Public Knowledge Sees Dangers In New Intellectual Property Bill

The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:

"The new House legislation (HR 3261) is an unwarranted expansion of government power to protect one special interest.  The bill would overturn the long-accepted principles and practices of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act notice and takedown process in favor of a one-sided enforcement mechanism that is far more broad than existing law while not attempting to protect the rights of anyone accused of copyright infringement.

 "In addition, anyone who writes about, or links to, a site suspected of infringement could also become a target of government action.  The bill also features the now well-known dangers to the engineering of the Internet domain-name system (DNS), endangering Internet security while requiring Internet Service Providers and search engines to take on vast new responsibilities to block access to suspected sites.

 "There is no need for a bill this sweeping and this Draconian.  There are simple, easily implemented solution on which industry and others agree -- such as cutting off the ability of credit-card companies to fulfill payments to sites that traffic in copyright infringement.

 "At a time when Congress and the Obama Administration are trying to cut back on sweeping, overbroad regulation, we are disappointed that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith and his co-sponsors have chosen this means of establishing a vast new regulatory regime over the Internet."

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