Friday, 10 February 2012
CASE 388 - PIPA
The PROTECT IP Act (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act, or PIPA) is a proposed law with the stated goal of giving the US government and copyright holders additional tools to curb access to "rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods", especially those registered outside the U.S. The bill was introduced on May 12, 2011, by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and 11 bipartisan co-sponsors. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that implementation of the bill would cost the federal government $47 million through 2016, to cover enforcement costs and the hiring and training of 22 new special agents and 26 support staff. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill, but Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) placed a hold on it.
The PROTECT IP Act is a re-write of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), which failed big time to pass in 2010. A similar House version of the bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), was introduced on October 26, 2011, but has been shelved until a later date.
Among those who oppose the legislation are the Mozilla Corporation, Facebook, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Yahoo!, eBay, American Express, reddit, Google, Reporters Without Borders, Human Rights Watch, English Wikipedia, and Uncyclopedia. Internet entrepreneurs including Reid Hoffman of LinkedIn, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, and Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley signed a letter to Congress expressing their opposition to the legislation. The Tea Party Patriots have argued that the bill "is bad for consumers". A letter of opposition was signed by 130 technology entrepreneurs and executives and sent to Congress to express their concern that the law in its present form would "hurt economic growth and chill innovation in legitimate services that help people create, communicate, and make money online". English-language Wikipedia sites joined other Internet sites in protesting the PIPA and SOPA legislation by staging a "blackout" of service for 24 hours on January 18, 2012. Many websites protested, including: Wikipedia, CNet and Cheezburger network sites. Some websites denied access to their websites altogether.