Once again, Utah’s own Senator Hatch has cosponsored an Internet related bill that further paves the road to Hell. Of all the possibilities that could be exhausted in the lame-duck Senate session (like START ratification), carrying water for media companies is highest on the list. The “Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act” (COICA) bill passed unanimously out of committee today. One provision of this bill is that the Attorney General can direct Internet Service Providers to block websites that media companies claim are infringing copyright. As I have seen with the equally well-intentioned Digital Millennium Copyright Act, media companies tend to shoot first and ask questions later when it comes to making accusations of copyright violation. DMCA has also been repeatedly used between competitors to hamper each other’s operations, all the while sticking the ISP between them as detective, judge, and jury. COICA is DMCA on steroids and is not good for the Internet. Since Senator Hatch is a sponsor and a repeat offender in regards to technology & copyright law, I suggest you call Senator Bennett’s office and hope that he uses his lame-duck powers for the people rather than the corporations.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is following COICA closely and is a good resource for criticism on it.