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The Protect IP bill

From: Mario N.
Sent on: Monday, November 14, 2011 3:40 PM

I thought I'd let you know about the Protect IP act that's in the process of rolling through Congress very soon.

 

Fight For the Future's video on this bill:

http://vimeo.com/31100268

 

Link to the LA Times article summarizing the issue.

http://opinion.latimes.com/opinionla/2011/09/technology-entrepreneurs-blast-the-protect-ip-act.html

 

Here's the gist of the article:

 

“The bill (S 968) would give the Justice Department and copyright holders new tools to combat sites that are "dedicated to infringing activities," including the ability to seek court orders seizing the sites' domain names and requiring search engines, payment processing companies and advertising networks to blackball them.”

Any accusation of infringement? Your site can be cut off or face severe penalties. It's guilt until proven innocent.

 

This bill is an example of the kind of legislation that is going to powerfully impact sites that utilize user and socially generated content. This could include embedded and syndicated content aka Web 2.0.

 

Latest incarnation of the bill:

 

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112s968rs/pdf/BILLS-112s968rs.pdf

 

Although I support intellectual property rights, this seems like it's going overboard.

 

I'm concerned how this is going to impact our industry, clients and site development. How willing will companies be to incorporate user generated content features if this legislation or others like it pass, forcing a site shut off at a moments notice? Ethics aside, bills like this hold real potential to damage our bottom line and those of our clients.

 

The legal tools to deal with copyright infringement exist. The entertainment industry seems to want the tech industry to do their work for them and prop up their current business model. (Let's not talk about the pharmaceutical companies insertion of their restrictions into the bill). It can also be a handy tool to take down smaller potential entertainment competitors for minor violations.

 

It's important that the voice of Los Angeles tech professionals be heard since we're located in the entertainment hub of the U.S. Please spread the word and write your elected representatives in Congress and the Senate. If you support this bill, then I suppose you should write them to that effect as well.

 

Sorry for the non-meetup message but I think that it's relevant and worth discussing. I'm contemplating having a meetup to talk about how we as tech professionals can deal with these tactics in the future.

 

I'll be posting this to the discussion board if you'd like to respond.

 

Sincerely,

 

Mario Noble

SCWDD Organizer

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