Introduced at the end of 2011 by U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith, the Stop Online Piracy Act (Stop Online Piracy Act) was a bill that would grant unprecedented power to the U.S. government and various Internet service providers. SOPA would allow the courts to request for search engines to stop linking to sites it thought were illegally hosting copyrighted material. It would also allow ISPs to block websites it thought were hosting illegal material.
Of course, the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry of America, the Entertainment Software Association, and various other movie and music studios supported the act. Luckily, a number of Internet companies including Wikipedia, Google, Tumblr, Amazon.com, and Twitter opposed it and staged an online protest to raise awareness and block the bill. The protest led to Rep. Smith calling off the hearing to debate the bill, saying "The House Judiciary Committee will postpone consideration of the legislation until there is wider agreement on a solution."