What other protections do accused sites have? The bill would require content owners to provide ISPs, payment providers and others with detailed written explanations, supported by proof, of why they are seeking action against the sites.
Who's behind SOPA? SOPA was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Lamar Smith (R-Va.). It is co-sponsored by John Conyers (D-Mich.), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Howard Berman (D-Calif.) and several other lawmakers. The bill enjoys support from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and predictable quarters such as the Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America. It also has garnered wide support from a majority of state attorneys-general, law enforcement officials, hundreds of trade unions and industry groups, and even a few companies such as Pfizer.
So who, then, is really opposed to it? Lots of people, including free speech and rights advocacy groups, industry associations, academicians, lawyers and some of the largest web companies, including Google, Yahoo, Facebook and others.
What's this Protect IP Act I keep hearing of? That's the somewhat tamer Senate version of SOPA.
So what happens to SOPA next? The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on it on Wednesday, and it's expected to go to legislative "mark-up" by the end of the year. Exactly when it comes to a vote is unclear.
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