If you are unaware of what has been going on in the U.S. Senate regarding potential increased protections of intellectual property (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011), now is a good time to learn. A portion of a recent EFF article is below. TechDirt and Ars Technica have written about it too, as has Righthaven victim Brian Hill.
The "PROTECT IP" Act: COICA ReduxIn February, the U.S. Government shut down 84,000 websites by "mistake". They also shut down "potential" infringing sites prior to the Superbowl.
Last year’s rogue website legislation is back on the table, with a new name: the "Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011"—or (wink, wink) "PROTECT IP". The draft language is available here.
The earlier bill, which failed to pass thanks largely to a hold on the legislation placed by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, would have given the government dramatic new copyright enforcement powers targeted at websites "dedicated to infringing activities," even where those websites were not based in the United States. Despite some salient differences (described below) in the new version, we are no less dismayed by this most recent incarnation than we were with last year’s draft.