The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was recently announced to stop copyright infringement over the internet. The Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) also includes prevention of theft of intellectual property.
These were targeted towards certain websites that provide illegal downloads (like thepiratebay). The supporters of the act feel that piracy deprives the content creators of income.
There has been a lot of criticism against this act. The bill critics on the other hand are of the opinion that the bill is not in line with the architecture of the internet. The bill also says that, if there is any site that allows users to post content, and is designed in such a way that users can violate copyright, is a felon. So, the site does not even have to be an illegal one, if it provides enough space to enable copyright infringement, it will be labelled as an infringing site that promotes theft of U.S. intellectual property.
Well, this is definitely not how the internet works! Websites like Wikipedia, YouTube have a lot of content and have openly protested this act by going dark this week. The protest against SOPA and PIPA has definitely intensified.