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Senate Panel Approves Website Shut-Down Bill 390

Posted by timothy
from the best-interests-at-heart dept.
itwbennett writes "The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted 19-0 in favor of a bill that would allow the Department of Justice to seek court orders to shut down websites offering materials believed to infringe copyright. 'Rogue websites are essentially digital stores selling illegal and sometimes dangerous products,' Senator Patrick Leahy, the main sponsor of the bill, said in a statement. 'If they existed in the physical world, the store would be shuttered immediately and the proprietors would be arrested. We cannot excuse the behavior because it happens online and the owners operate overseas. The Internet needs to be free — not lawless.' However, the internet will likely remain 'lawless' for a while longer, as there are only a few working days left in the congressional session and the bill is unlikely to pass through the House of Representatives in that short amount of time."
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Senate Panel Approves Website Shut-Down Bill

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  • Re:19-0? (Score:4, Informative)

    by mistiry (1845474) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @06:27PM (#34275182)

    To further clarify that...

    Getting a court order is not due process.

  • What's Leahy's deal? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Trepidity (597) <.delirium-slashdot. .at. .hackish.org.> on Thursday November 18, 2010 @06:55PM (#34275712)

    Leahy seems to always be at the forefront of these draconian pro-IP laws. On non-copyright/patent/etc. related issues, he's actually fairly civil-libertarian, so it doesn't seem like he's one of those authoritarians for whom more government police power for its own sake, and copyright infringement is just a convenient excuse for introducing them (the way many Republicans are on "terrorism"). It seems he actually does want strong enforcement of copyright laws, and that that's his motivator, not an excuse. But he's Senator for Vermont, a place not exactly known for its large media industry. It would make more sense to me if he were from CA or FL or something.

    Now that he's become one of the media industry's bet friends in Washington, he gets a bunch of media donations, which could explain his continued advocacy on the subject. But how did a Senator from VT end up in that position in the first place? Personal conviction? Opportunism?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 18, 2010 @07:16PM (#34275986)

    Al Franken, darling of the young liberal left, voted for internet censorship.

  • Re:Selling? (Score:3, Informative)

    by sed quid in infernos (1167989) on Thursday November 18, 2010 @07:57PM (#34276532)

    after all, wouldn't it only take 1 shot from a copyrighted movie?

    No [gpo.gov]. It only applies to a site already subject to civil forfeiture (which means a bunch of things have been proven about it already) or that is "primarily designed, has no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than, or is marketed by its operator, or by a person acting in concert with the operator, to offer—" either copyrighted works "in complete or substantially complete form" "without the authorization of the copyright owner or otherwise by operation of law [which includes fair use]" or counterfeit goods, and the activity "when taken together" is "central to the activity of the Internet site or sites accessed through a specific domain name."

    So no, 1 shot from a copyrighted movie wouldn't do it.

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Thursday November 18, 2010 @10:04PM (#34277628) Homepage Journal

    Or anyone who bought a copy of the album All Things Must Pass by George Harrison.

    let's rephrase grandparent post to what he actually meant, "who PAYS for pirated material ONLINE?"

    Then anyone who has bought a copy of All Things Must Pass online. Or anyone who has donated to a private tracker or even maintained a tracker-wide share ratio, given that a share ratio expresses "expectation of receipt [...] of other copyrighted works" [copyright.gov].

  • by Dodgy G33za (1669772) on Friday November 19, 2010 @12:55AM (#34278622)
    Actually I think you will find it pretty much didn't work from the get-go. Robespierre (Maximilien François Marie Isidore de Robespierre to give him his full name) was instrumental in getting laws passed where people could pretty much be executed on a whim.
  • Re:19-0? (Score:3, Informative)

    by overtly_demure (1024363) on Friday November 19, 2010 @02:27AM (#34278922) Homepage Journal
    All we need is to get it litigated. It is unlikely to survive. Somebody has to put up the money to do it, though.
  • Re:Sure there can (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 19, 2010 @04:13AM (#34279252)

    I dont think the root name servers do exactly what you (and others here) think they do.. Example..

    You want to lookup nasty-web-site.com and your PC is new and brain dead. It says, hey Mr root name server, whats the address of "nasty-web-site.com", to which the root name servers say 'Got me beat, but here are the records for the name server that handels all of .com, go ask them". Your PC then gos and asks that name server who supplies it with the info it needs (or another name server down the food chain if you are looking for a subdomain).

    The root name servers really dont control as much as you would think. They know where .com, .net, .eu, .ru, .au all exist (along with the other TLDs) but nothing more. You cant use a root name server to block the lookup of a specific site as it doesnt know the details. (It can be done firther down the food chain though)

    So lets say the US wants to delist "nasty-web-site.com.au". They cant. They have to contact AUDA to do it for them (who will likely say no, but then roll over and launch their own investigation anyway). The only thing the US and ICANN can do is delist all of .au (no big loss, but you get the point)

  • Re:19-0? (Score:3, Informative)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Friday November 19, 2010 @06:40AM (#34279814) Journal

    This didn't pass the senate, it came out of a senate comity. It now needs to find itself a floor vote before it passes the senate. There are 5 times as many senators then those that voted for it.

    Also, everyone you know does not really mean the majority of the population. The vast majority of the population probably don't even know about it, or don't know the ramifications that could be associated with it. I'm betting that like most other things, the majority of the population is either ignorant of the subject/bill or agnostic to it.

  • Re:19-0? (Score:3, Informative)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Friday November 19, 2010 @06:55AM (#34279878) Journal

    Actually, congress can define due process. They make the laws and constitute the courts. There is no controlling authority over due process that is above congress outside of anything in the constitution.

  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Informative)

    by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Friday November 19, 2010 @07:06AM (#34279930)
    "The sites still has to have a primary purpose of infringing on copyright." All those examples I made above have actually happened. The DMCA's takedown system is intended for sites which have the primary purpose of infringing on copyright, but that doesn't mean those were the *only* sites it ended up used against. For example, the Church of Scientology used a DMCA takedown notice to remove a video on youtube of Cruise giving a speech at one of their private functions, and have used DMCA notices to close down sites posting their texts for criticism. Not only can they use the DMCA to silence critics: They have. In the video case, it backfired.
  • by tepples (727027) <tepples&gmail,com> on Friday November 19, 2010 @09:06AM (#34280534) Homepage Journal

    Actually Harrison['s estate] now owns the copyright on "He's So Fine".

    Then consider Three Boys Music v. Bolton, about "Love is a Wonderful Thing" by Michael Bolton.

    About Song of the South which I believe is out of copyright in some of the world including here in Canada. What if an American legally buys it here and then goes home with it?

    "In a case where the making of the copies or phonorecords would have constituted an infringement of copyright if this title had been applicable, their importation is prohibited." 17 USC 602(b). [copyright.gov] The exception for personal baggage in 602(a)(3)(C) appears to apply only to 602(a), not 602(b).

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