- Sep 12, 2003
Censorship foes roll out antipiracy plan, say stop "butchering the Internet".
-- TomIt's a battle of the Congressional antipiracy acronyms. In one corner are SOPA and PROTECT IP, the House and Senate bills that would bring site blocking, search engine de-listing, and more to the US in an effort to stop "rogue" sites. In the other corner, today's challenger: the Online Protection & Enforcement of Digital Trade Act, called the "OPEN" Act (PDF).
OPEN has been spearheaded by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), who released draft text of the plan today on a special website that invites citizen comment and reaction before the text is finalized.
"Butchering the Internet is not a way forward for America, said Issa in a statement.
OPEN instead moves the antipiracy process away from the courts and the Department of Justice and to the International Trade Commission (ITC)treating the issue more as a trade problem than a criminal case. It also does away with private rights of action by copyright holders.
Rightsholders who win a case at the ITC would gain two remedies: payment processors would have to block all payments from US customers, and advertising networks could no longer do business with the site. (Site blocking isn't contemplated, nor is search engine de-listing.)
Sites can be targeted only if they have a "non-domestic domain name," if they conduct "business directed to residents of the United States" (such as advertising prices in US dollars, for instance), and if they have "only limited purpose or use other than engaging in infringing activity."
OPEN Act SOPA PROTECT IP
House and Senate House Senate
Protects the rights of artists Yes Yes Yes
Protects against new Internet police powers Yes No No
Provides Safe Harbors for legitimate Internet businesses Yes No No
Protects access to social media and legitimate websites Yes No No
Ensures intellectual property cases resolved by IP experts Yes No No
Targets actual criminals: foreign rogue websites Yes No No
Applies due processnot banksto judge infringement claims Yes No Yes
Supports innovation and one of the fastest growing industries in America Yes No No
Consistent with American calls for open Internet in closed societies Yes No No
A rather partial chart by OPEN Act backers, comparing the three antipiracy bills