Protect IP Act (PIPA): A Step Backward for the Internet

Will PIPA kill off internet memes thereby rendering us humorless?

“Protect [or create] American jobs,” is a common cry amongst politicians. And, to their credit, officials do try to deliver on their economy building promises (though we don’t always agree with their methods). But they all may be missing the boat with their latest attempt and job protection — the Protect Intellectual Property Act.

Yes, Intellectual Property Rights Are Important; But, So Are Personal Rights

Of course, intellectual property protection is worthwhile. But, it shouldn’t come at the expense of overwhelming government and corporate control.

According to the House Judiciary Committee, HR 3261 is summarized as follows: The bill modernizes our criminal and civil statutes to meet new IP enforcement
challenges and protect American jobs.

How Would the PROTECT IP Act work?

The bill proposes a four track solution to identifying, monitoring, and cracking down on foreign websites that peddle pirated intellectual property and counterfeit goods. The proposed act would blacklist and block these websites from doing business in the United States. The idea: sever access to a U.S. audience and voila! Problem solved, right? Not so fast.

Here’s the real deal with regards to PIPA.

Yes, we should have laws that protect intellectual property rights.

However, the bill, as it reads now, is too vaguely worded and leaves the door open for the federal government and corporations to wield unusual power.

Will PIPA Actually Prevent Anything? Probably Not.

Passing PIPA won’t do anything to solve the problem of people stealing intellectual property over the Internet. Folks who engage in the practice either a) already know how to access websites that have been blocked by the government or b) are adept at finding ways to get what they want.

This act could jar the Internet at its very core, resulting in less security, innovation, and ingenuity. PIPA could affect how you, an online entrepreneur, earn a living.

If you want to know more about how Internet law legislation can effect your online business, contact an experienced Internet lawyer today.

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