I must admit that I have not been much for politics in my life. But when I see our country teetering on financial disaster by crooked bankers and business people alike, it makes me wonder how long it is going to take us to kick out the crooks in Washington? A new bill that is being introduced smacks of lobbyists paying big bucks to congressmen, who in my opinion need to be replaced. When our congress protects special interest groups during a time when the average American is experiencing financial hardships, I believe it is time to get political and call for replacing these people.
Who are the congressman supporting this bill?
The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act is sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and senior Republican member Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), and co-sponsored by a number of Senate Democrats, including Herb Kohl (D-Wis.), Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), plus others.
This is what the bill will try to do:
The bill takes the novel step of not only cracking down on domestic sites that illegally distribute copyrighted material, but also authorizes the Department of Justice to choke off access to foreign sites, including ordering domestic ISPs and payment providers to either block or stop doing business with the infringing sites.
The bill – which would need to survive a full vote in the Senate, the House, and be signed into law by President Obama – would authorize the Department of Justice to file an in rem civil action against a domain name, and seek a preliminary order from the court that the domain name is being used to traffic infringing material. (The term in rem refers to a suit against a thing – in this case, a domain – rather than a specific individual or individuals.)
According to the COICA bill, a domestic registrar would be required to suspend the site’s domain once the order was received.
The DOJ would use a slightly different procedure for sites hosting allegedly pirated materials outside the United States. In that case, the DOJ could serve the order either to one or a collection of ISPs, which could display the site; to a financial payment provider, such as eBay’s PayPal or a credit-card service; or to a display advertiser, such as Google or Microsoft.
In the ISPs’ case, the order would require the ISP to block access to the site. The payment processor and display advertiser would be required to block payments and ads to the site. It wasn’t clear what leeway an ISP would have to contest the DOJ’s order, or if any ISP would do so.
According to the bill, the U.S. Attorney General would require the DOJ’s intellectual property enforcement coordinator to post a list of the infringing sites. The AG may also expand the order to additional domains.
Believe me when I say that I do not support piracy nor any site distributing pirated material. But the cost to enforce this is going to cost us taxpayers millions at a time the money needs to be spent on getting the economy heading in the right direction. A bill like this should have been passed five years ago when times were good, before the economy took a nose dive. Just my two cents.