[conspire] Fwd: [nylug-talk] What a Pig sounds like when it talks

Ruben Safir ruben at mrbrklyn.com
Sat Dec 17 16:42:30 PST 2011

Smith: Critics Continue to Spread Lies about SOPA

Washington, D.C. . Chairman Smith responded today to a letter that
appeared in several newspapers from founders of Internet companies like
Google, Twitter, and eBay regarding criticisms of the Stop Online Piracy
Act. Many of the claims in the letter are erroneous and simply restate
concerns that were actually addressed by the manager.s amendment
released on Monday.

Chairman Smith: .It.s disappointing that some critics of the Stop Online
Piracy Act do not understand what the bill actually does.  The manager.s
amendment introduced earlier this week narrows the scope of the bill to
ensure that it only applies to foreign rogue websites.  The bill defines
rogue sites as foreign websites primarily dedicated to the sale and
distribution of illegal or infringing material or foreign websites that
market themselves as websites primarily dedicated to illegal or
infringing activity.  Lawful companies and websites like Google,
Twitter, Yahoo and Facebook have nothing to worry about under this bill.

.Unfortunately, that has not stopped some of the bill.s critics from
spreading lies about the legislation in an attempt to stall efforts by
Congress to combat foreign rogue websites.  Companies like Google have
made billions by working with and promoting foreign rogue websites so
they have a vested interest in preventing Congress from stopping rogue

.In August, Google paid half a billion dollars to settle a criminal case
because of the search engine giant.s active promotion of foreign rogue
pharmacies that sold counterfeit and illegal drugs to U.S. patients.
Their opposition to this legislation is self-serving since they profit
from doing business with rogue sites that steal and sell America.s
intellectual property.

.American intellectual property industries provide 19 million
high-paying jobs to the U.S. economy and account for more than 60
percent of U.S. exports.  Congress cannot stand by and do nothing while
some of America.s most profitable and productive industries are under

Background information on the Stop Online Piracy Act:

The Stop Online Piracy Act targets foreign web sites that steal and sell
America.s intellectual property and keep the profits for themselves.
The manager.s amendment, introduced on Monday, addresses technical
concerns with the first draft of the bill and is the result of
conservations with additional stakeholders like Facebook and Microsoft.
The bill takes legitimate concerns into consideration, while still
providing strong tools to fight foreign rogue sites.  The manager.s
amendment improves the legislation, increases industry support, and
ensures the protection of American innovation and jobs.

Specifically, the manager.s amendment:>

     Clarifies that provisions of the bill apply only to foreign rogue

     Removes language that would have required redirection when users try
to access an unlawful site.

         Includes a savings clause that disallows a court from issuing an
order that would harm DNS.

         Makes sure that service providers have the ability to determine
the best method to ensure compliance and prohibits courts from imposing
any additional obligations on service providers.

         Commissions an inter-agency expert study on any impact of the
bill.s remedies on the DNS.

     Makes clear that in an action by the Attorney General, service
providers will not be required to block subdomains.

     Narrows definitions in the bill.

         Narrows the definition of rogue websites dedicated to illegal or
infringing activity to ensure that monitoring is not required.

         Narrows the definition of search engines to clarify that only
services that operate primarily as search engines are covered, not
search functions on other services or services powered by third parties.

         Narrows the definition of payment processors to ensure that
banks and credit unions are not included as such.

         Narrows the definition of advertising networks to clarify that
the bill covers entities directly involved in serving ads to foreign
rogue websites.

     Removes the .voluntary notice. section for rights holders.  This
means rights holders are no longer required to provide notice to payment
processors and advertising networks as a precondition to seeking
judicial relief. Victims of IP theft will continue to use current
voluntary market-based systems to address counterfeiting and piracy.
The bill maintains immunity for financial institutions and online ad
service providers.

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