Texan's Anti-Piracy SOPA Bill Gets Home State Pushback

Posted in: Government & Policy at 13/01/2012 16:01

United States Representative Lamar Smith says online piracy is damaging the United States economy and putting American lives at risk. Foreign Web sites that distribute American-made entertainment and counterfeit products, like fake pharmaceuticals, are "stealing our profits, they're stealing our jobs and they may be endangering the health of Americans," said Mr. Smith, a Republican from San Antonio.

He introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act in October to tackle the problem, but the bill has received a cold reception in Mr. Smith's home state.

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Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, said he would recommend that "more study" be given to a provision in the bill that would give the U.S. attorney general new authority to seek court orders compelling Internet service providers to block the sites' domain names or Web addresses. A vote to bring the bill to the Senate floor for debate is scheduled for this month.

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The Vermont Democrat, a longtime ally of large copyright holders, said today he would delete portions of his Protect IP Act that mandate Domain Name System (DNS) blocking and redirecting.

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The chamber's Global Intellectual Property Center has helped lead a coalition of content creators and trademark owners in support of the House's Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP bill in the Senate. The bills would give the attorney general authority to seek a court order to require online advertisers and payment processors to stop doing business with foreign websites that provide pirated music, movies and other content or counterfeit goods. In addition, the legislation also allows a court to order search engines to stop showing results for such websites and to require service providers to block U.S. access to such sites.

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Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) doesn't want to give up his DNS-based Interent blacklisting plans -- but he's willing to put them on hold. One of the key drivers of the PROTECT IP Act in the Senate announced today that he will recommend stripping the DNS-blocking provisions from his bill while further technical studies are underway.

The complaints against DNS-based blocking have been vocal ones. Leahy announced his plan today to introduce a "manager's amendment" to the current bill after hearing from "engineers, human rights groups, and... a number of Vermonters." Not that he's convinced DNS blocking is really problematic.

Sponsor: Protect IP Act may be amended in response to concerns [IDG]
The controversial copyright enforcement bill the Protect IP Act may be amended on the Senate floor later this month in response to ongoing concerns about its provisions affecting Internet service providers and the domain-name system, the bill's chief sponsor said.

Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and chief sponsor of the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, said Thursday he plans to offer an amendment that would require a study of the impact of the ISP provisions in the bill before they are implemented.

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