You have probably heard about SOPA and possibly PIPA bills that are currently in debate in the US Senate and Congress. You might even know that many people are passionately polarized about the issue, but what does it all mean and how does it affect your business?
SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act, and is a bill in front of the House of Representatives. Its sister bill, PIPA stands for the Protect IP Act. The purpose of both of these bills is to prevent piracy of copyrighted material. On the surface this is a good thing, as the cost of online piracy is estimated to be over $1 billion per year, however the problem is with the execution of the law, so let’s look at a breakdown of what it does:
For any domains in foreign countries other than .com, .org and .net:
- It requires Ad Services like Google AdSense to not display any ads or receive any payment from foreign sites that contain copyrighted content that is displayed without permission.
- It requires Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to change their DNS servers so that the domain names of websites that host pirated content will not resolve.
- It requires that search engines like Google or Bing change their search results to exclude any site that hosts pirated content.
- It requires payment providers like PayPal to close the payment accounts of websites that host pirated content.
The results of these requirements are: