New Version of PROTECT IP Act Presented

The revised edition of the new US copyright legislation, specifically designed to fight online copyright violations, features provisions affecting such online services as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. In fact, the innovations affect the copyrighted content that may be posted to the respective services.


Members of the House of Representatives have recently introduced the new version of the PROTECT IP Act, which may share similarities with an older version of the bill, approved by the Senate this past spring. Meanwhile, these new measures may come into conflict with legitimate online services. Apparently, the Department of Justice will be able to obtain court orders demanding search engines and Internet service providers to blacklist all websites affiliated with rights violations.

If this proves to be true, the suggested legislation would overturn provisions of the DMCA, a 13 years old act that had successfully kept broadband providers out of the danger connected with their users’ file-sharing activities. Now the new bill could effectively destroy YouTube and other services that rely on user-generated material by making the site admins legally liable for everything their users publish. The consumer outfits are going to boycott the new version of the legislation, asking those lawmakers who tend to support it to hold back for a while and listen to opponents’ concerns. They argue that the old version of PROTECT IP Act would stifle free speech and innovation, while the new version might appear even worse.

The supporters of the copyright legislation claim that the bill will help them fight foreign websites containing infringing content. This is expected to magically increase the country’s economy. A number of consumer groups, including NetCoalition, Consumer Electronics Association, and Computer and Communications Industry Association have already sent a letter to the US House Judiciary Committee members, expressing their concerns over the proposed law. In the letter the outfits asked the law representatives to reconsider introducing the legislation and wait for feedback from the affected organizations. They point out that it is technology sector that is leading the United States out of the recession, so inadvertent damage to this industry shouldn’t happen now.