Tough New Anti-Piracy Legislation on the Way?

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The US Senate Judiciary Committee has passed controversial new legislation to fight internet piracy that will allow the Justice Department to shut down domain names of sites that, in their view, enable piracy. The legislation was opposed by many, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Google, all of whom felt that the ability to seize domain names was giving the Justice Department too much power, but the legislation was unanimously approved this morning, and now moves to the full Senate for a vote at an undetermined future date.

In a statement, President of the Motion Picture Association of America, Bob Pisano, said:

As part of a wide ranging coalition of workers and businesses whose jobs and financial health have been placed at risk by content theft, we commend Senators Patrick Leahy and Orrin Hatch for their leadership on this bill. We look forward to working with them and the other cosponsors of the legislation, along with their colleagues in the House to help the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act become law… It will take a strong, sustained effort to stop Internet thieves and profiteers. We believe that Congress and the Administration can make a significant contribution to that effort by turning the Leahy-Hatch bill into law and giving law enforcement significantly enhanced tools for addressing a threat that deprives American innovators of the fruits of their labors and menaces our nation’s economic health.

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