Stop The Internet Blacklist Bill

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By David Segal and Patrick Ruffini, OregonLive.com

We are Tea Partiers and bleeding-heart liberals, we are artists and investment bankers, we represent the left and the right, and we support Senator Wyden as he comes forward, yet again, as a stalwart champion for First Amendment rights, innovation and digital security.

The problem at hand is a bill called the “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act” (PROTECT IP) and it aims to permanently change our digital landscape – that’s why we’re calling it what it is: The Internet Blacklist Bill.

Imagine you’re the successful owner of a heavily trafficked website. Your income and that of those with whom you work depends entirely on the advertising revenue and payments provided by visitors to your site. One day, without warning, your site no longer appears at its domain, your advertisers have backed out, and you can’t even find your site on Google. You’ve been disappeared – blacklisted by new regulations set by Congress in the PROTECT IP Act.

If passed, PROTECT IP would give the government dramatic new powers to target websites dedicated to the illegal distribution of copyrighted content. Violating sites would have their domain disabled in DNS servers (the servers that match the domain name with the numerical IP address and make sure you go to the websites you want to), and all third party sites, including search engines, would be required to remove the site from their registries and disable all links to the domain in question.

Even worse, PROTECT IP also includes a “private right of action” that would allow rights holders to obtain a temporary restraining order against a domain in civil court. Instead, big content providers like the RIAA can target websites at their whim, urging courts to shut down anyone they accuse of violating U.S. copyright law.

To read more, visit:  http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/08/protect_ip.html

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