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U.S. Senator Wyden Places Hold on Net Copyright Bill

posted on by Egan Loo

United States Senator Ron Wyden (Democrat from Oregon) said this month that he would hold an Internet anti-counterfeiting and infringement bill from moving forward — thus possibly delaying its chances for passage until the next session of Congress. The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, introduced by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), has a provision allowing the Justice Department to pursue restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, and injunctions against websites that have "no demonstrable, commercially significant purpose or use other than" copyright-infringing activities. It would also hold credit card companies and other partners liable. Wyden called the bill a "bunker-busting cluster bomb when what you really need is a precision-guided missile."

People who support the bill include NBC General Counsel Rick Cotton and Macmillan President Brian Napack. Napack told The Washington Post newspaper, "Along the value chain between supplier and consumer, there are a number of people that the system relies on," he said. "There is an Internet service provider, an advertiser that put ads on pirate websites, a credit card company that facilitates the transaction. And without their participation there is no way to stop ecosystem working." People who oppose the bill include the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge — two groups that deal with legal issues regarding technology.

Thanks to Bookworm 121 for the news tip.

Sources: Washington Post, ITworld

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