SOPA Being Challenged Online and in the White House

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Last Friday, President Barak Obama issued a statement announcing that he would not lend his support for the Stop Online Piracy Act, known as SOPA, citing concerns over First Amendment rights and cyber security risks. Introduced last October in Congress, SOPA would give content providers wide reaching powers to shut down websites distributing copyrighted materials. 

Garnering support by backers like The Motion Pictures Association of America, Congress hoped to pass the bill. However with Obama's statement and a 24-hour blackout held tomorrow by major websites like Wikipedia, the current legislation is under threat.

Ryan Singel is the editor of Threat Level — Wired magazine's privacy and security blog. Alexis Ohanian is co-founder of


Alexis Ohanian and Ryan Singel

Produced by:

Hsi-Chang Lin

Comments [2]

david herlihy from Boston

I shouldn't have to choose to "live without" any site because of governmental action to protect one industry's interest (the entertainment industry--MPAA/RIAA). Copyright law is supposed to promote the progress of science and the useful arts. All online activities of citizens that utilizes content, including Fair Use, and creative culture is NOT piracy. The law needs to catch up with the reality of citizen behavior in the digital age.

Jan. 17 2012 09:10 AM
Bill from Hoboken

The main issue with SOPA is that pirates will be able to continue to use any site they want by using an IP address instead of a website name. However legitimate new businesses can be brought down by established businesses who see the new business as a threat. A large business can afford to police itself and stop people from posting pirated content, but a new startup may not have that much cash flow.

Just as the 1% has an inherit advantage against the 99%, SOPA gives an inherent advantage to large corporations against small startups.

Jan. 17 2012 07:23 AM

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