This is a couple of days old, but it's a more nuanced explanation of the issues surrounding SOPA and PIPA, including links to other well-thought-out pieces on the subject by other authors.
by Danah Boyd, Apophenia January 17, 2012
We need to talk about piracy (but we must stop SOPA first)
Much to my happiness, the internets (sic) are in a frenzy about the "Stop Online Piracy Act" (aka SOPA). Congress is currently in recess, but the House announced a hearing on the potential impact to the Domain Name Service on January 18 and everyone expects the Senate to begin discussing a similar bill "PROTECT IP Act" when they return to DC on January 24. There's a lot to these bills - and the surrounding furor - and I'm not going to go into it, but I recommend reading the actual billand Open Congress info, the Wikipedia article EFF's blog and the various links at Stop American Censorship Tomorrow - January 18th - a bunch of geeks are planning a SOPA Blackout Day to voice their discontent.
I abhor SOPA for the same reasons as other geeks. I'm horrified that Congress has crafted a law that will screw with the architecture of the internet in ways that will undermine free speech. I love Josh Kopstein's post "Dear Congress, It's No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works" And I'm glad that geeks are getting vocal, even if - as Clay Johnson has pointed out - geeks don't quite get how Congress works I'm stoked that the White House has asked for a civil conversation around piracy (while also opposing SOPA's key pieces). And I find it utterly hysterical that Rupert Murdoch has come to geeks' turf (Twitter - to convey his pro-SOPA opinions, even as Obama steps in to state that he opposes SOPA.