Protect IP Act: Will It Pass?

May 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Senate Judiciary Committee is voting on the Protect IP Act today, but will it pass? Outlined in the latest FANIF blog post, Senator Patrick Leahy reintroduced Protect IP about two weeks ago. Leahy is confident the bill will pass as AdWeek reports 12 of the committee’s 18 members are co-sponsors of the legislation.

Supporters of the bill include Microsoft, whose counsel Brad Smith, speaks out about their support of the potential new law on their blog:

“Microsoft is a company built on innovation and its protection through intellectual property rights, and we are committed to helping ensure that copyright is respected in the online environment. We look forward to working with others as this bill advances toward enactment.”

Since the beginning of the reinstated bill, Google has been very vocal about not backing the legislation. Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, spoke out saying the bill could set a “disastrous precedent” for freedom of speech. “I would be very, very careful if I were a government about arbitrarily [implementing] simple solutions to complex problems,” he said. “So, ‘let’s whack off the DNS’ (domain name systems). Okay, that seems like an appealing solution but it sets a very bad precedent because now another country will say ‘I don’t like free speech so I’ll whack off all those DNSs’ – that country would be China.

Twitter is a buzz about the bill tweeting with hashtag #ProtectIP:

“@UnderBill Censorship: the slipperiest slope? #protectip
“@marauderz I feel that Google is contesting the #protectip act because it can endanger Google Music.”
“@FashionCloture How will Google’s opposition affect #ProtectIP Act?
“@PRGPatentLaw@neverfakes @FashionCloture People seem to be nervous about any government authority to shut down websites, even sites with illegal content.”
“@SimoneBtrfly It’s fab the amount of support they’re getting!”

We are interested in the outcome of the vote today and its opposition’s efforts to stop the legislation.

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