SOPA and PIPA will destroy the internet. No joke. The internet freedom that you have will be stripped away and sites like this (and mostly our forums with our kickass community) would have to shut down. I couldn’t afford nor have the time to police all of our hundreds of thousands of posts for every little infraction or link shared. No more sharing that funny video you found with friends. No more linking to a trailer to discuss how shitty the next big blockbuster will be. No more recording yourself singing to Nickleback (looks in Russ’s direction). No more digitally inserting yourself into scenes with a half naked Natalie Portman (looks in Ari’s direction). I would even have to stop working on my Avatar slashfiction movie…. We have to take a stand. This will not stop piracy and will instead neuter us as a whole.
What is the intent of SOPA/PROTECT IP?
The stated intent of the bills is to provide tools for law enforcement and copyright holders to protect their intellectual property rights.
What’s wrong with protecting copyrights?
Nothing! The devil, as they say, is in the details. PROTECT IP and SOPA will cause too much collateral damage, have a high potential for abuse, and won’t even be that effective at stopping the crimes they target. Read alienth’s examination of where these bills fail.
I’m not in the U.S. Why does this affect me?
Many of the sites that you may use (e.g. Google, Facebook, Wikipedia, etc.) are all affected by this law and will be required to hide offending domains from you.
If a non-U.S. site is blocked in the U.S., the site could suffer financially or even be bankrupted by the loss of U.S. traffic and revenue.
What are the differences between PROTECT IP and SOPA?
At a general level, the bills are very similar. SOPA, the “Stop Online Piracy Act,” is from the House of Representatives, while the PROTECT IP Act is from the Senate. Either or both bills may pass a vote in their chamber of congress on their way to becoming law. Both must be defeated to end this threat. There have recently been more detailed explanations in an ELI5 thread and alienth’s blog post.