate small businesses online.
Who is behind it?
Most of its support comes from large media companies like the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Who is opposed to it?
Several tech and consumer groups, as well as Google, Facebook, and Yahoo are taking a stand against it. The groups include the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA).