Senate Judiciary Slates Piracy Bill Markup

Markup on S. 3804 scheduled Nov. 18
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The Senate Judiciary Committee could vote an online piracy bill out of committee next week.

The
committee has scheduled a markup Nov. 18 on S. 3804, Combating Online
Infringement and Counterfeits Act, which is sponsored by Committee
Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) among many others, including
Republicans like Orrin Hatch of Utah and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee.

It is
possible the committee could get caught up in a number of nomination
also scheduled for a vote at the meeting, but online protection is an
important subject for the chairman. A separate piracy
bill, S. 3728, the Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Protection
Act, is also scheduled for mark-up.

The bill would give the Justice Department more power to shut down Web sites that illegally stream or sell TV shows and movies.

After the
bill was introduced, there was almost immediate pushback from fair use
groups concerned the bill could throttle services like YouTube before
they ever got started. The bill is backed by Hollywood
studios, though they would make it tougher still, as well as a variety
of unions including AFTRA, DGA, IATSE and SAG.

The bill as
introduced would give Justice more power to pull the plug on U.S. sites
it found to be offering "infringing content" by suspending the domain
name of the offender. For sites based outside
the U.S., Justice would be able to serve an infringement court order on
ISPs and ad network providers requiring them to stop doing business
with the website, by, among other things, "blocking online access to the
rogue site or not processing the website's
purchases."
It would
also include protections against overreach and has since been modified
somewhat after complaints about "blacklists" of sites and overbroad
secondary liability.

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