The Jan. 3 editorial “A fair block on Internet piracy” rightly called the House bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a threat to legitimate Web sites. Inexplicably, the editorial proceeded to endorse its companion legislation in the Senate, calling the Protect IP Act (PIPA) a “more prudent approach.”
Far from a prudent approach, PIPA provides the legislative foundation for Internet censorship. The surest risk of censorship comes from PIPA’s broad definition of piracy sites as those that enable or facilitate copyright infringement. As numerous PIPA opponents have pointed out, this definition is ripe for abuse, especially in the hands of overzealous copyright owners. Given that the enforcement of the act would fall to the judicial system, PIPA would open the floodgates of litigation just as wide as would SOPA.