Online piracy and copyright infringement over the Internet have become increasingly problematic in the last few years. As a result, the United States government has proposed the Stop Online Piracy Act, which would give the government increased power to block websites that infringe and would increase penalties for those who violate copyright laws. Prior to this proposed legislation, artists, corporations, and a variety of professional associations filed lawsuits in order to protect their works, however, this technique has proved to be relatively ineffective at preventing piracy and infringement. Several groups, including the music recording industry and musicians, felt the public backlash of negative publicity due to their anti-infringement lawsuits. Internet culture has developed around the concepts of sharing and free access to information, which is why many people view such lawsuits and the proposed SOPA legislation as anti-libertarian and a threat to freedom of speech.