Tuesday, June 7, 2011

New Tools For Policing Internet Piracy: One Step Forward or One Step Back?

It is probably nothing less than a given these days that on multiple levels the Internet can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. One of those levelhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifs - the hijacking and pirating of copyrightable content and brands/trademarks - is perhaps amongst the most obvious. Trademark and brand owners and content owners like motion picture studios and record labels have tried a variety of techniques to cut down on Internet piracy - including filing lawsuits first against individual unauthorized downloaders and now against anywhere from 500 - 20,000 "John Does". [Initially the "John Does" are only known by their Internet addresses - not their true names]. Those techniques have been less than overwhelmingly successful.

Now there are efforts afoot to create a new tool to try to stop counterfeiting, piracy and bootlegging: Senate Bill S 968 is designed to get online advertising networks, companies that process payments and search engines to shut off support for any website that is found by a court to be dedicated to copyright or trademark infringement. Here is a good short analysis of some of the pros and cons of Senate Bill S 968. It makes for very interesting reading.

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