New American Bill Looks to Block Piracy Websites
Protect IP is a new bill devised by US politicians to put a large damper on Internet piracy. Along with piracy, Protect IP will also attempt to rid the Internet of the sale of counterfeit goods. Senator Patrick Leahy comments that before Protect IP, rights holders and law enforcement have had very little way to combat those infringing on copyrights. Much of Protect IP is based on the 'Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act' (COICA) that had failed late last year. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is fighting the bill, and seeing little improvement over its predecessor, COICA. Abigail Phillips, an attorney at EFF, claims that Protect IP will bring about "serious First Amendment concerns about lawful expression". Any site deemed guilty under Protect IP would be forcefully removed from the Internet's address book and stripped of its domain. Since many sites often redirect themselves to a similar domain, this action will prevent them from doing so, making it far harder to rediscover. Search engines will also be required to remove the infringing websites from their search indexes. Protect IP may be the beginning of the end of a free and open Internet experience, where the government decides what they deem is right for their citizens.