November 17, 2011
Google argues against U.S. online piracy bill
Google Inc warned U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday that proposed legislation' Stop Online Piracy Ac't to crack down on foreign websites selling pirated U.S. movies, music or other counterfeit goods goes too far and could depress investment. Reuters reports.
The legislation has pit Internet giants, consumer groups and first amendment advocates against the U.S. copyright industries, including Hollywood studios and record labels, who have long argued for tougher protection.
A U.S. House of Representatives bill would allow a private party to go straight to a website's advertising and payment providers and request they sever ties.
"A corporation, a copyright 'troll,' or anyone with an axe to grind could send a notice... without first involving law enforcement or triggering any judicial process," Google policy counsel Katherine Oyama told a House Judiciary Committee hearing.
She urged lawmakers to instead work on legislation that cuts off revenue to rogue sites via the courts and avoids the "collateral damage" built into the current form of the bill.
Google, Yahoo! Inc, Facebook, Twitter, eBay Inc and other Internet companies ran full-page advertisements in major newspapers on Wednesday, urging lawmakers to rethink their approach.
The U.S. Justice Department, under the bill, could also request court orders to compel U.S. search engines and other sites to block domain names or search results
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