Naked Capitalism has a good explanation of what's at stake in the these bad Internet blacklist bills, SOPA and PIPA, which the movie industry is trying to ram through Congress. Yves Smith quotes Techdirt:
SOPA... contains a crazy scary clause that's going to make it crazy easy to cut off websites with no recourse whatsoever. And this part isn’t just limited to payment providers/ad networks — but to service providers, search engines and domain registrars/registries as well. Yes. Search engines. So you can send a notice to a search engine, and if they want to keep their immunity, they have to take the actions in either Section 102(c)(2) or 103(c)(2), which are basically all of the "cut 'em off, block 'em" remedies. That’s crazy. This basically encourages search engines to disappear sites upon a single notice. It encourages domain registries to kill domains based on notices. With no recourse at all, because the providers have broad immunity.
This will do little to deter copying of easily-copyable entertainment but will be used as a political weapon. If, say, a polluting company doesn't like something an environmentalist website is saying, one email to that website's host complaining of "copyright infringement" -- no matter whether the charge is valid -- and that site is gone from the Web. All of us who enjoy a diverse and open internet need to make calls and send letters to Congress to make sure these terrible laws don't get passed.
PIPA, the Senate version of the bill, comes up for a full Senate vote on Jan. 24.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has some suggestions for how we can stop the bills. Please spread the word.