Congress caught the web off guard at the end of 2011 when it moved quickly to debate the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
The legislation, if passed, would give the Department of Justice the power to shut down websites or internet service providers that facilitate copyright violation. That includes a few sites you may have heard of, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and countless others
Proponents of the legislation (including the Motion Picture Association of America and major media conglomerates) say it will protect creative professionals, while opponents say the bill will erode free-speech rights, cripple now-and-future digital distributors and otherwise stifle creativity, assuming the law is enforceable.
Hollywood has a lobbying edge over Silicon Valley, and the bill could reach a vote in early 2012.
(The video above overlays a pro-SOPA video by Viacom with anti-SOPA commentary. Below is Stephen Colbert’s take.)
The 2011 Documentary Year in Review Countdown…
Ford Foundation Funds Webified Documentaries
Michael Moore Sues the Weinsteins over ‘Fahrenheit 9/11′ Accounting
‘Senna’ Breaks U.K. Box-Office Records
Mobile device legend
Cinéma Vérité Pioneer Richard “Ricky” Leacock Dies
‘My Reincarnation’ Breaks Records on Kickstarter
Seeing is beliebing
3-D Documentaries Hit Theaters
No flash in the pan
Popcorn.js Brings HTML5 and Interactivity to Documentaries
What if Banksy Wins an Oscar?
The Stop Online Piracy Act Catches the Web Off Guard