Confused by SOPA? Five Multimedia Explainers

Unless you live under a rock, it’s pretty hard to ignore the buzz that the Stop Online Privacy Piracy Act (SOPA) has generated in the last few months. The controversial bill, along with its companion bill, Protect-IP Act (PIPA), intends to fight copyright infringement and piracy but has turned into a bitter battle between old and new media.

Everyone has covered the controversial bill, from more traditional media outlets such as the Washington Post and the New York Times to tech blogs such as ArsTechnica, TechCrunch and Gizmodo. Rep. Darrell Issa, one of the bill’s main opponents, posts about it frequently on Twitter and Reddit has successfully lobbied boycots of SOPA supporters.

Let’s be honest. Just because you’ve heard of the bill, doesn’t mean you actually understand it. SOPA is, after all, incredibly complicated. Well, you’re in luck. There’s a ton of articles explaining the bill. Even better, there’s some wonderful interactives ones.

So while Congress is on its winter recess — the House Judiciary Committee won’t pick up debating the bill until after Congress returns — why not take some time to check out the pieces below? Just a note: Most oppose the bill.

The Guardian‘s Animated Explainer
This little gem of an animated video from the Guardian is not only informational but also really fun to watch.

Behind SOPA: What It Means for Business and Innovation Infographic
This infographic by the Business Insurance Blog clearly explains what SOPA and PIPA are, who supports and opposes it and what its pros and cons are.

Via: Business Insurance Blog

SOPA Gets the Google Map Treatment
Check out if your Congressman supports or opposes SOPA or PIPA using this map created by Spatial Situation. It also links to Wikipedia for further background information.

Free Speech is Only as Strong as the Weakest Link
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a multimedia piece that uses the idea of links in a chain to demonstrate what “directly facilitate[s] or indirectly support[s] speech on the Internet.” By clicking on each section, the viewer learns more about that link and its role.

Fight for the Future Video and Infographic
Sister blogs Lifehacker and Gizmodo take a whack at explaining both SOPA and PIPA using this video as an aid. Like the Guardian video, the video is animated but it’s on the more biased side. It was created by Fight for the Future, an organization that is decidely anti-SOPA.

PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

Fight for the Future also created an infographic showing when a site would get blocked and how SOPA would affect the average citizen if passed.