Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Intellectual Property and Pirates

Senator Patrick Leahy introduced legislation earlier this month aimed at curbing online piracy and counterfeiting. The bill would give the Justice Department new authority to file a civil action against a domain name linked to a website trafficking in illegal copyrighted content or counterfeit goods. The court could order a registrar, a firm that sells Internet domain name registrations to the public, to revoke the domain name linked to the site with the infringing content or counterfeit goods. The bill also would give the Justice Department power to target foreign websites by requiring U.S.-based third parties to stop doing business with these foreign targets. This might include requiring a U.S.-based Internet service provider to block access to such sites or requiring a U.S. payment processor to block payments to the site.

According to an article at Tech Daily Dose, several groups banded together and sent a letter that calls on the committee to hold a hearing on the bill before taking action on it. In part the letter stated that this legislation "raises a host of global entanglements and serious questions that need to be evaluated thoroughly and carefully."

The article further stated:

Noting the growing threat of online piracy, the Recording Industry Association of America said in a statement Tuesday, that, "The answer from these self-styled public interest groups can't always be 'no.' Congressional and administration leaders have made it clear that doing nothing is no longer an option. If these groups have a better idea than the meaningful, bipartisan approach like the one put forward by Chairman Leahy, we welcome their ideas on how to insure that the Internet is a civilized medium instead of a lawless one where foreign sites that put Americans at risk are allowed to flourish."
What I know is that to continue to do nothing solves nothing. The majority of these pirate sites are overseas yet target American consumers (and thus defraud American artists, including authors). According to Senator Leahy, his measure would "give the Department of Justice an expedited process for cracking down on these rogue websites, regardless of whether the website's owner is located inside or outside of the United States."

Amen, brother! We'll have to see how this plays out.

1 comment:

Sherrill Quinn said...

And more information here: