Your SOPA and PIPA Crash Course
Posted on Jan 18, 2012
With big corporate hitters on both sides of the issue slugging it out over SOPA and PIPA—two bills that would place Internet censorship capabilities in the hands of the entertainment industry—the legislation is losing some congressional support. Simple, articulate videos like this one are helping to make it happen. —ARK
PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.
SOPA and PIPA were initially designed to do two things. The first was to make it possible for companies to block the domain names of web sites that are simply capable of, or seem to encourage copyright infringement. This would have been bad for everyone because such a measure doesn’t actually prevent piracy. The reason that blocking a domain name isn’t effective is because any blocked site can still be accessed via its numeric IP address. For example, if lifehacker.com were blocked, you could still find it by visiting a number-based address. In fact, before the bills were even supposed to come to a vote, tools were created to automatically route domain names to their IP addresses to completely render this measure of SOPA and PIPA useless. As a result, the IP-blocking provisions have been removed from both bills.
The other, still-active measure present in the SOPA and PIPA bills would allow rights holders to cut of the source of funding of any potentially infringing web site. This means any other companies doing business with this site would have to stop. Whether that means advertising, links in search engines, or any other listings would have to be removed.