PIPA

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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 is a proposed legislation introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy in the United States Senate Committee on Judiciary on May 12, 2011. The bill is 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 for a court order against suspected foreign websites dedicated in infringing activities. The Attorney General will then be able to issue directives to search engines, domain name registry, 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 development of brands and contents developed by American companies. They also said that the bill will send a strong message that the United States strong 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 at the House of Representatives is a bipartisan legislation and it not supported by many 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. According to Laurence Tribe, Harvard Law professor and author of the treatise American Constitutional Law, the bill's method to make the rogue websites vanish from the internet is a violation of the first Amendment. The members of the Senate is scheduled to vote for the passage of PIPA on January 24, 2012. However, Senator Ron Wyden promised that he will 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."

Supporters

The supporters of the bill said that PIPA is a significant legislation to stop foreign own websites from gaining profits by selling or distributing counterfeited products and it will also protect consumers. Supporters of the legislation include: [4] [5] 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

Oppositions

References