HR 3261, or the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is currently being considered in the US congress. Like most legislation that deals with the Internet, it comes with a certain amount of controversy.
At its heart, the bill is designed to help prevent the illegal distribution of intellectual property – music, movies, software, books, periodicals and so on. Even today the notion of copying media is still somehow not perceived as stealing by many people. While walking in to a bookstore or music store and taking something without paying for it is clearly understood to be stealing, many people don’t consider the download of the same material to be illegal. It is. Regardless of the legality – when people stop to think about it – they realize that it is morally wrong.