If one takes a macroscopic look at human beings situation evolution throughout the few last centuries, it is very noticeable that a growing part are given more and more freedom, as time passes. In rich countries, people are now (more and more) able to make a number of important choices: what do they want to study, what do they want as a job, do they want children and how many, where do they want to live, where do they want to go for vacations, what kind of food they want to eat, what kind of music do they want to listen to, etc. Many of these choices would have been considered as a great luxury not so long ago. The rights have been gained through social battles against a few highly privileged persons. Formerly, these were kings and emperors, now they are politics, big companies owners and any person willing to hold always more and more power in their hands.
However, I believe that a vast majority of these rights are allowed mostly because they serve a purpose. Still the same old one. Everyone knows that chickens raised outdoors are much tastier than battery farmed ones... looks like it's the same for human beings. Men with more freedom grow up better, and are more productive. The problem is, these last years, the Internet appeared, and chickens are now communicating in a worldwide scale... and of course, they are starting to realize why they are allowed to run in the grass, as long as they do not try to go past the fence. This was long neglected by power holders, and they now have a serious problem: the recent events in several countries (the Arab Spring) demonstrated what decisive role the Internet can play, and what consequences such communication can have.
SOPA, PIPA, ACTA (and similar bills or laws)are plain shameless tries to restrain that communication, and get things under control again. These ones claim to address a particular problem (piracy of cultural products), but their principle can simply be summarized in controlling the knowledge people can access to. Music and movies is simply the tip of the iceberg. Don't get me wrong, I am not in favor of piracy: I am in favor of true freedom. I want to be able to buy any kind of music I like, not ONLY the one a particular company decided to produce, to advertise on TV and radios to no extend, annihilating any alternative. This is where the Internet is a complete revolution, which is consequently attacked in order to muzzle it.
I choose to depict the situation using good old books, not electronic devices, for a similar reason: the ones willing to restrain access to knowledge would LOVE the whole world to rely on them... if these devices become the only way to get to education or entertainment, imagine how easy it would be to control and filter things out! Just a mouse click from a desk in a tower, and tada, no one in country A can read or see about country B. Or no one can learn about idea X. How convenient.
"We don't need no thought control!" (Pink Floyd, The Wall, 1979)