Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-CA) have introduced The Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act as a replacement for the widely reviled anti-piracy SOPA and PIPA proposals. SOPA and PIPA are reviled by the internet community, anyway, which managed to stop them in their tracks by going dark for a day on 1/18/12. But nobody is in favor of piracy, and The New York Times says that the Issa/Wyden approach has merit.
NYT said the problem of foreign websites selling bootleg copies of various copywritten materials is real, particularly from sites emanating from Russia and China.
According to NYT, rights holders can take a grievance to the International Trade Commission, and if the grievance has merit, “…it could direct payment firms like Visa and PayPal and advertising networks like Google’s to stop doing business with the Web site.”
It includes a process to get a temporary restraining order for time sensitive grievances, such as streaming of a special event – NYT mentioned the upcoming Super Bowl as a prime example.
And it avoids the vague language that led the internet community to imagine all kinds of terrible scenarios.
NYT suggests that the two industries primarily involved in the dispute rally around the Issa/Wyden approach.
NYT says the bill may not be perfect, and may be too lenient in dealing with some pirates, but it also protects internet companies from falling prey to overzealous rights holders.