When lawmakers introduce a bill that aims to stamp out piracy, musicians and other players from the entertainment industry are usually onboard. It is no secret that all the internet resources that allow users to illegally obtain copyrighted material has ate into a huge chunk of industry profits. To no surprise, support is exactly what lawmakers are getting from members in the entertainment biz with the controversial PROTECT-IP bill. However, critics of the bill are arguing that the power it grants goes way beyond protecting copyrights and eliminating online piracy.
Big Brother Going Too Far?
Passing a law that combats piracy in today’s day in age is completely understandable with the multitude of torrent programs and illegal streaming sites online. The problem is that the PROTECT-IP Act appears to put too much power in the hands of the copyright owner and the government. Although the language is a bit vague, it has been gathered that if passed, the bill would give musicians, movie studios, and content owners in general the ability to shut down a given website by merely accusing them of infringement. In addition, any third-party that is connected to the accused site by way of linking could suffer legal ramifications as well.
The PROTECT-IP bill obviously puts the spotlight on sites involved in the growing problem of piracy. On the other hand, it could have repercussions for independent third-party companies that are completely innocent of any crimes. The act would require any business supplies these sites with their services to cut off ties or bear the consequences for failing to comply. According to the original draft, this includes service providers such as payment processors, advertising companies, and search engine players like Google. Thanks to a recent change to the bill, even more internet-based businesses could be affected.
It has been reported that the PROTECT-IP Act has now officially become the Enforcing and Protecting American Rights Against Sites Intent on Theft and Exploitation Act or simply E-PARASITE. According to online sources, the new version is even more controversial because if passed, it could hold popular online destinations such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube liable for infringement over the copyrighted material posted by their users. The good thing for the email marketing community in general is that neither version appears to have any implications for marketing practices. As long as your initiatives do not play a role in online pirating, whether directly or indirectly, there should be nothing to worry about.
The PROTECT-IP turned PARASITE bill is one of the most controversial internet-related bills to come around in some time. Some are standing up for it, but many are calling it flat out ridiculous. The fact of that matter is that if it becomes official, it could very well result in significant changes for parties who are guilty of nothing but running their business. For that reason alone, this hot topic of a bill deserves attention from those who might potentially be affected.