Proponents of the “PROTECT IP Act” or “PIPA” or “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011” are trying to make it seem like PIPA is the reasonable alternative to its cousin in the House, the so-called “Stop Online Piracy Act” or “SOPA.” Some even say that SOPA’s extremism might be an intentional ploy to create political wiggle room for PIPA.
In reality, PIPA and SOPA both jeopardize online community platforms and innovation, set a bad example for internet censorship globally, and threaten security online. True, there are differences in the legislation, but it’s mostly a matter of degrees—in which PIPA is really bad and SOPA is scarily worse.
To avoid being too legalistic and jargony in comparing the two bills, here’s a simple chart comparing PIPA and SOPA. As you can see, both do a lot of damage while doing a really shoddy job at “protecting IP.”
PIPA has already passed out of committee and is primed for consideration by the full Senate, making it much farther along in the legislative process than its House cousin SOPA. Senator Ron Wyden, who consistently demonstrates a keen understanding of legislative issues regarding the internet, has threatened to filibuster, but he’s up against Goliath opposition and he can’t do it alone.
That’s why Public Knowledge is coordinating with a broad coalition of organizations to make sure that your voice gets heard: call your Senators today by calling the main switchboard at 202-224-3121. Spread the word and flood their offices with calls. The Senate needs to hear from you!