Ron Wyden to block COICA, Oregon senator opposes Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, Citizen Wells open thread, November 21, 2010

Ron Wyden to block COICA, Oregon senator opposes Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act

From PC World November 19, 2010.

“A U.S. senator has vowed to fight attempts to pass a controversial copyright protection bill that would allow the U.S. government to shut down websites suspected of hosting infringing materials.

Senator Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said late Thursday that he would seek to block the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, or COICA, from passing through the full Senate, unless the legislation is changed. Earlier Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 19-0 to approve the bill and send it to the full Senate.

Wyden called the bill the “wrong medicine” for dealing with online copyright infringement. The bill would allow the U.S. Department of Justice to seek expedited court orders requiring U.S. domain-name registrars to shut down domestic websites suspected of hosting infringing materials. The bill would also allow the DOJ, through court orders, to order U.S. ISPs to redirect customer traffic away from infringing foreign websites.

“Deploying this statute to combat online copyright infringement seems almost like using a bunker-busting cluster bomb, when what you need is a precision-guided missile,” Wyden said during a hearing on digital trade issues. “If you don’t think this thing through carefully, the collateral damage would be American innovation, American jobs, and a secure Internet.”

Wyden’s opposition means the bill is likely dead this year. Individual senators can place holds on legislation, and there are only a few working days left in the congressional session this year. Sponsors of the legislation, including fellow Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, would have to reintroduce the bill if it doesn’t pass this year.”

“COICA is an example of repeated efforts to fix long-time problems through Internet restrictions, said Ed Black, president and CEO of the Computer and Communications Industry Association, a tech trade group. The Judiciary Committee pushed through the bill without adequate hearings and input from the public, Black said.

“The significance and implications of the legislation I don’t think have been well thought through,” Black said during the hearing on digital trade. “Sadly, it’s an example of what not to do in an important, complicated digital ecosystem.””

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I agree with senator Ron Wyden and Ed Black. This bill gives the government too much power and was not well thought out.

For starters, Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont is the sponsor. That should be red flag enough. This is the same Senator Leahy of Vermont who did not reply to my voice message or email when I was in Burlington, VT when I got the video of the Senator Bernie Sanders speech and a brief interview.

And what about these Republican Senator cosponsors?

Lamar Alexander [R-TN]
Thomas Coburn [R-OK]
Lindsey Graham [R-SC]
Charles Grassley [R-IA]
Orrin Hatch [R-UT]
James Inhofe [R-OK]
George Voinovich [R-OH]

More RINO’s? Or are they just not paying attention or listening to the public?

I am not certain if the full text of the bill is available yet. My first 2 attempts to get it failed.

From GovTrack, a summary.

“Congressional Research Service Summary

The following summary was written by the Congressional Research Service, a well-respected nonpartisan arm of the Library of Congress. GovTrack did not write and has no control over these summaries.

Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act – Amends the federal criminal code to authorize the Attorney General (AG) to commence an action for injunctive relief against a domain name used by an Internet site that is “dedicated to infringing activities,” even where such a domain name is not located in the United States. Defines an Internet site that “dedicated to infringing activities” as a site that is: (1) subject to civil forfeiture; (2) designed primarily to offer goods or services in violation of federal copyright law; or (3) selling counterfeit goods. Requires the AG to maintain a public listing of domain names that the Department of Justice (DOJ) determines are dedicated to infringing activities but for which the AG has not filed an action. Allows parties to petition the AG to remove such a domain name from the list and obtain judicial review of the final determination in a civil action.”

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Another source of information:

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