Tuesday, November 01, 2011

PROTECT IP Renamed E-PARASITES Act; Would Create The Great Firewall Of America

PROTECT IP Renamed E-PARASITES Act; Would Create The Great Firewall Of America; Techdirt.com

As was unfortunately expected, the House version of PROTECT IP has been released (embedded below) and it's ridiculously bad. Despite promises from Rep. Goodlatte, there has been no serious effort to fix the problems of the Senate bill, and it's clear that absolutely no attention was paid to the significant concerns of the tech industry, legal professionals, investors and entrepreneurs. There are no two ways around this simple fact: this is an attempt to build the Great Firewall of America. The bill would require service providers to block access to certain websites, very much contrary to US official positions on censorship and internet freedom, and almost certainly in violation of the First Amendment.

Oh, and because PROTECT IP wasn't enough of a misleading and idiotic name, the House has upped the ante. The new bill is called: "the Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation Act" or the E-PARASITE Act (though, they also say you can call it the "Stopping Online Piracy Act").

The bill is big, and has a bunch of problems. First off, it massively expands the sites that will be covered by the law. The Senate version at least tried to limit the targets of the law (but not the impact of the law) on sites that were "dedicated to infringing activities" with no other significant purposes (already ridiculously broad), the new one just targets "foreign infringing sites" and "has only limited purpose or use other than" infringement. They're also including an "inducement" claim not found elsewhere in US regulations -- and which greatly expands what is meant by inducement. The bill effectively takes what the entertainment industry wanted the Supreme Court to say in Grokster (which it did not say) and puts it into US law. In other words, any foreign site declared by the Attorney General to be "inducing" infringement, with a very broad definition of inducing, can now be censored by the US. With no adversarial hearing. Hello, Great Firewall of America.

Read the rest here.

Comment: Who's their Daddy...well it's not you, it's Hollywood. Follow the money folks. If Hollywood is going to do the bidding for the government complex they expect mafia protection. This is what this potential law is all about. It's one big organized crime ring and America thinks all the while that we live in a Democracy.

1 comment:

Dan said...

Other than legalizing Obama's king-like seizures of domain names, this law is impractical and ridiculous.

It turns every business in the country into free lawyers for those the MAFIAA *suspects* of copyright infringement. In other words, no due process.

Google will have to hire lawyers to research every video upon submission.

Wikipedia will likely block the United States from editing its pages. It's a nonprofit organization and every typo correction would require a lawyer on the clock.

Plus, we have to have a blindfold next to our mouse and keyboard in case our eyes see something possibly infringing on YouTube, or we risk fines and jail time.

Remember that 4 of these 5 companies are not American. Yet millions of American businesses and the US and state governments will be free policemen and legal services for these companies.

And, all *before* due process of law.