Over the weekend there was some good news out of Washington when Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va said about the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act:
“We don’t want to be Egypt,”
“Nor do we, when you talk about cybersecurity, a broader issue that goes beyond theft, that goes to the functioning of the internet itself, we don’t want to give government so much power that they have a kill switch, or something like that.”
Rep Goodlatte said “he and his colleagues need to be extremely wary of giving the federal government too much unfettered power when it comes to seizing the domain names of web sites that are suspected of promoting online piracy”.
Rep Goodlatte is the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and spoke about the Leahy bill on C-Span (you can watch his comments here Around 25 Minutes in)
Federal law enforcers need to play fair.
“Narrowing it down to individual domains, we need to be very careful that we’re doing it in a way where due process is properly followed”
“We’re not going to start with what the senate has done , we’re going to start with a careful, fresh look at this.”
This bill which is designed to stop the sale of fake infringing goods, like fake handbags, watches and a like, as well as stop the distribution IP protected material such as songs, movies and books, is a problem because under the proposed law a site may be deemed to be “dedicated to infringement” based on just the links contained on it.
I think that is a definition of a parked page.
This is why all domainers need to keep an eye on this bill which already had a Senate hearing held last week during which almost everyone spoke in favor of it.
Trademark groups the music and movie industry and authors are overwhelming in support of the law.
Under the proposed law the Federal government would have the right to seize domains from the registry without notice to the domain holder placing the burden and expense on the domain holder to get their domain returned, regardless of where the owner of the domain is located, what jurisdiction the domain owner is subject to, or where the registrar is located.
The Feds would simply have to go to the registry with the order and the registry would hand the sites over to the Feds like the have done with the ICE seizures which temporarily took down 84,000 innocent sites last week and caused them to be labeled in the search engines as child porn sites.