Stop Online Piracy sponsors defend the copyright bill
Opponents say the legislation could shut down the business of legitimate U.S. sites
IDG News Service - Sponsors of the controversial U.S. Stop Online Piracy Act defended the legislation Wednesday, saying the proposal is needed to shut down websites trafficking in billions of dollars worth of online piracy.
Opposition to the bill, called SOPA, is fueled by the desire of giant Internet companies to protect their profit margins, said U.S. Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.), a co-sponsor of the legislation. Opposition to the bill is "really about the bottom line" of Internet companies, Watt said during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the bill.
Some opponents' claims that SOPA will kill the Internet or result in widespread censorship of the Web are exaggerations, Watt said. "It is beyond troubling to hear the hyperbolic charges that this bill will open the floodgate to government censorship," he said. "I start from the premise that Internet freedom does not and cannot mean Internet lawlessness."
The legislation, which would enlist online advertising networks, payment processors, Internet service providers and search engines in copyright enforcement, is needed, said Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), a main sponsor of SOPA. Current copyright laws don't adequately protect U.S. companies against foreign sites offering infringing and counterfeit products, he said.
"We cannot continue a system that allows criminals to disregard our laws and import counterfeit and pirated goods across our physical borders," Smith added. "The problem of rogue websites is real, immediate and widespread. And its scope is staggering. One recent survey found that nearly one-quarter of global Internet traffic infringes on copyrights."
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), an opponent of SOPA, asked a representative of the Motion Picture Association of America how many sites the organization would like to see shut down "in order to say you were successful."
"Is it dozens, is it hundreds, is it thousands?" Lofgren asked. "Do you have any idea of the scope of the number of sites?"
The Pirate Bay is one such site, said Michael O'Leary, the MPAA's senior executive vice president for global policy. "There are multiple sites out there," he said. "The problem is evolving and changing. I cannot sit here right now and tell you in good faith that I know what that number is. What I do know is that there are literally hundreds of sites out there that are engaging in this activity."
Another opponent told lawmakers that SOPA's focus on websites that "enable or facilitate" copyright infringement could open up many legitimate sites to copyright complaints and could lead to court orders effectively shutting them down. SOPA allows the DOJ and copyright holders to look at a "portion" of a site to determine whether it enables or facilitates infringement, said Katherine Oyama, copyright policy counsel at Google.
- It's Not Them, It's You: How Customer Experience Impacts Your Identity and Access Management Practices Customers want more online access, but they also want to do less to get there: more mobility with less hassle. More security, but...
- 5 Reasons It's Time For Secure Single Sign-On While cloud-based applications provide many business benefits including lowering capital expenditures, they can also drive up operational expenses by requiring more administration and...
- Identity is the Center of Omnichannel This paper covers the benefits of adding an identity layer to bridge the gaps of simplified access, multiple entry points and authentication -...
- How to Extend Identity Security to Your APIs This paper discusses what these standards and specifications are, how they can be composed with existing standards like SAML, and details about how...
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Cloud BI in Action: Recorded Webinar of Customer, Kony, Inc. See how Kony, Inc., a leading enterprise mobility company, is using TIBCO Jaspersoft for Amazon Web Services and Redshift to achieve embedded analytics... All E-business White Papers | Webcasts