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Government The Internet United States

Law Professors vs the PROTECT IP Act 212

Freddybear writes "Along with 90 (and still counting) other Internet law and IP law professors, David Post of the Volokh Conspiracy law blog has drafted and signed a letter in opposition to Senator Leahy's 'PROTECT IP Act.' Quoting: 'The Act would allow the government to break the Internet addressing system. It requires Internet service providers, and operators of Internet name servers, to refuse to recognize Internet domains that a court considers "dedicated to infringing activities." But rather than wait until a Web site is actually judged infringing before imposing the equivalent of an Internet death penalty, the Act would allow courts to order any Internet service provider to stop recognizing the site even on a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction issued the same day the complaint is filed. Courts could issue such an order even if the owner of that domain name was never given notice that a case against it had been filed at all.'"
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Law Professors vs the PROTECT IP Act

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  • by mellon ( 7048 ) on Monday July 04, 2011 @09:01PM (#36656814) Homepage

    That's all well and good, but at the same time it's going to cause a *huge* hassle for ISPs, a *huge* hassle for content providers, and a *huge* hassle for end users. Sure, the bleeding edge geeks will have workarounds (the simplest being to set up your own name server).

    But it's going to make deploying DNSSEC a nightmare, because now we're going to have court orders requiring ISPs to break DNSSEC. Ultimately every customer router box will have to be a DNSSEC resolver, and will have to go to the root to get correct information. Home router vendors have not covered themselves in glory with previous DNS work they've done; there's no reason to expect that they'll do a good job this time either. The bottom line is that if this passes, the result will be:

    • an added degree of flakiness in the network which will be completely inexplicable to the average end user.
    • huge cost increase for ISPs
    • substantially increased load on root and TLD servers
    • more DNS traffic on the network (this one probably isn't a big deal, except...)
    • Increased DNS query latency
  • by paulsnx2 ( 453081 ) on Monday July 04, 2011 @09:18PM (#36656886)

    The PROTECT IP act is a freebie given to Big Content because it is too expensive for them to police the use of their own content. Regardless of what anyone thinks about Copyright, this is a clear example of leveraging government to enforce artificial restrictions on the use of content in favor of the companies that seek to monetize said content.

    We have laws already in place for companies to lodge complaints with websites when their content is being used without license. But the content companies complain that it is too hard for them to find unlicensed use of their content. The solution via this act is to take down content on **possible** unlicensed use by the government and by other companies on a simple complaint.

    IF the PROTECT IP provided heavy penalties for false or inflated complaints, then okay. But it doesn't.

    IF the PROTECT IP provided for possible criminal charges should it be used to violate free speech as opposed to taking down infringing content, then okay. But it doesn't.

    IF the PROTECT IP provided fees and taxes on Big Content to cover the public expense of implementing the act, then okay. But it doesn't.

    ANY Government granted system of monopolies granted out to privileged parties, where such monopolies do not and in fact cannot exist without Government intervention, this is socialism. It is bad enough that we have copyrights that last over a hundred years, and that we cannot upload birthday videos because a song written in the 1800's is (most would say falsely) under copyright. That we have extend copyright terms without compensation to the public.

    But why should the public pick up the bill to enforce copyright?

    Make Big Content to pay for it, and make Big Content liable for misuse of it, and throw anyone in jail if they use it to inhibit free speech, then okay.

    But that won't fly. Because this is about making money, and Big Content can't make money if they are at risk, or have to pay for the enforcement of their own (supposed) rights.

  • by RobbieThe1st ( 1977364 ) on Monday July 04, 2011 @09:49PM (#36657010)

    However, if we ignore it, it might get quietly slipped through - One might argue that the strategy is to make sure there are so many stupid bills which never get anywhere that the senators(and others) start ignoring them. At which point one might manage to slip through.

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Monday July 04, 2011 @11:06PM (#36657338) Journal

    And then you sue them for libel and get it unblocked - in the meantime, setting up a website on a different domain to get your point across.

    I mean, let's be serious here. There's no comparison between freedom of speech in US and China, which is obvious to anyone who bothers to check the fact. And there's no need for hyperbole and other cheap propaganda tricks when pointing out bad things. Whether it's better or worse than China is completely irrelevant - what you should care about is whether it's good or bad for your own country.

Can anyone remember when the times were not hard, and money not scarce?