Online Piracy Bill Set to Choke Internet?

Several key US technology trade groups have raised their voices in unison against an anti-piracy bill, which has been described as the music and movie industry's latest attempt to choke the internet.

According to Computer World, trade groups Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), the Computers and Communications Industry Association (CCIA) and NetCoalition have written a joint letter to the US Congress, opposing the draconian Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

SOPA, which was recently introduced to the US House of Representatives, will allow copyright holders to take down websites or blacklist entire domains if they believe that they hosting copyright infringing materials.

The act, which has been described as its many co-sponsors, as an effective tool to stop ‘rogue' foreign websites from violating US copyright laws, will allow rights holders to ask ISPs and search engines to block US access to the infringing website.

It will also allow rights holders to order to order online payment processing companies to stop doing business with the websites which are accused of copyright infringement. The act has been opposed by free speech and freedom of information activists along with the technology trade groups.

"Virtually every Internet site that allows user-generated content can be subject to suit under SOPA and the bill could force Internet companies to police their users' activities," the letter said.

"In short, this is not a bill that targets 'rogue foreign sites.' Rather, it allows movie studios, foreign luxury goods manufacturers, patent and copyright trolls, and any holder of any intellectual property right to target lawful US websites and technology companies," it added.