Intellectual Property

Debate Over Internet Piracy Legislation Heats Up

San Francisco Chronicle
There is not much connection between what SOPA/PIPA critics are complaining about and what is in the legislation.

Both Sides of SOPA and PIPA Anti-Piracy Legislation

January 17, 2012
Daniel Castro weighs in on the controversial SOPA/PIPA acts, pointing out the negative effects of foreign internet piracy.

In an interview with Nightly Business Report, Senior Analyst Daniel Castro argues tougher anti-piracy rules would benefit artists and software engineers working in the United States. He points out that millions of foreign internet users are downloading pirated content without any price. This income gap could be funding American jobs and lowering the average cost of such entertainment products for Americans. 

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ITIF Comments on PIPA/SOPA Developments

Amid recent moves by House and Senate leaders and White House statements on DNS filtering provisions in legislation before Congress aimed at cracking down on online piracy, ITIF issued the following statement: Read more »

Piracy and Malware: Two Parts of a Single Problem

January 9, 2012
| Blogs & Op-eds

Some people think it is OK to crack down on truly online heinous online criminals (child pornographers, cyberterrorists and the like) but take a buyer-beware attitude with other online crime, notably IP theft. Are a few singers or movie makers worth destroying the Internet? But that view point is not only cavalier about IP theft but it also wrongly assumes the Internet ecosystem is made up a of tidy compartments. In Piracy and Malware: Two Parts of a Single Problem, ITIF Senior Research Fellow Richard Bennett explains there is a significant overlap between sites trafficking in IP theft and those trafficking in malware. Legislation aimed at rogue foreign sites, the Stop Online Privacy Act, while not a complete solution, does at least recognize that IP and malware are connected and the cost of IP-related crime to the U.S. economy and the security of consumers warrants action.

Protecting Americans from Web Scams

December 30, 2011
| Blogs & Op-eds

Just as a 411 operator won’t tell you an unlisted number, DNS can refuse to provide Internet addresses if it chooses. SOPA simply requires ISPs to delist the Internet addresses of foreign sites found by a US court to be dedicated to criminal activities. DNS has had the ability to delist sites since it was designed in 1987, and all widely used DNS services have this capability.

SOPA critics charge that such filtering breaks the Internet, but it does no such thing as long as it’s done sensibly. (Security experts criticized an early version of SOPA, but the amended bill addresses their concerns.) It’s a practical means of protecting consumers from rogue sites that traffic in illegal goods.

Refusing to Answer for Policy Reasons

December 30, 2011
| Blogs & Op-eds

Senior Research Fellow Richard Bennett continues to expand upon the SOPA debate by examining the design of DNS in this blog for The Hill. He recognizes that not everyone likes the idea of using technical measures to reduce the incidence of crime on the Internet; but indicates that Response Policy and anti-spam measures have drawn considerable fire from Internet traditionalists and ardent free speech mavens. It’s unreasonable to claim that these measures are the products of “Internet ignorance” simply because Congress is not over-stocked with members who can describe Secure DNS in exacting detail; they’re consistent with the long-standing design of DNS.

It seems that SOPA’s technical critics may have forgotten a detail or two about this part of the Internet themselves.

Stop Protecting Criminal Behavior: Why the Critics Are Wrong About the Stop Online Piracy Act

Huffington Post
Criticism of SOPA usually fall under four major categories. When compared to the facts, these charges just do not hold up.

Protect-IP and SOPA Acts Will Not 'Break the Internet'

Numerous independent analyses, including ITIF's report, have concluded claims PIPA/SOPA will "break the internet" have no merit.
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