Last week, Wikipedia shuttered, Google used its homepage to protest, and countless bloggers’ sites went dark all because of a little controversy over the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). It was nice to see the solidarity of the online community. Many came together to take a stand against something they believed was and is wrong.
Twitter was a virtual protest ground for SOPA and PIPA, with folks going as far as to show their avatars with “censored” or “Stop SOPA.” Shortly after the protest, it was announced that both SOPA and PIPA were being shelved. Time to celebrate, right? Hardly. It may have seemed like a big win, but let’s be honest. SOPA and PIPA can- and will- be brought up again.There are some advantages to it (though you may not be happy). We are well-aware of music and movie piracy. There are many who have pirated music and probably even had a copy of “Moneyball” on their computers before it hit the DVD shelf. SOPA in the House and PIPA in the Senate are backed by the movie and music industries as a way to crack down on the sale of counterfeiting by non-U.S. websites. Hollywood and the recording industry certainly aren’t going to just let this whole thing go by the wayside.
Representative Lamar Smith (R-Texas), who heads the House Judiciary Committee, expects his panel to resume consideration of the House bill in February. Even President Barack Obama has not exactly killed it.
Rep. Smith will most likely adjust the House bill so it can get an consensus. The same will be done in the Senate. And since President Obama has received campaign donations from Hollywood and the internet industries, according to the Washington Post, he will try to find a way to satisfy both sides of the coin.
So, before you check-in on Foursquare to a “SOPA Stopped Party,” realize that the war over these Acts are far from finished. Be vigilant and keep informed on this important issue.