Last May, the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the PROTECT IP Act, which aims to reduce the ability for sites dedicated to infringement to profit from piracy. Now that Congress is back in session, House Judiciary chairman Lamar Smith plans to introduce a House version of the bill.
In July, the Senate Judiciary Committee released its report on the proposed legislation. The report includes the bill’s background and legislative history to date, as well as a section-by-section summary and other housekeeping bits.
What’s notable about PROTECT IP is how broad the support for it is. On the political front, the support is bi-partisan and from every level of government, from local to state to federal.
The bill was originally sponsored byÂ Â Patrick LeahyÂ (D-VT),Â Chuck GrassleyÂ (R-IA),Â Orrin HatchÂ (R-UT),Â Christopher CoonsÂ (D-DE),Â Chuck SchumerÂ (D-NY),Â Sheldon WhitehouseÂ (D-RI),Â Lindsey GrahamÂ (R-SC),Â Richard BlumenthalÂ (D-CT),Â Dianne FeinsteinÂ (D-CA),Â Al FrankenÂ (D-MN) andÂ Herb KohlÂ (D-WI).
Since being introduced, it has attracted co-sponsorship fromÂ SenatorsÂ Lamar AlexanderÂ (R-TN),Â Kelly AyotteÂ (R-NH),Â Michael BennetÂ (D-CO),Â Roy BluntÂ (R-MO),Â John BoozmanÂ (R-AR),Â Benjamin CardinÂ (D-MD),Â Thad CochranÂ (R-MS),Â Bob CorkerÂ (R-TN),Â Richard DurbinÂ (D-IL),Â Kristen GillibrandÂ (D-NY),Â Kay HaganÂ (D-NC),Â Amy KlobucharÂ (D-MN),Â Joseph LiebermanÂ (I-CT),Â John McCainÂ (R-AZ),Â Marco RubioÂ (R-FL),Â Jeanne ShaheenÂ (D-NH), andÂ Tom UdallÂ (D-NM).
Private sector support is broad as well; individuals, labor unions, small businesses and large, trade associations, and other organizations have added their voice — including creators and producers in every medium and subject matter covered by copyright.
I’ve put together a list of many of the statements and editorials showing support for PROTECT IP. It’s comprehensive, though I know it’s not complete. And while I certainly want to show the breadth of support for rogue sites legislation, I also think it will be handy for future reference. Many thanks to the MPAA blog for reporting on many of these and providing copies of the letters.
- 05/12/11 â€”Â Joint statementÂ of theAmerican Federation of Musicians (AFM), American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), Directors Guild of America (DGA), International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE), Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and International Brotherhood of Teamsters, representing over 400,000 “creators, performers, and craftspeople.”
- 05/12/11Â â€” Independent Film and Television Alliance, Motion Picture Association of America, and National Association of Theatre Owners. Letter (PDF).
- 05/12/11Â â€” National Music Publishers Association.
- 05/12/11Â â€” Nashville Songwriters Association International. Letter (DOC).
- 05/12/11Â â€” Recording Industry Association of America.
- 05/12/11Â â€” Graphic Artists Guild.
- 05/12/11Â â€” Copyright Alliance.
- 05/12/11Â â€” US Chamber of Commerce.
- 05/12/11Â â€” Viacom.
- 05/12/11Â â€” NBCUniversal.
- 05/16/11Â â€” National Association of Attorneys General, with signatures from 42 state attorneys general. Letter (PDF).
- 05/20/11Â â€” Kamala Harris, California Attorney General. Letter (PDF).
- 05/23/11Â â€” Software & Information Industry Association. Letter (PDF).
- 05/24/11Â â€” Floyd Abrams, noted First Amendment expert. Letter (PDF).
- 05/25/11Â â€” Cinemark USA (TX).Â Letter (PDF).
- 05/25/11Â â€” Cobb Theaters (AL). Letter (PDF).
- 05/27/11Â â€” Governor Beverly Perdue (NC). Letter (PDF).
- 06/13/11Â â€” Governor Gary Herbert (UT). Letter (PDF).
- 06/13/11Â â€” Cinema Centers (PA). Letter (PDF).
- 06/14/11Â â€” Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.
- 06/14/11Â â€” Politico editorial from Arts+Labs co-chairman and former White House press secretary for President Bill Clinton Mike McCurry.
- 06/20/11Â â€” Hallett Cinemas (WA). Letter (PDF).
- 06/21/11Â â€” Governor Dannel Malloy (CT). Letter (PDF).
- 06/24/11Â â€” Internet engineer George Ou article DNS Filtering is Essential to the Internet, countering technical criticisms of PROTECT IP.
- 06/24/11Â â€” Logan Luxury Theatres (SD). Letter (PDF).
- 07/08/11Â â€” Oregonian editorial from Concord Music Group president Glen Barros in support of PROTECT IP.
- 07/12/11Â â€” State International Development Organizations, which supports state international trade agencies. Letter (PDF).
- 07/13/11Â â€” Institute for Policy Innovation.
- 07/21/11Â â€” California Healthcare Institute. Letter (PDF).
- 08/02/11Â â€” The National District Attorneys Association, which represents over 39,000 of America’s state and local prosecutors. Letter (PDF).
- 08/21/11Â â€” Eagles’ songwriter Don Henley editorial in USA Today.
- 08/23/11Â â€” Washington Post editorial in support of PROTECT IP.
you can add my name to that list! hehe
I really hope they pass this bill, it looks like it has a better chance than most- to do so.
Still, don’t rest on your laurels.
If you’re negitivaly effected by pircay, contact via phone/letter/email your representative to voice your support of this bill.
Sure it has the support of a long list of copyright holders and prosecutors, but that does not mean it is widely supported. It has been described as devastating to innovation by an equally long list of innovators, unconstitutional by a long list of legal scholars, and a who’s who of Internet technologists has warned that it is devastating to the security, utility and universality of the network. But yes, you can assemble a long list of interests who stand to profit from it, if you wish. It won’t go unopposed, though.
You are quite right that Eric Schmnidt has said Google have no intention of following the law if they disagree with it.
I have read the Pro IP Act text several times, and as yet have not found a provision where those who may deliberately choose to not infringe would be impacted by the legislation.
Likewise, I am still looking for the provision many who are against the legislation rely upon to say with conviction that all websites are at risk.
Whether or not the legislation is “wise” is an entirely different matter from its “scope”.
To MLS, where “those who deliberately choose to not infringe would be impacted by the legislation.”
There is incentive and no penalty for making false accusations, there is an enormous potential for new forms of abuse, it creates an international black market for evasive channels, it’s chilling effects are profound, and there has been a lot of valuable activity going on that is not going to be easily given up.
It would be far better to just leave the Internet alone than to start this fight on the taxpayers dime.
Pingback: Finger on the Pulse: From Our Blogroll and Beyond « The Legal Pulse