Stop Online Piracy Act Would Make Major Changes to Existing Law

The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)(pdf) was introduced in the House of Representatives on October 26, 2011.  The purpose of the bill is

To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes.

(SOPA pdf page 1).

The bill is divided into two main parts:  1. Combating Online Piracy and 2. Additional Enhancements to Combat Intellectual Property Theft.

1. Combating Online Piracy. The sections under this heading would all be new laws.

Section 102.  Action by Attorney General to Protect U.S. Customers and Prevent U.S. Support of Foreign Infringing Sites.  This section allows the Attorney General to commence an action against a domain name registrant or owner of a foreign infringing site.  A foreign infringing site is a foreign site directed at and used by U.S. users, which commits certain U.S. criminal violations and which would be subject to seizure by the Attorney General if it were a U.S. website.  The Attorney General may bring an action against the site itself if the registrant or owner cannot be found in the U.S. 

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