The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) was introduced in the United States House of Representatives on Oct 26, 2011 by representative Lamar Smith and a bipartisan group of 12 initial co-sponsors. The aim of the bill is to help U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders fight online piracy of intellectual property.
The American Censorship Bill will be tabled before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday (today). The proposed bill will give the government new powers to crack down on fraudulent websites--often foreign ones that steal and sell American ideas and products -- and increase criminal penalties for counterfeit online traffic.
But, the internet companies today (Nov 17) have launched an American Censorship Day, a protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act. However, the bill is supported by US film and music industries saying that government should protect their intellectual property against top Internet companies.
According to nine companies, "the bills as drafted would expose law-abiding U.S. Internet and technology companies to new uncertain liabilities, private rights of action, and technology mandates that would require monitoring of web sites."
Meanwhile, AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo and Zynga have sent a co-signed letter to the US Congress opposing the bill. Many websites, including Mozilla have also joined the "Stop Censorship" campaign and have 'censored' their logos in support.