Earlier, I posted about a network neutrality case, Verizon v. FCC, which could have far-reaching consequences for the Internet industry. Another concerted attempt to regulate the Internet, disguised in the form of a piracy protection bill, recently came before the House Judiciary Committee and garnered widespread disapproval. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) and a bipartisan group of twelve co-sponsors introduced the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (“SOPA”) on October 26, 2011, which punishes websites that are accused of facilitating copyright infringement. Although touted by its supporters as a weapon against foreign sites that steal and sell American inventions, SOPA is problematic because it also affects U.S. sites that either engage in infringement or have taken “deliberate actions to avoid confirming a high probability” of such infringement. Because the bill’s lack of procedural safeguards could have deep-seated ramifications that cripple the Internet industry, it should not be reconsidered for passage.

Citation Note

This Comment was originally cited as Volume 1 of the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online. Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of MJLR Online have been renumbered 45, 46, and 47 respectively. These updated Volume numbers correspond to their companion print Volumes. Additionally, the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform Online was renamed Caveat in 2015.