Monday, November 22, 2010

Whither COICA?

Ron WydenImage via WikipediaAlthough the Senate Judiciary Committee last week by a 19-0 vote resoundingly gave its blessings to the Combatting Online Infringement & Counterfeit Act ("COICA"), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said: "Deploying this statute to combat online copyright infringement seems almost like a bunker buster cluster bomb when what you really need is a precision guided missile."

As reported by Jurist (,  the bill, which would amend Chapter 13 of Title 18 of the U.S. Code by adding Sec. 2324 Internet Sites Dedicated to Infringing Activities, would enable the Attorney General to seek injunctions against both domestic and international copyright-infringing Web sites. Wyden fears the measure could lead to Internet censorship, a position supported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The EFF says COICA would affect non-infringing online content, including political speech by interfering with the Internet's Domain Name System that translates site names into IP addresses used by computers to communicate.  The EFF claims COICA would create a "blacklist" of  censored domains.

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