Here's what you need to know about SOPA & PIPA:
1) Follow the link below to find out what Neil Gaiman has to say about piracy and being an author. I found it extremely interesting and an eye opener to someone wanting to enter the world of publishing.
Neil Gaiman on Copyright Piracy and the Web
2) The animation is what you need to see on this site. It's very helpful in understanding what exactly SOPA & PIPA will do to the internet.
3) Sarah Woodbury explains it plain and simple in her blog as well.
4) Now that you've educated yourself on SOPA & PIPA go find out who your representatives are and tell them you don't want these bills to pass. Although Wikipedia is blacked out today they have created a link for you to find out who your representatives are.
5) AND go sign the online petition over at Google.
Yes, I did both 4 and 5 on my list. There are better ways to deal with online piracy than these two bills.