Difference between revisions of "PIPA"

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==The Obama Administration's Stand on PIPA==

Revision as of 23:24, 27 March 2012

Protect IP Act (PIPA or S.968) also known as Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011 was a proposed legislation introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy in the United States Senate Committee on Judiciary on May 12, 2011. The bill was initially supported by 40 Senators including Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah),Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa),Chris Coons (D-Del.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.). Under the provisions of the bill, the Department of Justice (DOJ) receives the authority to request a court order against suspected foreign websites involved in infringing activities. The Attorney General would then be able to issue directives to search engines, domain name registries, registrars, Internet advertising companies and financial transaction providers to stop doing business with rogue websites.[1] [2]

The proponents of the bill stated that PIPA aims to protect consumers, investments and the jobs associated with the American development of brands and content. They also said that the bill will send a strong message that the United States protects its Intellectual Property rights against entities operating infringing websites and selling or distributing pirated and counterfeit products.[3]

The proposed Protect IP Act just like the Support Online Piracy Act introduced in the House of Representatives, was bipartisan legislation. It has its own supporters as well as opponents.[4]


The supporters of the bill said that PIPA is significant legislation to stop foreign owned websites from gaining profits by selling or distributing counterfeited products, thereby protecting consumers. Supporters of the legislation include: [5] [6] Official statements from the PIPA supporters can be found here

  • Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA)
  • National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO)
  • Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA)
  • Directors Guild of America (DGA)
  • American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
  • American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)
  • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE)
  • Screen Actors Guild (SAG)
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT)
  • Nashville Songwriters Association International
  • Songwriters Guild of America
  • NBC Universal
  • Viacom
  • National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA)
  • Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
  • Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI)
  • Macmillan Publishers
  • Acushnet
  • Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
  • Copyright Alliance
  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce


PIPA it not supported by many individuals, organizations and large technology companies, internet engineers and security experts, venture capitalist and civil libertarian communities and internet users because of the proposed strategies to be used against suspected infringing websites.

Security Experts Technical Concerns

In May 2011, internet security experts, including Steve Crocker, CEO of Shinkuro Inc., and Chairman of the ICANN board; David Dagon, DNS post-doctoral researcher at Georgia Institute of Technology; Dan Kaminsky, security researcher for Fortune 500 companies such as Cisco and Microsoft; Danny McPherson, Chief Security Officer for Verisign and Paul Vixie, founder of Internet Systems Consortium sent a White Paper to the members of the Senate explaining how PIPA's DNS related provisions will cause harmful effects to the security and technical stability of the current Internet architecture. They encouraged lawmakers to scrap the DNS filtering provisions---Section 3(d)(II)(A)(ii) as stipulated in the proposed bill- because it was not compatible with the end-to-end implementations of DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC), a DNS security extension which allows certain information to be signed cryptographically providing secure authentication of Internet assets.[7]

Senator Ron Wyden Against PIPA

Senator Ron Wyden promised that he would filibuster in the Senate floor against the bill. According to him, "I will be working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle over the next month to explain the basis for this widespread concern, and I intend to follow through on a commitment that I made more than a year ago, to filibuster this bill when the Senate returns in January." [8] Wyden is proposing the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act (OPEN) as an alternative legislation to resolve the issues raised under SOPA and PIPA. OPEN also aims to resolve IP infringement but it will not use black listing and censorship to protect intellectual property right, instead it will will expand the capability of the ITC to investigate infringement.[9]

Net Coalition Against PIPA

The Net Coalition led by Markham Erickson is composed of different companies, web founders, public interest groups, non-profit and advocacy organizations and think tanks, industry associations, websites and online service providers, Internet engineers and cybersecurity experts, academia and many other organizations. Below is a partial list of members from the net Net Coalition. A complete list can be found here

The Obama Administration's Stand on PIPA