SCARY: Protect IP and E-Parasites bills terrify techies

By Richi Jennings (@richi ) - October 31, 2011.

The Senate and the House are trying again to foil mass copyright violation. The Protect IP and E-Parasites bills are stirring up a hornets' nest in the tech world. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers are spoiling for a fight.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: Happy Halloween...

    Fred Wilson brings us up to speed:

The content industry's lobbyists have forged two new bills, one in the Senate called Protect IP and one in the House called E-Parasites. [They're] written by the content industry without any input from the technology industry. And they are trying to fast track them...into law without any negotiation with the technology industry. ... [But] the technology industry has done a lot to help the content industry get a handle on online piracy in the past decade.


The content indusrtry is not creating new jobs right now. The tech industry, led by startups, have created all the net new jobs in the past five years. ... [We] cannot kill the golden goose to protect industries in decline.   

   Brad Feld is horrified:

The bills – like many in Congress – are misleadingly named. ... I’d encourage Congress to rename both of these bills the “Destroy the Internet, Corresponding Jobs Created by Entrepreneurship Around The Internet, and Restrict Freedom of Speech” Act. I’m not being dramatic – these are horrifyingly bad.


While I recognize the lobbyists behind these bills – and the companies behind the lobbyist – are pouring in tons of money to try to get these bills [passed], hopefully our representatives are strong thinkers who can’t simply be bought.   

Rafe Colburn argues this would be worse than the existing DMCA law:

The DMCA works well enough if infringing content is hosted by someone who will respond to a takedown notice. Now the copyright industry wants to be able to prevent users from accessing material they deem to be in violation regardless of where it’s hosted. ... [The] new bills...would require that US network operators blacklist any sites that are deemed to be in the piracy business by blocking DNS lookups.


Both bills...are of course full of loopholes and vague definitions that would make them even more ripe for abuse than the DMCA already is.   

  But Nate Glass questions the motives of DMCA supporters:

According to [DMCA supporters], if you’re a copyright holder, you should have to sue each and every [copyright infringer] individually. That...would bankrupt copyright holders so of course no one will do it. ... [If] the government doesn’t pass tough copyright laws there will always exist a problem with piracy.


At the end of the day, the lawyers win. ... Or like the old Demotivator poster says: “If you’re not a part of the solution, there’s good money to be made in prolonging the problem.”   

Meanwhile, Matt Ventura muses on the E-Parasite name:

I think its a great acronym. The RIAA, MPAA, and the other groups behind this bill are complete parasites...they deserve to have a bill named after them.   

And Finally...
Happy Halloween
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Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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