The case against SOPA/”Protect IP”

by Walter Olson on December 14, 2011


My Cato colleague Julian Sanchez argues that a bill rapidly moving through Congress would give far too much power to authorities to close down websites without due process, yet would be readily circumvented by actual IP pirates. More: Sanchez/Cato, BoingBoing, Declan McCullagh (software execs blast proposal), Derek Bambauer/Prawfs (“Six Things Wrong With SOPA”), Stewart Baker/Volokh.

{ 2 trackbacks }

“SOPA: An Architecture for Censorship”
12.21.11 at 5:51 pm
SOPA fight heats up
12.29.11 at 12:55 am

{ 2 comments }

1 J.T. Wenting 12.18.11 at 12:33 am

“would give far too much power to authorities to close down websites without due process,”

which is the very reason congress likes it so much…

2 Hugo S. Cunningham 12.18.11 at 4:12 pm

Some favors to copyright enforcers may have merit (especially for works created in the last 14 years), but any new bill should include quid pro quos in the public interest (“the progress of science and useful arts”), eg. specifying that
(1) a bona-fide search database (like Google’s) is not an infringement.
(2) reprinting brief excerpts as part of documentaries is not an infringement.
(3) “Orphaned works” can be reprinted without serious liability. If a bona-fide copyright holder should later turn up, his claims will be settled on a modest and realistic “quantum meruit” basis, rather than a ruinous “punish infringement” basis.

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