The Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), aimed at online copyright infringement, has been put off by Congress until 2012. If SOPA passes, anyone who holds a copyright for intellectual property will be able to speak to law enforcement and possibly have the site that hosts the material shutdown. This poses a major problem for sites like Google, Facebook and Yahoo, which are openly against SOPA. Some companies are even saying that the passing of this act could cause an “online Armageddon” where hundreds of well-known websites will be forced to shutdown.
Before the bill can be voted on by Congress, the House of Representatives has agreed to discuss some proposed amendments to it. However, it is expected to be ready for the full House’s vote by March 2012. On one hand, SOPA has garnered support from the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America that say copyright infringement leads to a loss of jobs for artists. On the other hand are critics of the bill who say that it is promoting censorship on the Internet. In an effort to get at the true offenders, one group in the House of Representatives has proposed an alternate bill- OPEN. The acronym stands for Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act, and it targets the content pirates directly.
Read more at CNN.com.