New Legislation Threatens Online Music Senate's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the House's Protect IP Act could blacklist websites By Jenn Pelly and Amy Phillips, November 17, 2011 4:24 p.m. CT Two newly proposed pieces of legislation in the Senate and House of Representatives attempt to curtail piracy of intellectual property on the internet, but many argue that they go too far. If passed, these bills would have significant impact on anyone who shares media on the internet--including sites that post music and videos. The Senate's Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the House's Protect IP Act, would allow the government to blacklist and block websites for posting allegedly illegal materials, without first taking court action, according to a New York Times Op-Ed. According to the Times, this would mean that if your site (whether you're a tiny startup or YouTube) is found to be hosting a video or song that you don't own, it could be "blocked by Internet service providers, search engines, payment providers and advertising networks, all without a court hearing or a trial." While this legislation aims to better protect the copyrights of artists and labels, it could be slippery territory for anyone who posts or shares music on the web, since the line between legal and illegal sharing is often unclear: How many times have artists posted tracks and asked fans to share it online, only for their labels to serve those same fans with takedown notices? The bills are backed by the United States Chamber of Commerce, the American Federation of Musicians, and the Motion Picture Association of America, among others, reports the Times. However, those in opposition include AOL, eBay, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Zynga, and Google, who collectively issued an open letter to the House and Senate. Tumblr is also campaigning against it. Reuters reports that, at a House hearing today, Google Policy Counsel Katherine Oyama said, "The prospect of [internet service providers] and search engines 'disappearing' entire sites when they have violated no U.S. law, but only 'facilitated' unlawful acts of third parties, raises serious concerns." TIME notes that SOPA's chances of passing are "excellent" due to bipartisan support and the work of powerful lobbyists. If it passes, it could be overturned only by a veto from President Obama.