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Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)... stopped
The Stop Online Piracy Act (otherwise known as "SOPA") would have been the most threatening act of legislation to the global Internet to date had it passed. Along with the PROTECT-IP ("PIPA") and OPEN acts, which ran through the Senate, these bills in singular and collectively would have threatened the very existence of the open Web as we know it.
SOPA alone would have allowed Web sites to be shuttered, no matter where they are in the world, by blocking them at server level and starving them of oxygen. Any site even to have allegedly breached copyright could be effectively shut down by the U.S. government with little oversight or process of appeal. Google-owned YouTube, for instance, could have fallen foul of the law if someone uploaded a copyright infringing video, leading to a widespread site block.
The Internet as a collective rallied around and protested in a way that had never been tested or tried before. Many major Web sites shut their doors for 12 or 24 hours during 'Black Wednesday' to protest the bill. More than 75,000 Web sites blacked out, including Wikipedia and Google. Days later, it was shelved by the U.S. House of Representatives and ultimately the geeks 'won.'
However, the White House found itself on the right side of the powerful Internet community after it said it would veto any such bill should it pass along the President's desk.