Anti-piracy legislation passes Senate committee

By Mike Fischer on November 19, 2010, 8:00 AM
Back in September we covered new legislation that would allow the government greater latitude in shutting down file sharing and P2P websites. Yesterday that bill unanimously passed a vote in the Senate's Judicial Committee, taking it one step closer to implementation as a law.

The Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act, or COICA, would grant the Department of Justice the ability to seize and shut down the domain names of "rogue websites" that promote copyright infringement. Currently all domain names, including those outside the U.S., are managed by ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. With this bill a new precedent may be set, allowing a governmental agency to deny access to a website internationally as well as domestically.


The process for shutting down a rogue site would still require a civil lawsuit to determine if copyright violation has occurred. The change would come in the outcome, where traditionally damages are awarded. The new system would allow for a request to take the domain offline, effectively removing the site from the Internet. This has already been used against several streaming video sites and has drawn praise from copyright groups hoping to see it become standard procedure.

The MPAA and RIAA have already released lists of sites they would like to see eliminated including The Pirate Bay, isoHunt, and Demonoid, among others. Demonoid has asked its users to protest passage of the bill, and is joined by the Electronic Frontiers Foundation in fighting what they see as a form of Internet censorship. Comparisons to China and Iran have already been made, along with predictions of damaging the Internet as a whole, stifling future innovation, and imposing unconstitutional restrictions on free speech.




User Comments: 48

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Decimae said:

allowing a governmental agency to deny access to a website internationally[\quote]

Really? Ever heard of jurisdiction, USA? The web != USA.

veedubguy said:

Let them try and shut down said sites... They will just keep popping up and give the people more reason to continue on. What a waste of federal funds and time. I have purchased more products because of these torrent sites. I like to know what I am getting before I go out and buy it and this is the best way to do so imo...

whiteandnerdy said:

I agree with Decimae. I know copyright infringement isn't a good thing but if the site isn't based in the US what gives then the right to say you cant go to it?

Ahmed90 Ahmed90 said:

lolwut ? internationally ???

i guess these sites will be by IP next :P the domain was to make the IPs more easy to remember but with all the techs today its a piece of cake to save an IP

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

scary stuff.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@Decimae and whiteandnerdy: The same right that allows a company to sue overseas over copyright infringement. There are multiple international laws and statutes that allow protection of copyrights beyond "national jurisdictions". Beyond that it is a large mess of laws, regulations and cooperation local to various countries. The right is clearly there, whether or not the US government should be targeting internet sites directly, rather than letting these various watchdog organizations run to the end of their leashes and wading through that mess is beyond me.

If anything the physical piracy rings that SELL counterfeit copies software, video games, and movies are far more damaging than the free copies circulating (and then you have the counterfeiting of other physical products like clothing and shoes).

Staff
Per Hansson Per Hansson, TS Server Guru, said:

Seen the movie "Team America; World Police" ? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0372588/

USA: World Police

Atleast I LOL:ed when reading this news story

Oh, it wasn't an April fools?

Guest said:

lacking the ability to pirate won't cause me personally to purchase more media, only consume less. I have a budget, and entertainment is something I'm less flexible with, because it's importance is rather low. I can actually say that I will probably buy even less.

xempler said:

I bet my left nut that more than half the Senate's Judicial Committee doesn't understand the concept of P2P or even know how to turn on their own computers. Yet, here they are trying to pass a law about it.

This reminds me of when the Patriot Act was passed after 9/11. Most admitted that they voted for it even though they never even read the act or understood it's implications.

Morons in government doing what they usually do.

Guest said:

Madboyv1 mentioned the counterfeit rings selling stuff.

One of the many stupid points by governments was that illegal copies help fund terrorism. Really? So stopping the torrents isnt going to have those dodgy lil people walking into bars and pubs trying to flog their copies of cams and silver screeners making the alleged terrorist and counterfeit gang rings even more money.

Well done on thinking this through as ever.

Veedubguy mentioned how he saw it as a try b4 you buy. And with the mass amounts of overmarketed crap that we are expected to buy I kinda agree. Im sure even Jo Whiley in her tv about music on the net and torrents etc, she said that those who download via torrents and p2p spend 1.5 times the amount of those who just buy from shops legally.

So why are the companies complaining of a loss of money, and during a worldwide recession ?

Cos they can, cos they have nothing to waste taxpayers money on. Bands QQing about loss of money coz of the net, if its out there for free we must have lost that much money, downloads x price of an album = profit loss ? NO! not accurate. Number of people on planet x price of an album = target profit ? NO! ...

This whole thing is a whole bunch of bull sh1t made of crap statistics. Number crunching gone mad.

lchu12 lchu12 said:

Ha, this will only fuel the amount of people to go out and "buy" counterfeit copies and fund terrorist organizations, rather than having people download it themselves.

But frankly, if I really like a product I would buy it. Just some software either doesn't work right or has work stopping bug that gets really annoying when you buy it, and expect it to do a certain action.

madboyv1, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest@9:47 AM: If the "thinking this through" part was directed at the government, then I agree. The vast majority of 'purported' sellers of pirated material or blatantly copied/plagiarized are more often cartels involved with drugs or Asian black markets for the sake of pocket lining, rather than Terrorism (with a US mandated capital 'T' lol). It's hard to not find stories about China and their "quality US products", or Mexican or South American busts on illegal copies of software and printed banknotes.

If that comment was directed at me however... =(.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"Comparisons to China and Iran have already been made, along with predictions of damaging the Internet as a whole, stifling future innovation, and imposing unconstitutional restrictions on free speech."

But it's ok to engage in wholesale theft, eh?

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

xempler said:

I bet my left nut that more than half the Senate's Judicial Committee doesn't understand the concept of P2P or even know how to turn on their own computers. Yet, here they are trying to pass a law about it.

This reminds me of when the Patriot Act was passed after 9/11. Most admitted that they voted for it even though they never even read the act or understood it's implications.

Morons in government doing what they usually do.

100% Right...But then i wonder would it really be better if mensa ruled the world? lol

windmill007 said:

We are turning away from the land of the free. Ever hear of proxy's..No? Just wait if this law passes..they will become a very hot topic! You can't stop people on the internet....you will just tick people off. Blocking things just makes people want to do it more. Why do they even try?

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

I think its going to be hard to use free speech as an argument against punishment issued through due process of law. I don't have a problem with this legislation besides that it imposes USA's laws on an international level. That opens a can of worms that ultimately can fragment the internet to everyones mutual loss.

gingerbill said:

difficult subject . I'm against people downloading media for free , some of it i understand the reasons but why should a company invest £100 million to see a show just downloaded and to be fair the US has made alot of great TV shows recently . I think the people who download stuff for free but then go and buy the DVD's of shows they think are great have it correct . That way great shows are rewarded. Anyone thinking its fine to download everything and never buy anything are ****** in my opinon , if everyone did that there would be no more great shows.

The US (or any country) having the power to shut down sites internationally i am against , if the US goverments werent ****** and took sensible advice then maybe we could trust them but as it stands this power will be abused.

viperpfl said:

The problem we have here is the law is very broad. Even a simple word can be considered copyright infringement. Even though the law says a civil lawsuit would require a site takedown, we all know that won't happen. It won't happen when it comes to the MPAA and the RIAA. What would happen is the MPAA would put in a request for a site takedown claiming copyright infringement, and then the lawsuit would begin. I also believe that this law will be abused and would limit commerce.

This law is going to be bad for everyone.

Guest said:

Does this mean the end to porn sharing? :))

Nima304 said:

I hope 4chan can bring an end to this. They're the only ones taking offensive action against the anti-piracy movement.

Zeromus said:

Noo, I hope btjunkie isn't on the list. Oh no by mentioning the name does it enlist? Anything but btjunkie D:

Guest said:

At madboyv1. The comment was about how the government have not thought it through.

At TomSEA. I get that pirating is in general wrong. Making your gf or bf a mixtape is by law illegal if the law was to twist the fact, you just gave something you bought to someone else and they didnt pay for it (thats sharing p2p the non digital way) ... but as i said b4...

The industries that be, find out how many copies have shifted on p2p site,s and in my opinion work out that by multiplying those figures by the price of the dvd, album, book, game, etc, that the total figure they have now come up with, is the revenue that is missing from their wallets.

Now from one tv show i watched it showed that with music at least, that those who were active with p2p sites put 1 and a half times the amount of money into the system, compared to those who didnt use p2p.

So blaming p2p for a dip in revenue is absolute crap and they know it, and if they dont they need to go back to school and relearn their maths or economics.

Not to mention that the world is in recession anyways and people cant afford every album or dvd or bluray that pops out.

In the old days, when you bought a cd, your friend might want a copy on cassette, "Cassettes, wtf are they" some may cry. "Wow is he talkin 8 tracks from the 70's".... No.

But there was sharing, again non digital, and non monitored by big brother, and was it the worlds biggest issue then... no. But in this digital age, can you really take the number downloaded and multiply to find the revenue or profit lost ? Erm I would have to say no.

Rarely would I own a film my friends owned, it would have to be something special or a cult classic. The digital age and internet speeds however mean that everyone and anyone can obtain the same film at the same time. It doesnt mean that any of those people who downloaded it had any intention of buying it. So they shouldnt have downloaded it and watched it? Ok probably not. But what if they waited, til it was released on dvd went to a friends, and had a friday night in watchin said film. No extra profits for them now ? No difference? Again its just a digital age? Same with a cd of music? If you download its illegal and punishable by stupid insane amounts of money. But get a friend to rip you a copy and because its unmonitored tough crap on them eh ?

And what about the internet companies telling you even before streaming and itunes was main stream, how fast their connections are, and how long it takes to download music and movies.

Sony and such selling divx players. Im immediately thinking they are cashing in on new products, with new features, due to the supply and demand that opens up with the internet and the types of material that can be obtained due to p2p. And so what if there is legal sources for the uses of such products? Never when I first saw a divx dvd player, did I think, wow maybe digital cameras record in divx and these dvd players are made to play back these files. No I thought wow, they are encouraging the use of illegally obtained films and music.

And I remember yesterday or the day before TomSEA saying if Warner Bros. released the 36 mins of harry potter as a ploy it could be rather clever....

Ya think? Not only is the news covering the story of its release, but now its got two stories in every news segment on the radio. The actual weekend release talk, and the illegal if not suspiciously, well timed release of the 36 mins which not only helps as free advertising, but is also epicly timed for this actual meeting of senate douche bags, who have a hollywood scandal to use as firepower to sway decisions. Not that it needs swaying.

Sorry

Guest said:

Pretty soon it will be books, and that's when EVERYONE in USA should really be upset about.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

There is already a senator that says he is blocking this in the senate unless it is changed.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/211162/

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Get it While It's Hot, Pardon the Pun......

Does this mean the end to porn sharing? )
It could! I'm going to download as I much as I can, as fast as I can. You know, in case there's a drought...

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"I get that pirating is in general wrong."

No, not "in general." It's stealing, plain and simple - there's no explanation you can come up with to explain that away.

Guest said:

creepy! you must be brainwashed

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

There is already a senator that says he is blocking this in the senate unless it is changed.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/211162/

Super, but just remember, there are 99 other senators, and they each get a vote too.

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

creepy! you must be brainwashed

But you haven't answered him.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

It's a lame duck session and the entertainment industry is just trying to push it through quietly as COICA is a clear violation of our First Amendment right. An online censorship bill is simply too slippery of a slop to go down, and I don't see this getting by both Senate and Congress especially with the current agenda they are working on before January. Seems so hypocritical of the industry who complains to high heaven if anything government wise comes close to them, but oh no when they can't figure out how to adapt to the 21st century and move along to a new business model they have a tantrum and crawl on back to big government. They have enough laws in place to get the job done, they just want more.

Guest said:

TomSEA "I get that pirating is in general wrong."

No, not "in general." It's stealing, plain and simple - there's no explanation you can come up with to explain that away.

Again... In one tv report im sure they said, that mr p2p put more back into the system than mr straight like you tom. They bought more stuff than you tom. They made the world go around more tom. Making torrents not straight out piracy tom, its not black and white tom.

But if you dont get that stick out of your ***... then the senate dont. And if they pass this bill, then your stupid american government who love to sell their weapons to countries like afghanistan and iraq, are going to give them extra means here to send lil lackys to your streets, and your ***** citizens who must go to class or work and say "hey guess what i bought from some guy down the road...yeah ive seen harry potter first"

Have you seen how people simple reply "first" to a post on some articles on teh web. Why ? 1st post ? 1st comment ? Article read and commented by me 1st ? Thats how stupid people are, its irrelevant and lame but this is the state of humans today, dumb.

So the bill passes, and someone buys instead from some gang or some terrorist as we are led to believe will happen and the streets are less safe. Thank you tom Thank you so much for making the world a much scarier place. Coz when that ***** at work says 1st, the 2nd (post if u like) will be that stray gang bullet or that explosive device in a school. And all thanks to TOM.

Torrents and p2p are not black and white piracy. But take it down and you could be causing more harm than good. You seem to be missing that point. Are they losing money and businesses and **** failing ? possibly, but its a world recession on at the moment thanks to the skills of banks, and fat cats, using statistics like the ones they used for this bill. Everyone lives in debt, on credit cards, on plastic. Spending money that doesnt exist on **** they usually dont need.

When you sort out the bigger problems, the ones of more concern, then maybe you can see the true effects of p2p. Your government needs to get its priorities sorted. As do all on this planet.

Guest said:

"I get that pirating is in general wrong."

Tomsea...No, not "in general." It's stealing, plain and simple - there's no explanation you can come up with to explain that away.

It's not stealing dude... Stealing is to take a physical product of which I did not. It's digital. It is not physical so hence it can not be stealing. I don't care what explanation you come up with but you are wrong. You been hanging out with you RIAA buddies to much. Go back to counting your money and preach your falsehood to people who actually care what you think.

Mictlantecuhtli Mictlantecuhtli said:

Pretty soon it will be books, and that's when EVERYONE in USA should really be upset about.

Folks read books these days?

PanicX PanicX, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

Have you seen how people simple reply "first" to a post on some articles on teh web. Why ? 1st post ? 1st comment ? Article read and commented by me 1st ? Thats how stupid people are, its irrelevant and lame but this is the state of humans today, dumb.

So the bill passes, and someone buys instead from some gang or some terrorist as we are led to believe will happen and the streets are less safe. Thank you tom Thank you so much for making the world a much scarier place. Coz when that ***** at work says 1st, the 2nd (post if u like) will be that stray gang bullet or that explosive device in a school. And all thanks to TOM.

Hahahaha.

Oh sweet irony.

Guest said:

really? you must be a shill. The copyright law say nothing about earnings, income or profits. ONLY DISTRIBUTION. At best your talking tresspass. Goes to show what happens when the locals drink the cool aid and don't read the packaging.

Guest said:

grrrrr wrong reply link. sorry about that, it's supposed to be a reply to tom i work for the entertainment industry.

Guest said:

If i could not download what i want when i want i would have no need for my expensive internet connection....if only the tv film game music makers would charge a reasonable price and release content as and when they can instead of waiting a year....i mean i pay a high tv package go cinemas and buy games that i like so i am more than paying for what content i do download.

Guest said:

Hah - and nobody notices that if the US is going to start doing it, how do you stop countries like China et al from pulling down websites *koffUSgovtagencykoff* that are "illegal" to them? Don't they have the same right to stop "illegal" websites "promoting unrest" and "inciting riots" too?

And then the US is going to protest, and wonder why the hell everybody else is laughing their heads off.

satty said:

Tell me you're going to bring down Youtube...OMG

Zecias said:

this is such a waste of money......... there are much more important things to worry about. stop worrying about piracy and start worrying about the 14 trillion dollar debt.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Hah - and nobody notices that if the US is going to start doing it, how do you stop countries like China et al from pulling down websites *koffUSgovtagencykoff* that are "illegal" to them? Don't they have the same right to stop "illegal" websites "promoting unrest" and "inciting riots" too?

And then the US is going to protest, and wonder why the hell everybody else is laughing their heads off.

Most government are formed via revolution, (as was the US government)..

Governments thus formed, make it their very first priority to make revolution against that government illegal.

To summarize, I would say that, "hypocrisy is the cornerstone of democracy". I don't get where anybody could labor under the delusion that, "freedom is the cornerstone of democracy"

Guest said:

Good Luck big brother. They've been fight this ever since cassette and vcr tapes\recorders

came out. Sampling software/music/movies has increased sale of said data. Tell me why bother

playing new songs on the radio then? It's easy to record off the radio\tv. Everyone been doing this for over 30years.Nothing new and all that is going to happen is BBS (bullitin boards) and newsgroup sites will have that. You don't need p2p sites\software. Just takes a bit longer to find.

treetops treetops said:

Campaign contributions as always are deciding how our country is run. USA

Guest said:

I agree with TomSEA.

The word piracy itself says it all - it's a crime. But somehow people manage to justify this unfair behavior. I choose to buy all of my music/software/etc because real people are paid to make this stuff, and deserve the money for the work they put in.

Leafgreen Leafgreen said:

eh, np sharing peeps: USENET. Can't stop that.

AussiePcGuru said:

this is ridiculous, they should stop sales of pirated dvd's

and let movies on the internet be free,they cannot cencership/ father the internet

its like taking candy from a baby.

why the hell should i pay to get on the internet ,and everything is cencership/fathered

If it was'nt for the internet ,Id probably be out in the city gettting drunk causing trouble

and who knows what could happen.

id rather be having fun, watching movies talking to friends online and playing multiplayer video games

and keeping my self out of trouble.

Guest said:

frum ravingmaniac:

How does a judges decision work in this case?

The judge who decreed that downloading a pirate copy is the same as borrowing a copy?

Oar was that not true?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Is this contest going to be over soon? 'Cause then we won't have to listen to most of this s***!

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