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The Stop Online Piracy Act is a United States bill introduced by U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith to expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement to combat online copyright infringement and online trafficking in counterfeit goods. Provisions include the requesting of court orders to bar advertising networks and payment facilities from conducting business with infringing websites, and search engines from linking to the websites, and court orders requiring Internet service providers to block access to the websites. The law would expand existing criminal laws to include unauthorized streaming of copyrighted content, imposing a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Proponents of the legislation state it will protect the intellectual-property market and corresponding industry, jobs and revenue, and is necessary to bolster enforcement of copyright laws, especially against foreign-owned and operated websites. Claiming flaws in present laws that do not cover foreign-owned and operated websites, and citing examples of active promotion of rogue websites by U.S. search engines, proponents assert stronger enforcement tools are needed. Opponents state the proposed legislation threatens free speech and innovation, and enables law enforcement to block access to entire internet domains due to infringing content posted on a single blog or webpage. They have raised concerns that SOPA would bypass the "safe harbor" protections from liability presently afforded to websites by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Library associations have expressed concerns that the legislation's emphasis on stronger copyright enforcement would expose libraries to prosecution. Other opponents state that requiring search engines to delete domain names violates the First Amendment and could begin a worldwide arms race of unprecedented Internet censorship. (via Freebase)