Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Thursday that he would introduce a substitute to his PROTECT IP Act that would not include domain name blocking.
"As I prepare a managers' amendment to be considered during the floor debate," he said, "I will therefore propose that the positive and negative effects of this provision be studied before implemented, so that we can focus on the other important provisions in this bill, which are essential to protecting American intellectual property online, and the American jobs that are tied to intellectual property."
Leahy has scheduled a procedural vote on the bill for Jan. 24. The House version of the IP protection bill, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) still gives internet service providers the ability to block web sites if a court order can be secured.
"We appreciate the action Chairman Leahy is
taking to improve his legislation," said Sherwin Siy, deputy legal
director of Public Knowledge. "Even with that change, however, the bill
would still be unacceptable. The definitions in the bill are still far too
sweeping, it still grants too much enforcement power to private parties and
still confers inappropriate blanket immunity for private companies."
Motion Picture Association of America took the announcement in stride, focusing
on the protections that remained in the bill.
Leahy's leadership today will help forge an even broader consensus for this
bill, and we look forward to working with the Senator and other interested
parties in passing a strong bill utilizing the remaining tools at our disposal
to protect American jobs and creativity," said MPAA in a statement.
"We continue to believe that DNS filtering is an important tool, already
used in numerous countries internationally to protect consumers and the
intellectual property of businesses with targeted filters for rogue
sites. We are confident that any close examination of DNS screening will
demonstrate that contrary to the claims of some critics, it will not break the
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