The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), also known as House Bill 3261 or H.R. 3261 has been tabled until Feb.
This act sounds good on the surface, but there are a lot of worldwide ramifications. I don't want to take up lots of space, but encourage people to listen to the video. It' a bit long, and could be cut down, but he really hammers the point. There are also explanations on Wikipedia.
Want to understand just how insane things may get under SOPA/PIPA? Just take a look at what'salready happening under today's laws. Back in 2010, one of the first websites that Homeland Security's ICE (Immigrations & Customs Enforcement) group seized was TVShack.net. TVShack was a site that collected links to TV shows. Certainly, many of those shows were likely to be infringing -- but TVShack did not host the content at all, it merely linked to it. Richard O'Dwyer, the guy who ran the site, was a student building an interesting project over in the UK. However, the US Department of Justice decided that he was not only a hardened criminal, but one who needed to be tried on US soil. Thus, it began extradition procedures. Even worse, nearly identical sites in the UK had already been found legal multiple times -- with the court noting that having links to some infringing content was certainly not criminal copyright infringement. That makes things even more ridiculous, because extradition is only supposed to be allowed for activities that are criminal in both the US and the UK.
...O'Dwyer has been fighting the extradition attempt... but today, unfortunately, a UK judge ruled against him. (1/13/2012)