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100+ Law Professors Protest Against Proposed Copyright Bill, PROTECT IP

Posted by: , 16:23 AEST, Mon July 11, 2011

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Law professors from the most prestigious law schools around the United States have come out fighting against the proposed PROTECT IP copyright act, which will give the government the power to seize and block "bad" websites

Mark Lemley from Stanford Law School, David Levine from Elon School of Law and David Post from Temple University's School of Law have drafted a letter opposing the proposed PROTECT IP act, a letter which more than 100 other law professors from around the United States have signed.

Urging Congress to reject the controversial PROTECT IP bill, which will give the government and copyright lobby wide ranging powers to seize domain names, file civil lawsuits and force ISPs to block access to websites deemed "unacceptable" by the government, the law professors warn the risks of PROTECT IP far outweigh the possible gains for an issue that, they do admit, is a serious one.

Foremost, the professors argue that this approach has the potential to harm the security of the Internet's addressing system, and "will undermine United States foreign policy" when it comes to supporting freedom of speech efforts around the world.

They are also concerned about possible constitutional issues, feeling that the proposed bill could lead to the suppression of freedom of speech without notice or a fair hearing.

The letter concludes by arguing that, if passed, PROTECT IP could "represent the biggest threat to the Internet in its history."

Do you support PROTECT IP, or do you share the same concerns as these law professors? Post your opinion in the comments section of this article,  this forum thread, and also read the full letter, plus see a video of one of the authors of the letter discussing his views:


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