The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) bill, if made law, would expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods. The bill would make unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content a crime, with a maximum penalty of five years in prison for 10 such infringements within six months. Proponents of the bill say it protects the intellectual property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue, and is necessary to bolster enforcement of copyright laws especially against foreign websites. Opponents say that it violates the First Amendment, is Internet censorship, will cripple the Internet, and will threaten whistle-blowing and other free speech.
HONG KONG - JUNE 07: David E Smith (SOPA Chairman) and Tom Leander poses with the three journalist of the year winners Sabrina Yen, Nivell Rayda and Almar Latour, (collecting on behalf of Daisuke Wakabayashi) at the Award for Excellence at the SOPA 2012 Awards for Editorial Excellence prize presentation dinner at JW Marriott Hotel on June 7, 2012 in Hong Kong.
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