After dozens of law professors raised concern
against the bill that we all know PIPA, the House of Representatives made its own version
called SOPA in October. From the first day, Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden shared his thoughts about the bill with the public - and it was not in the voice of content. Many people in the internet society joined him in his fight
, but he could convince some fellow senators and representatives as well. They made a draft
in a hurry (and construed a backup plan
in case not finishing the bill in time), but on 8th December they finally released
OPEN. It was introduced in the House of Representatives by Darrell Issa (see the picture), a California Republican.
Basically it is an amendment to the Tariff Act of 1930
, unlike the 'newborn' PIPA and SOPA. The structure is almost the same, we can see the difference in the content. Eric Goldman wrote a great article
about the pros and cons of the bill, so I just want to emphasize the most important things of it.
Instead of giving the power to the Attorney General, OPEN wants to make the U. S. International Trade Comission responsible for the decisions concerning the rogue websites. It is a good thing, because they are an independent body - on the other hand, do they have the sufficient professional, mainly: legal knowledge in these types of cases? Whatsoever, OPEN still emphasizes the World Police-role
of the United States by taking actions against foreign websites, which is not good in my opinion, from a European point of view.
The best thing about the bill, that Goldman emphasizes as well, is the openness to the public. On the aforementioned website
everyone can tell their own opinion and proposal of the draft text, which is a great sign of democracy. Another important fact that it makes no harm to the domain names of the websites, which was a very big concern in the previous bills.
Senator Wyden thought that neither PIPA, nor SOPA would be the solution to resolve this problem with rogue websites. It is very good to see that he and his colleagues not only complained about it, they made their own proposal as well. Maybe because of the shortage of time it is not perfect or complete, but it is worth thinking of and developing it. Hopefully the Congress will make a decision uniting the good things in the three proposals.
(Finally, I would like to thank my colleague and friend, Péter the
opportunity to write here. It is my first post, so I felt I have to grab
this opportunity to write down this. Thank you!)