Lawmaker ‘Gets’ the Internet, Kills Overreaching Bill

"Let me explain how this internet thing works guys"

A lawmaker who understands how the Internet works? Yes, apparently one does exist. His name is Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and this week he stopped the Internet ‘Death Penalty’ bill (official name: PROTECT IP ACT) from reaching the floor of the Senate for consideration.

If you’re too busy searching for Memorial Day weekend recipes and cocktail ideas, to briefly recap the so called ‘Death Penalty’ bill would have required Google and other “information location tools” to remove any sites accused of copyright infringement from their index, and place those sites on an advertising network blacklist in the US.

As we noted, even if this had passed, the sheer amount of time it would take to enforce the proposed law made it something of a fantasy. That doesn’t even address the rather scary censorship implications that were baked into the proposed legislation.

Apparently Wyden actually read through the legislation, and saw some of the fairly obvious problems with it.

“In December of last year I placed a hold on similar legislation, commonly called COICA, because I felt the costs of the legislation far outweighed the benefits. After careful analysis of the Protect IP Act, or PIPA, I am compelled to draw the same conclusion. I understand and agree with the goal of the legislation, to protect intellectual property and combat commerce in counterfeit goods, but I am not willing to muzzle speech and stifle innovation and economic growth to achieve this objective. At the expense of legitimate commerce, PIPA’s prescription takes an overreaching approach to policing the Internet when a more balanced and targeted approach would be more effective. The collateral damage of this approach is speech, innovation and the very integrity of the Internet,” Wyden said in a written statement.

“The Internet represents the shipping lane of the 21st century. It is increasingly in America’s economic interest to ensure that the Internet is a viable means for American innovation, commerce, and the advancement of our ideals that empower people all around the world. By ceding control of the Internet to corporations through a private right of action, and to government agencies that do not sufficiently understand and value the Internet, PIPA represents a threat to our economic future and to our international objectives. Until the many issues that I and others have raised with this legislation are addressed, I will object to a unanimous consent request to proceed to the legislation.” {Ars Technica}


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