Yesterday Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, introduced HR 3261, the ‘‘Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation Act of 2011’’, also known as the “E-PARASITE Act.
Its the house version of the PROTECT IP Bill which is even more stringent, provides great penalties on a wider range of people than the quite harsh PROTECT IP bill.
As the names of both bills indicate its all about IP protection and driving by the RIAA, Hollywood interests, Trademark Interests and those representing them. (known as “rights holders”)
The 79 page bill Would Cut Off Website Payment and Ad Services Without Initial Court Review
It requires payment providers and ad networks to terminate their services to a website upon mere receipt of a letter from a rights holder alleging that the website was one “dedicated to theft of U.S. property”.
“Any domain registrant who has ever received an aggressive and unsupported cease-and-desist letter from a trademark attorney has got to be concerned by the prospect of having a domain’s ad and payment services shut down absent any court review. The bill would provide the website owner with the ability to seek after-the-fact judicial lifting of the ad and payment suspension – but this expensive and uncertain option would occur during a period when the website had been deprived of all income! Overall, this approach creates major due process concerns and clearly tips the balance against domain registrants and in favor of rights holders.”
The bill’s requires ISPs and search engines to block access to all websites placed on a “blacklist” creating what some has described as a “Great Firewall of America”.
The bill reads:
“”””A service provider shall take technically feasible and reasonable measures designed to prevent access by its subscribers located within the United States to the foreign infringing site (or portion thereof) that is subject to the order, including measures designed to prevent the domain name of the foreign infringing site (or portion thereof) from resolving to that domain name’s Internet Protocol address. Such actions shall be taken as expeditiously as possible, but in any case within 5 days after being served with a copy of the order, or within such time as the court may order.””
To ensure compliance with orders issued pursuant to this section, the Attorney General may bring an action for injunctive relief….
against any entity that knowingly and willfully provides or offers to provide a product or service designed or marketed for the circumvention or bypassing of measures described in paragraph (2) and taken in response to a court order issued pursuant to this subsection, to enjoin such entity from interfering with the order by continuing to provide or offer to provide such product or service. ”
The bill appears to place on ISP and search engines and others affirmative content filtering by domestic websites and according to the ICA “could be a death knell for all domains that provide a platform for user-generated content.”
The House Judiciary Committee will reportedly hold a hearing on the proposal on November 16th.
ICA will be carefully monitoring House consideration of this bill and will be communicating its members’ concerns to Capitol Hill.