Below is a list of the major companies supporting the Stop Online Piracy Act currently moving through the US legislative process. If passed it will severely diminish the freedom of the internet worldwide, one of the principles on which the technology is.
To sum up the power of SOPA...Baby Got Back video clip original Big Buts
Now I've put that there, 'Def American' have the power to have all of Google's advertising revenue and payment systems halted with immediate effect and their entire site and domain taken down subject to the court injunction from the US Department of Justice. The bill makes sites directly repsonsible for any and all content generated by their users. This makes it essentially impossible for any website to accept any kind of user-generatd content without first rigourously checking it to make sure it doesn't link to any kind of copyrighted material, or even that it is in any way helpful to someone who is trying to "steal" copyrighted material.
A lot of music and film companies are desperate to stop you using the internet because they think that is why they're not making any money any more, not because they are charing absurd prices for laregly awful products. They seem to have got a lot of their millionair board room buddies to sign up as well which is why you see the likes of Nike and Dolce & Gabbanna on the list. I would encourage you to boycott products and services of these companies and where possible briefly explain to them why.
Personally I have steered clear of illegally downloading music, instead using Spotify. However, should this bill be passed I will make every effort to never pay for a single piece of intellectual proerty owned by the companies below ever again.
Here's open letter signed by 83 of the people who created the internet (or rather the technology behind it): https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/12/internet-inventors-warn-against-sopa-and-pipa
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)
Dolby Laboratories, Inc.
Dolce & Gabbana USA, Inc.
Electronic Arts, Inc.
Fender Musical Instrument Company
Harley-Davidson Motor Company
Lexmark International, Inc.
Major League Baseball
Monster Cable Products, Inc.
Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA)
National Basketball Association (NBA)
National Football League (NFL)
Nintendo of America Inc. ;'( Why Ninetendo?!
Ralph Lauren Corporation
Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
Reebok International Ltd.
Rolex Watch USA Inc.
Rosetta Stone Inc.
Sony Electronics Inc.
Sony Music Entertainment
Sony Pictures Entertainment
The Estee Lauder Companies
The Timberland Company
The Walt Disney Company
Tiffany & Co.
Time Warner Inc.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Universal Music Group
Warner Music Group
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.
Zippo Manufacturing Company
Zumba Fitness, LLC
More complete list: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AmGJz_37ojoqdFZhYlBhN2hQOGRoN2R0ZGh3VDZlblE&pli=1#gid=0