On September 20, 2010 Senator Patrick J. Leahy [VT] introduced The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act. |
S.3804 - Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act
The bill has been co-sponsored by: Senator Lamar Alexander [TN], Senator Benjamin L. Cardin [MD], Senator Richard Durbin [IL], Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand [NY], Senator Chuck Grassley [IA], Senator Amy Klobuchar [MN], Senator Charles E. Schumer [NY], Senator George V. Voinovich [OH], Senator Evan Bayn [IN], Senator Tom Coburn [OK], Senator Dianne Feinstein [CA], Senator Lindsey Graham [SC], Senator Orrin G. Hatch [UT], Senator Herb Kohl [WI], Senator Arlen Specter [PA] and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse [RI].
The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act gives the Attorney General and the Department of Justice the power to proceed in rem against a domain name used by a website "dedicated to infringing activity" requiring domain registrars/registries, ISPs, DNS providers, and others to block Internet users from reaching certain websites.
MAPlight.org reports that the following organizations have taken a stance on this bill:
- Motion Picture Association of America
- US Chamber of Commerce
- Screen Actors Guild
- International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees
This issue revolves around; freedom of speech, current internet architecture, copyright doctrine and foreign policy and there are different view points.
- Center for Democracy & Technology
- Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Distributed Computing Industry Association
The bill would give the Department of Justice the power to take down websites dedicated to making unauthorized downloads, copyrighted content and counterfeit goods available. On the other hand the bill would allow the Attorney General to remove an entire domain including all the blog posts, images and it's associated files. Consider the amount of bit torrent sites people are using to legally share files that could potentially be blacklisted.
Stopping piracy and cybersquatting by cutting off the name server will not work. It would take a nation-wide firewall, and that does not sound like democracy.