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Dare I be optimistic #3? Finally the US Government Responds to Piracy? Share Thisi

Our US Congress has facilitated 2 encouraging initiatives:

1) ISP’s are being given tools to provide “Alerts” to consumers who are engaged in illegal file sharing. Typically this will go to the account holder who is often clueless that their account is being used illegally (i.e. the parent whose kid is using these services). These alerts will also direct them to legal alternatives.
2) The PROTECT IP Act, recently introduced in the US Congress, finally puts some teeth in the efforts to shut down illegal file sharing sites (including foreign ones). The legislation, unanimously endorsed by the Judiciary committee, will extend protections to many types of Intellectual Property. I’ve often said the Music Industry is the “canary in the coal mine” for other types of intellectual property that will be plundered without such protection. This is also becoming a major international trade issue. I guess the sleeping giants (e.g. Film, TV, Software), along with our small-but-mighty friends at the NSAI and NMPA, have finally awakened our legislators.

My favorite Congressman Jim Cooper (of Tennessee), sent the following email this week:

You may have already heard, but I wanted to make sure you knew about today’s big news. Major music, movie, TV and internet service providers have just announced an unprecedented and historic private partnership to curb online theft. ISPs will now be active participants in stopping digital piracy, alerting their subscribers who engage in theft and steering them to websites where they can purchase content legally.

This is great news for creators and it looks like a big victory for Music City. Negotiated in part by local labels including Warner, Universal, Sony, EMI and hundreds of independents under the A2IM banner, this deal is being heralded by the Nashville Songwriters and a host of music publishers. Our community has felt the brunt of mass online infringement for over a decade, and it is time that our songwriters, artists, and music industry professionals are properly compensated for their creativity.

Under this new private system, internet subscribers will receive Copyright Alerts from their ISP if their accounts are used for peer-to-peer content theft. The Alerts will direct users to lawful sources of music, film, and TV content and warn that additional consequences could result from their conduct. We hope that users who receive Alerts will stop stealing and begin to use one of the many legal sources available to them. For additional details and specifics on the Copyright Alert System, please click here.

In other news, my House colleagues and I are working on a companion bill to the Senate’s PROTECT IP Act (S. 698), also known as the “rogue sites” bill. PROTECT IP targets the worst of the worst pirate websites that reside overseas and out of the reach of law enforcement. The House bill will provide both the government and individuals a strong mechanism for enforcing content rights against these bad actors. I look forward to sharing more details about the bill when we introduce it later this month.

Ron Wyden (in my former homestate of Oregon) is of course cowering in the corner saying such legislation might hurt free speech. This of course while the expression and free-speech rights of thousands of songwriters and creators has been viciously silenced by millions of cyber-parasites. Maybe Mr Wyden received some campaign funding from Limewire before they were shut down by the recently?